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Why Presidents Celebrate Hanukkah Early… Or Do They?

Hanukkah

Hanukkah

According to an entry in Wikipedia, “the first official White House Hanukkah Party was held on December 10, 2001, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, using a 100-year-old Hanukkah menorah that the White House borrowed from the Jewish Museum of New York.”

While it’s true that previous U.S. Administrations have recognized the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’ in some meaningful way, such as in 1996, 2004 and 2009, when the United States Postal Service issued Hanukkah themed postage stamps in honor of the holiday, it was President Bush who began the annual reception, held at The White House, commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

The name “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew verb “חנך”, meaning “to dedicate”. On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and re-dedicated the Second Temple.

Today, Hanukkah is celebrated with a series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the 8-day holiday, some are family-based and others communal.

But what is Hanukkah really?

Well, according to Chabad, “when the royal Hasmonean family overpowered and was victorious over [the Greeks], they searched and found only a single cruse of pure oil… enough to light the menorah for a single day. A miracle occurred, and they lit the menorah with this oil for eight days. On the following year, they established these [eight days] as days of festivity and praise and thanksgiving to G‑d.” — Talmud, Shabbat 21b

And it is true that there were many miracles that assisted in the liberation of Israel, as a nation, from Greek dominance and the reclaiming of the second Holy Temple, but there is one particular miracle, the miracle of the small earthenware pot of pure oil that burned for eight days that we Jews commemorate each year.

So now back to the story… Why do Presidents celebrate Hanukkah early… Or do they?

A friend of mine in Israel called me very early this morning and while we talked we eventually got to the subject of Hanukkah (as you do this time of year) and she asked, “Why do the Diaspora celebrate Hanukkah early?”. The news in Israel is naturally about President Trump following his recent decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel and unsurprisingly, the fact that his Administration had marked Hanukkah five days early hadn’t escaped anyone’s notice. So I decided to look into this subject and discovered that since 2001 when this practice began, with the Bush White House, the ‘celebration’ has never begun on the first night of Hanukkah.

In 2001 President Bush spoke that the year had been a year of “much sadness” for America and for Israel – and that the people of both nations had grieved together.  President Bush said, “But as we watch the lighting of this second candle of Hanukkah, we are reminded of the ancient story of Israel’s courage, and of the power of faith to make the darkness bright”. He then went on to pray for a “better day” – “when this Festival of Freedom may be celebrated in a world free from terror”.

During the last 17 years The White House has marked the occasion early only 5 times, about 30 per cent of the time, and I suspect this had to do with scheduling the many other events held at The White House each year. President Bush held one event 19 days early and President Obama missed the mark three times, 7 days, 10 days and 13 days.

  • 2001 (December 10) Second night (Hanukkah began on December 9)
  • 2002 (December 4)  Fifth night (Hanukkah began on November 29)
  • 2003 (December 22) Fourth night (Hanukkah began on December 19)
  • 2004 (December 7) Fourth night (Hanukkah began on December 4)
  • 2005 (December 6) 19 days early (Hanukkah began on December 25)
  • 2006 (December 18) Fourth night (Hanukkah began on December 15)
  • 2007 (December 10) Seventh night (Hanukkah began on December 4)
  • 2008 (December 15) 7 days early (Hanukkah began on December 22)

But The White House Hanukkah reception in 2009 that took place on December 15, while timely (the Fifth night), was notable because President Barack Obama’s Administration sent out its invitations that made no specific mention of Hanukkah, instead inviting guests to a “holiday reception”. This would seem to me to be an intentional act and coming from the Obama Administration does not surprise me in the least.

  • 2010 (December 2) Second night (Hanukkah began on December 1)
  • 2011 (December 8) 13 days early (Hanukkah began on December 21)
  • 2012 (December 13) Sixth night (Hanukkah began on December 8)
  • 2013 (December 5) Eighth night (Hanukkah began on November 27)
  • 2014 (December 17) Second night (Hanukkah began on December 16)
  • 2015 (December 9) Fourth night (Hanukkah began on December 6)
  • 2016 (December 14) 10 days early (Hanukkah began on December 24)
  • 2017 (December 7) 5 days early (Hanukkah begins on December 12)

President Donald J. Trump’s Administration recently held the annual event (December 7) and as you would expect the lamestream media has been quick to point out that President Trump had previously lambasted President Obama for celebrating Hanukkah early and yet, they chided, he did the same in his first full year in the Office.

Well, I suspect that President Trump intentionally timed his Administration’s marking of the event with his decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a miracle if you think about it and an act that took incredible Hutzpah (nerve, self-confidence) knowing, as he did, that he would be attacked by the media.

So why don’t some U.S. Presidents (e.g. President Obama) take more care when “respecting” our Jewish holidays? Well, perhaps it’s because they’re not Jewish, although more than a few Jews in the Diaspora (living outside Israel) would like to see the end of celebrating Hanukkah altogether…

From my perspective whether non-Jews mark this important Jewish holiday or not doesn’t really matter. Tomorrow evening is the first night of Hanukkah and each year we look for miracles during this time. My wish is that all Jews will remember our victories and the tremendous accomplishments that we have achieved throughout our history and that they try not to dwell, as so many people around the world do, on the unfortunate events that have happened as we work toward securing our freedom and our nation.

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Union Home Minister Attends 60th Convocation Of Lucknow University

The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Ram Naik and the Union Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh conferring Degrees and Medals upon students, during the 60th Annual Convocation of the Lucknow University, in Lucknow on December 09, 2017

Value Education, Research And Morals For Character Stressed

Lucknow: The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Ram Naik and the Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh attended the 60th Annual Convocation of the Lucknow University in Lucknow on Dec 9.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Ram Naik, who is also the Chancellor of the University, laid stress on improving the quality of education due to global competition. He also called for research in Universities that would benefit the society.

In his address as Chief Guest on the occasion, Mr. Rajnath Singh exhorted the youth to actively participate in the administrative and political system of the country. Pointing out that India is repository of culture and literature, the Union Home Minister said the students can apply this knowledge gainfully for the nation building. He said that the educational institutions should not only impart academic education but also help the students learn value education and morals for character building and holistic learning.

Mr. Rajnath Singh later presented degrees to 192 students including 159 girls who constituted 83 percent of all passed out students.

On the occasion the University bestowed upon Mr. Rajnath Singh the Honorary degree of Doctorate of Science (D. Sc).

(Source: PIB/GR/TYP/BIN/USPA/WN/IAIJ)/Lucknow, UP

Vice President Of India Addresses Centenary Celebrations Of Anne Besant Municipal High School

The Vice President, Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the gathering at the Centenary Celebrations of Anne Besant Municipal High School, in Proddatur, Andhra Pradesh on December 08, 2017

The Vice President, Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the gathering at the Centenary Celebrations of Anne Besant Municipal High School, on December 8, said the parents must encourage children to join government schools. He also said to imbibe the culture of honoring mother tongue and motherland.

The Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Urban Housing, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. P. Narayana, the Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture and Agri-Processing, Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and the Minister for Marketing & Warehousing, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Ch. Adi Narayana Reddy, Member of Parliament (RS) Mr.CM Ramesh, Member of Parliament (LS) Mr. Y.S. Avinash Reddy, Proddatur MLA Mr. Rachamallu Siva Prasad Reddy, Mydukur MLA Mr. Raghurami Reddy, Former MLA Mr. N Varadarajula Reddy, Former MLC Mr. B Pullaiah, State Civil Supplies Chairperson Mr. M Linga Reddy, TDP District President Mr. Srinivasula Reddy & Municipal Chairperson Mr. Raghu Reddy, other leaders and District Collector Mr. Naidu and Officials Participated in the event.

(Source: PIB/GR/TYP/BIN/USPA/WN/IAIJ)/Proddatur

Too Proud To Be Taught Is Worse Than A Fool

(Picture Source: dailyverses.net)

‘He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth. Proverbs 10:17’

Here is wisdom! This is one of Solomon’s most valuable lessons. You may not fully appreciate the power and wisdom of this proverb, but it is the greatest indicator of your character and future success or trouble. Obeying instruction and warnings is clear proof you are noble and wise. Refusing correction and reproof is clear proof you are foolish and profane. The rule is inspired; the diagnosis is totally accurate. How do you measure up?

You arrived in life knowing nothing at all. The only way you could progress beyond that ignorance was to listen, learn, and obey. Some do not progress beyond childish thinking by these steps to wisdom, while others grow rapidly in knowledge and understanding. If you do not humble yourself to obey the instruction of teachers, you will be forced to learn the lessons of life the hard way – by painful misery and trouble in your life.

The key to wisdom and honor is humility – the ability to reject your thoughts in order to listen and obey others (Pr 15:33; 18:12). What hinders you from fully obtaining wisdom and honor? Pride! It leads to arrogant and selfish rejection of the opinions of others, which leaves you alone with the foolish imaginations of your own depraved and ignorant heart (Pr 18:1-2). Pride cannot bear to be corrected or taught by another. A man too proud to be taught is worse than a fool (Pr 26:12). Grasp this simple lesson! Love correction!

The need to humbly obey correction and instruction is emphasized in Proverbs (Pr 12:1). The rest of the Bible emphasizes it as well. Hearing and doing brings blessing and safety (Matt 7:24-27). Why did Paul warn, “Despise not prophesyings” (I Thess 5:20)? Many do not want a preacher telling them what to do. They hate being corrected from the pulpit. They are fools headed for destruction!

The simple lesson of this proverb proves two things – your character and future. It is as true as gravity! Wise men love to be taught, and they become successful (Pr 9:8-9). Fools hate to be corrected or reproved, and they will be destroyed (Pr 9:7; 12:15; 14:16). Wisdom promises to laugh and mock at fools, when their calamity comes, and wise men laugh with Lady Wisdom, when they witness the pain and trouble of a fool (Pr 1:20-33).

Though eternal life in heaven is an unconditional gift by the grace of God through the merits and efforts of Jesus Christ, it is confirmed by keeping instruction. Doing the will of God is one of the great evidences of eternal life that makes your calling and election sure (Matt 7:21). Those that disregard God and disobey His gospel will be destroyed in fiery vengeance that is coming (II Thess 1:7-10).

(Source: LGBT/PIB/GR/TYP/BIN/USPA/WN/IAIJ)/Proddatur

WireNews Applauds President Trump’s Decision To Recognize Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel

President Trump Signs Order

President Trump Signs Order

WireNews Limited applauds President Trump’s bold decision for the United States to correct a 69 year-old denial of reality and to finally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

“Israel, like every other sovereign State, has the right to designate its capital city” said Bill White, CEO and Founder of WireNews.

“President Trump’s brave move should encourage other nations, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France, to follow suit,” he added.

“Further, President Trump’s order for his Administration to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is long overdue and a welcome change in US Foreign Policy,” White concluded.

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