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Just as Rosh Hashanah arrived very early this year, so too is Chanukah.  The first candle will be lit on Wednesday evening, December 1st.  For those of you who understand the Jewish calendar, you know that our holidays move around because our calendar is based on lunar months.  Lunar months being only 28-29 days in duration, our year is shorter than a solar year.  Without any corrections, our holidays would come earlier and earlier each year.  Eventually, Passover would be in the middle of winter, and then in the Fall.  So, in order to keep the Spring holidays in the Spring and the Autumn holidays in Autumn, the Rabbis devised a system whereby we add a “leap month” every so many years to make a correction.  Having very early holidays is a clue that a correction is coming.  And consequently, this year the month of Adar will be repeated.  This occurs in March and February.  This correction will allow Passover to fall in mid April this year, just about on time.  This, despite the old saying, “Jewish holidays are always early or late, but never on time”!

The South Hills JCC is holding its annual Chanukah party on Monday, Dec 6.  See the attached flyer.

Community Wide Chanukah 2010

And lest we forget that Thanksgiving is a day set aside to thank God for the manifold blessings He has bestowed on us, be reminded that we are having Thanksgiving morning services, 9:00 AM.  I know that some of you will be away visiting families.  Go in good health and come back in good health.  Have a wonderful holiday.

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Giving Thanks

One week from today is Thanksgiving.  America’s unique holiday.  A celebration of what makes us a great nation— the right of all our citizens to practice the religion of their choosing, free of government interference or coercion.  And to honor this we have set aside a day to thank God for bringing us to this place.

So what are you doing on Thanksgiving morning?  Sleeping in?  Going to the grocery store?  I’ve got a suggestion.  Come down to the Carnegie Shul for morning minyan.  It’s a great excuse to get out of the house for a couple hours.  And it provides you the opportunity to say your prayers on this Thanksgiving Day.

Our morning minyan will begin at 9:00 AM.  And we should be done by 10:15.  This will be a regular weekday service, so if you lay tefillin, bring it.  Also, there will be the normal Thursday morning Torah reading.  And finally, a special treat: the reading of President George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Day proclamation.  But even with all that, we will still have a little time for coffee and bagels afterwards.  Tell your friends.  Thanksgiving morning minyan is now an annual observance in Carnegie.  Hope to see you here.

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Anne Zemon

This month we lost a longtime member of the Carnegie Shul— Anne Zemon.  Although I didn’t know Anne, her son Alan has been a regular attendee of our High Holiday services and her son Harry always stops into the shul when he is back in Pittsburgh.  The following obit appeared in the Carnegie Signal Item this week.

Anne (Horovitz) Zemon, of Carnegie, died on Oct. 4, 2010.

She was the wife of the late Leonard Zemon; mother of Harry (Sharon) Zemon of St. Augustine, Fla., and Alan K. Zemon of Carnegie; sister of the late Saul Horovitz, Jane Cohen and Betty Psigoda; grandmother of Roslyn and Marci Zemon; she was also survived by nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., Shadyside. Burial was in New Light Cemetery.

Contributions can be made to Alzheimer’s Association (Greater Pittsburgh  Chapter), 1100 Liberty Ave Ste. E-201, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

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The first day of Rosh Hashanah also happened to be the first day of the Carnegie Borough Festival.  While we were in shul, our Public Works department was setting up the bandstands and vendors were setting up their booths.  Local Carnegie artist Bernadette Kazmarski was setting up her own booth where she sells her artwork.  Normally, Bernadette and I are both volunteering at the festival, although my assistance was limited by our holidays.  When Bernadette learned of the coincidence she asked if it was ok for her to photograph our Tashlich service at Chartiers Creek.  The creek is one of her favorite art subjects and this would add another piece to the history of the creek.  See her blog posting at this link:

Bernadette’s Blog


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