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Stop and Taste the Chocolate

Nona Chocolate is guaranteed to sweeten and revive your day even in the height of summer. I met Eti the owner and chocolatier a couple of summers ago. Her charming cafe is located across the street from the King David Hotel on a scrumptious piece of sidewalk. I had my eye on the place for […]






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Spotlight on Modi’in: Ancient Birthplace of the Maccabees.

Modi’in used to be more famous for its past than its present. But not any more. Today, this ancient birthplace of the Maccabees is about to become Israel’s fourth largest city. Once famous for its Hasmonean roots, modern day Modi’in has more than 150,000 residents and is Israel’s first planned city. Mentioned in the Talmud […]






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Marvad Haksamim: Shabbat Meals To Go In Jerusalem

I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I start thinking about Shabbat on Monday. If an invitation does not surface by Wednesday, I start to worry.  By Thursday, I  panic. What will we eat? Will there be enough? Will the kids like it? Will I have to cook it?? Luckily, there’s no […]






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Volunteer Your Kids at Carmei Ha’Ir

After eating your way through Jerusalem, you can arrange for your family to give back. Carmei Ha’Ir, a Hebrew acronym for “All that are hungry shall eat” is a restaurant for anyone who can’t pay for lunch or dinner. It is located in the middle of Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s open air market. It looks like […]






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Neot Kedumim

When my oldest son was in eighth grade,  his graduating class went to Israel for two weeks at the end of the year. When he came back, he told me about the first stop on his itinerary. “Mom,” he said excitedly on the ride home from the airport. “The first thing we did when I […]






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Mt. Herzl Memorial Park and Musuem

No matter how many times I go to Israel, Har Herzl and its new museum is still at top of my list. The park itself is a cemetery, but don’t let that discourage you from visiting. The cemetery is physically beautiful, lush and peaceful, with seemingly never ending pathways that wind in and out between […]






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Hanukkah: Heroes & Villains

Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said, “Women are obligated to light the Hanukah menorah for they took part in the miracle” (Shabbat 23a) Two heroines emerge from the Hanukah story that often get lost in the heroic tales of the Maccabees. Their names were Judith and Hannah and they also symbolizes the victory of the Jews […]






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Hannukah: Laws & Customs

The Menorah: Candles are lit on a menorah, or Chanukiah, in Hebrew. A kosher menorah must have space for eight candles all lined up in a straight row. All eight candles must have the same height. A ninth, extra, space must be raised above the other eight candle branches.  So, the fancy candelabra you may […]






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Hanukkah: Religious Meaning

HaRabim Beyad HaMeatim: The victory of the few over the many. This Hebrew phrase stands for the unfaltering resolve of the Jewish people. It was not only true in the days of the Hashmonaim, it is true today. The tiny land of Israel has always been surrounded by hostile nations. Even before the Maccabean victory […]






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Hanukkah 101:

Hanukah, Feast of Dedication / Festival of Lights Hanukah, the Hebrew word meaning dedication, is celebrated for eight days in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually occurs in mid to late December. Hanukah recalls the struggle for religious freedom and commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Hellenistic Syrians in the year 165 […]






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