Carnegie Shul Chatter – December 7, 2012


Chanukah begins Saturday evening as we light the first candle.  Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees over King Antiochus IV in 167 B.C.E.  After defeating Antiochus and his mighty army, the Maccabees rededicated the temple that had been desecrated by the Greeks, but the Maccabees discovered that there was only enough oil to keep the menorah burning for one day.  Miraculously the oil lasted 8 days; thus we celebrate this miracle by lighting our menorahs for eight days .

One of my favorite Chanukah songs is  Maoz tzur.

Here are the lyrics transliterated and in English.  Have a great holiday!

Maoz tzur yeshua-si
Lecha na-eh li-sha-beyach
Tikone bais ti-fee-lasi
Vi-sham todah ni-za-beyach.

Li-ase ta-chin mat-beyach
Mee-tzar ham-na-beyach
Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor
Chanukas ha-meez-beyach
Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor
Chanukas ha-meez-beyach.

Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor
Chanukas ha-meez-beyach.

Rock of Ages let our song,
Praise thy saving power;
Thou amidst the raging foes,
Wast our sheltering tower.

Furious they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us,
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.


Services tonight at 7:45, tomorrow morning at 9:20

Candle lighting time is 4:36 pm.

This week’s parshah is Vayeishev, the familiar story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.  Joseph’s brothers toss Joseph into a pit, then sell him into slavery.  Joseph is subsequently taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, the official  in charge of Pharoah’s  slaughterhouses.  With God’s blessing, Joseph does well for his master and is made overseer of Potiphar’s house.  Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, but Joseph refuses her advances. The scorned wife then lies and tells her husband that Joseph tried to force himself on her.  Joseph is then put in prison where he gains the favor of the warden, who places Joseph in a position of authority over the other prisoners.

While in prison, Joseph meets Pharoah’s butler and baker who have themselves been jailed.  Both the butler and the baker have disturbing dreams that cannot be interpreted, but  Joseph interprets the dreams, forecasting that in three days the butler will be released and the baker hanged.  Joseph’s interpretation proves to be accurate and although Joseph asks the butler to intercede with Pharoah on his behalf, the butler does nothing to help him.


This week a group of high school basketball players from Karmiel/Misgav, Pittsburgh’s partnership region in Israel, visits Pittsburgh to play two games against the high school  basketball team of the Pittsburgh JCC.  There will be games on Sunday, December 9 and Wednesday, December 12 beginning at 8 pm at the JCC’s Robinson Building.  Plan to attend and give our visitors a warm welcome to the Burgh!

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