December 2009 Messenger - Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue

December 2009 Messenger - Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Page 15

Page 16

Page 16

Page 17

Page 18

Page 19

Rabbi’s Message

President’s Message

Sisterhood’s Message

Ask the Rabbi

Calendar of Events

Upcoming Programs

Articles by Bill Novit



Rescuing a Torah from the Holocaust

Etcetera, Etcetera...

Men’s Night Out 2009

Symbolic foods for Chanukah

What is Chanukah

Why Eight days?

Candle Lighting Instructions

Dreidel Secrets

Chanukah Songs

December 2009

Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue

2 The Messenger


would like to share with you a

fascinating study, which I have

been made aware of at a recent

rabbinic conference. There is an ongoing

debate raging today amongst rabbis

across the country regarding how inclusive

the scope of Orthodox synagogues

should be in the

21st century. It is There is no doubt that Charleston’s

a hot topic, which, situation is a unique one. After

despite the passion watching how we came together for

on both sides of the Bar Mitzvahs ... I truly believe,

the discussion, still now more than ever, that our Shul

remains unan- is so rich with the warm, embracing


families that make up who we are.

On the one hand, some argue that a

synagogue should always remain true

and consistent to its traditions, rituals and

history, regardless of changing trends in

society. Therefore, for a Jew that seeks a

truly traditional synagogue – this will be

a perfect fit.

On the other side of the discussion are

those who feel that a Shul should be “one

size fits all”, flexing to meet the changing

needs and interests of all people across

the spectrum and provide a home to all

Jews that walk through their doors. As

a result, such congregations proactively

offer a multiplex-theatre approach to

Judaism (much like many contemporary

mega-churches are doing). When you

walk in their doors, you are greeted with

a vibrant variety of prayer services to

choose from. This model caters to interests

ranging from teens to adults, from

Sephardic to Ashkenazic, from early

birds to late-risers, and from lively Carlebach

styles to the more serious Yeshivish


The problem is that neither of these

two models is ideal, and both carry significant

drawbacks. The strength of the

traditional synagogue is that they tend to

offer a very close-knit, warm, family-like

atmosphere. Yet, they often lack growth

potential within the small niche markets

that they attract.

For the new “mega-synagogues”, there

is a tremendous lack of cohesion and

sense of community. Most of the people

that pray in one of their many Shabbat

A Unified Orthodox Community

by Rabbi Ari Sytner

services have little to no relationship with

the main rabbi. The older members do

not know the younger ones, new families

often fall through the cracks, while the

founding families

are frequently

approached at Kiddush

and asked if

they are new to the


These trends are

becoming practically

unavoidable in communities nationwide.

So what is the answer to this debate?

Well, I am afraid I don’t have the

answer to that question. I believe that,

regardless of which model a community

follows, the most important key to

success and survival is to actively build

bridges and strengthen unity amongst the


We, the Jews that make up this community,

are our greatest asset. It is the

knowledge and experience of our elders,

when coupled with the promise and hope

of our children and grandchildren that

gives our Shul an unstoppable future.

In Jerusalem, the Temple was the single

entity so powerful that it unified all Jews

under one common banner. Therefore,

until Moshiach comes and brings all Jews

to Israel - we will be left debating the

pros and cons of both of these models.

There is no doubt that Charleston’s

situation is a unique one. After watching

how we came together for the Bar Mitzvahs

of William Weinstein and Aaron

Kirshtein, as well as celebrating (Favorite

Uncle) Louie Kirshtein’s 2nd Bar Mitzvah

at the Minyan House, I truly believe,

now more than ever, that our Shul is so

rich with the warm, embracing families

that make up who we are.

At the same time, our Shul’s history

is replete with challenges of unification

and secession. From the mergers of Brith

Sholom and Beth Israel, to the creation

of the Minyan House – it was not without

struggle. Yet,

we exist today,

not as an Orthodox

synagogue -

but as an Orthodox


- because of the

perseverance and

good-sense of

our forbearers.

This balance that we’ve struck has

once again been called into question with

the introduction of the West Ashley Minyan

into our community. As a rabbi, I

am extremely proud to see a spike in our

community’s observance level; however,

I am genuinely concerned about how we

proceed. I have faith in our leadership’s

ability, as in past generations, to work together

to bridge this gap. I firmly believe

that after all that we have invested in our

Shul’s long and proud history, the most

important thing that we can ever work to

do - is ensure that Charleston remain a

one-Shul-town, and more importantly, a

unified Orthodox community.

With the beautiful renovations completed

both Downtown and at the Minyan

House, and with new leadership positions

being filled – I look forward to our

Shul becoming a hot-bed of activities,

classes and programs that serve Jews of

all demographics and observance levels.

BSBI is on the upswing in Charleston,

and the observance and study of Torah is

on the rise. I invite you to continue to be

a part of this excitement and growth and

to contribute toward laying the foundation

for our future.

Thank you for all of your support to

BSBI and your commitment to furthering

Torah Judaism in Charleston.

~Rabbi Ari Sytner

y Stanley Baker, President

The recent election at BSBI has produced the

youngest board that I have ever known. This board

is the future leadership of our congregation and offers

BSBI the best opportunity in years to attract new

members and grow our shul. As a result, our congregation

will be energized to new heights that we

could only dream of.

As your president for the past two years, I have made mistakes and I am

thankful that you have given me one more year to serve and rectify some of

my errors. To me, the coming year, 2010, will be a transition year that will

enable the new board and officers to set a course for the future and enable me

to become a past president knowing that BSBI is in good hands. Our future is

bright and is limitless in opportunities for our congregation. This future is also

in your hands - BSBI needs all of you to participate in committees, programs,

and all around support for our congregation.

The construction projects have been completed, so now our work begins

as we strengthen our congregation. We are fortunate that BSBI has Rabbi Sytner

at our helm and a professional staff with Linda Trestman and Lori Hoch

Stiefel who run our day to day business. I am grateful and thankful that I am

able to work with all of them.

One priority for me next year is to have all committees running and

functioning to the maximum. Another goal is to have the constitution of BSBI

fined tuned so that the misunderstandings will be prevented. Again, I ask all

of you to volunteer and tell me where and how you want to serve our congregation.

With 2010 approaching, this means Chanukah in the Square is happening.

We need volunteers to help with the BSBI booth. Please call Linda or Lori to

assist us.

I have always known that you the members of BSBI are kind ,forgiving,

and generous people and having been your president these past two years I

have had the pleasure of experiencing all of this first hand and for this I am

fortunate . Another benefit of being your president is the fact that I was able to

work very closely with the past presidents of BSBI. These men have dedicated

their lives to our congregation and have been my source of strength. I

thank all them for their support - always being ready and willing to serve

BSBI congregation. As much as it is an honor to be president of our congregation,

the true honor is to be a part of an elite group of men that are called


I hope and pray that the New Year 2010 will be a healthy and prosperous

year for you and your family. Feel the warmth and live the inspiration - see

you in shul!

The Messenger 3

182 Rutledge Avenue

Charleston, SC 29403

Office: 843.577.6599

Fax: 843.577.6699

Synagogue Directory

Ari Sytner, Rabbi

Stanley Baker, President

Linda Trestman, Administrator

Lori Hoch Stiefel,

Special Projects Manager

BSBI Executive Board


Stanley Baker

First Vice President:

Jeffrey Sabel

Second Vice President:

James Turner

Third Vice President:

Chuck Jacobson


Edward Berlin

Financial Secretary:

David Kirshtein

Corresponding Secretary:

Jan Jacobson

Recording Secretary:

Gerald Kaynard

BSBI Board of Trustees

Jason Berendt

Johanna Feldman

Stuart Feldman

Jason Goldberg

Andrew Halevi

Todd Hanik

Jeffrey Kaplan

Karen Ortner

Melvin Robinson

Sara Beth Rosen

Debbie Rothschild

Paul Schwartz

Dan Slotchiver

Mitch Weinstein

Jonathan Zucker

4 The Messenger

Happy Chanukah! Our BSBI Sisterhood is off to a fabulous start this year. We had a wonderful

“Welcome Meeting” on September 1st. Dr. Mitchell Weinstein gave a very informative

slide presentation as he shared with us his journey on discovering the meaning of

tzedakah. Denise Berry chaired the brunch which included a delicious quiche recipe out of

our very own cook book “A Garden of Eatin”.

Our Soup and Salad Meeting was held on November 3rd. Ashley Kirshtein and her hard

working committee prepared a delicious brunch of black bean soup, corn salad, fresh baked

corn bread, crackers, cheese and sorbet for dessert. Dr. Joshua Shanes spoke to us about

the birth of Rabbinic Judaism. Our members enjoyed learning about the role of the Oral

Law and the development of scholars and rabbis. Camilla Rosenberg and her creative committee

have done a fabulous job decorating the tables and room for our meetings.

The Sisterhood’s focus this year will continue to be on growing our membership in involvement

and numbers. We have been highlighting one of our committees at each meeting

to assist members in learning more about our committees and becoming involved. Sarah

Finkelstein discussed the Ronald McDonald House Project at our September Meeting. At

the end of the meeting, 5 members expressed an interest in helping Sarah on that project.

At our November meeting, we highlighted the Condolence Committee which now has an

additional 6 volunteers.

The Shaloch Manos and Donor Projects have historically been our two largest income generators.

These two fundraisers provide the Sisterhood with the funds needed to run our

programs and projects. The money raised has allowed us to help sponsor the Matan Bat

Mitzvah Project, replace equipment in our kitchens, and subsidize our brunches, holiday

dinners and community projects. Shera-Lee Berlin and Freida Sokol will chair our Donor

Project this year. Please become donors and support the Donor Project so that the Sisterhood

can continue the wonderful work that we do.

There is more exciting news. We have nine new members so far this year. We would like

to welcome Bonnie Silverberg, Ellen Levin, Pamela Leonard, Heidi Davenport, Sandi Perry,

Camilla Rosenberg, Carol Berlin, Laura Chandler and Harriet Gross to our Sisterhood. Congratulations

to Laurel (Lolly) Fox for becoming a life member.

We have a fabulous Chanukah Dinner and Program, “Searching for G-d in a Magic Shop”,

planned for December 16th. Adults and children ten and older will be awed by Illusionist

Arthur Kurzweil’s demonstrations that are intertwined with Torah. Younger children will

enjoy Chanukah crafts, games and activities. Invite your friends and make your reservations

early as seating will be limited. See our Chanukah advertisement for more information.

Our next meeting will be January 5th at 7 pm. I look forward to celebrating Chanukah with


~Deborah Ellison, BSBI Sisterhood President

Why is Shabbat candle lighting a woman’s Mitzvah?

The mitzvah of Shabbat candles applies to men and

women equally and if there isn’t a woman in the

house, then the obligation to light the candles falls on

the man.

However, for several reasons the rabbis instituted that if there

is a woman (over the age of bat mitzvah) in the house, she

should be the one who fulfills the obligation for the entire


a. In the home of the first Jewish couple, Abraham and Sarah,

it was Sarah who lit the Shabbat candles.

b. Generally speaking it is the presence and contribution of a

woman that transforms a house into a home; it is therefore her

privilege to transform it into a Jewish home - filling it with the

light of Judaism through the lighting of Shabbat candles (and

other Mitzvahs associated with the home, such as Kosher and

Family Purity etc).

c. Eve, the first woman, introduced sin and darkness to the

world through convincing her husband to eat from the forbidden

Tree of Knowledge. In an ongoing effort to restore the

world to its original light women throughout history were given

the opportunity to add light, through the Shabbat Candles,

and reverse Eve’s mistake.

Why is there a chair for Elijah at a Brit?

It is customary at a Brit to set aside a chair for Elijah

the Prophet who is called the “Angel of the Brit”.1

He attained this honorable position due to his zeal in

upholding this great Mitzvah. G-d therefore promised him that

he would be present at every Brit.

When the baby is brought into the room he is placed on this

chair for a brief moment, during which the Mohel says:

“This is the Seat of Elijah the Prophet, may he be remembered

for good. For Your deliverance I hope, O Lord. I have

hoped for Your deliverance, Lord, and I have performed Your

commandments. Elijah, angel of the Covenant, here is yours

before you; stand at my right and support me. I rejoice in Your

word, like one who finds great spoil. Those who love Your

Torah have abounding peace, and there is no stumbling for

them. Happy is the man You choose and bring near to dwell

in Your courtyards; we will be satiated with the goodness of

Your House, Your Holy Temple.”

The Messenger 5

Why is it important to have a Bat Mitzvah?

Just like a Bar Mitzvah, a Bat Mitzvah happens

whether we “have” it or not.

Bat Mitzvah means “Daughter of Mitzvah.” It is the age at

which a Jewish girl becomes obligated to fulfill G-d’s commandments.

That age is 12. We turn 12 automatically.

It is important to CELEBRATE the Bat Mitzvah because it is

a beautiful day. It is the day when a girl enters a binding relationship

with G-d in which she has the opportunity to actually

do things for Him. It is the day on which she joins the ranks

of the Jewish people who are carrying out G-d’s mission, to

make this world a place of good, a place that welcomes G-d.

To celebrate properly, a girl should study what G-d expects

and desires of a Jewish girl.

Why do we give tzedakah (charity) before praying?

Giving charity before prayer is usually referring

to the established prayer times of Shacharit and


The source of this custom is in the Talmud (Bava Bathra 10a)

“R. Eleazar used to give a coin to a poor man and afterwards

pray because, he said, it is written, ‘I in righteousness shall

behold your face.’” The word ‘righteousness’ in Hebrew is

“Tzedakah” which is also the word used for what we commonly

call giving charity. So the word in the verse ‘B’Tzedek’

- “in righteousness” - suggests that we should approach G-d in

prayer after giving to someone in need.

Giving tzedakah before praying reminds us that we are like a

poor person standing before G-d and asking His help. When

we give something to a poor person, G-d acts “measure for

measure” - likewise, and does charity with us by granting our


On a deeper level, Chassidic philosophy explains that when

we give charity, we are giving that person life, i.e. vitality and

energy - so too G-d will repay us giving us life in our prayers,

that they should be filled with vitality and energy

6 The Messenger

December 2009


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday





This Month’s Kiddushes

14th of Kislev, 5770

15th of Kislev, 5770

16th of Kislev, 5770

17th of Kislev, 5770

18th of Kislev, 5770

7:00 AM Shacharit

7:00 AM Shacharit

7:00 AM Shacharit

7:00 AM Shacharit

Parashat Vayishlach

Dec. 5: In Honor of Seymour Rudich,

9:15 AM Women's Torah 7:30 AM Blessings and 10:45 AM Women's Siddur 4:55 PM Candle lighting

given by Linda Kessler and Ansel Rudich

9:00 AM Shacharit




5:00 PM Mincha

Dec. 12: In Memory of loved ones,

4:45 PM Mincha

5:00 PM Mincha

1:00 PM Lunch and Learn 5:00 PM Mincha

given by Janette Wolper

5:58 PM Havdalah

8:30 PM The Book of

5:00 PM Mincha

Dec. 19: in honor of Chana’s graduation


from Law School, given by Rabbi Ari Sytner

Dec. 26: In Memory of his parents,

given by Paul D. Schwartz








25th of Kislev, 5770

Parashat Vayeshev

Chanukah: 2 Candles

24th of Kislev, 5770

Chanukah: 1 Candle

23rd of Kislev, 5770

22nd of Kislev, 5770

21st of Kislev, 5770

20th of Kislev, 5770

19th of Kislev, 5770

7:00 AM Shacharit

10:45 AM Women's Siddur


5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

7:30 AM Blessings and


1:00 PM Lunch and Learn

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

9:15 AM Women's Torah


5:00 PM Mincha

8:30 PM The Book of


7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

8:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

9:00 AM Shacharit

4:45 PM Mincha

5:59 PM Havdalah

7:00 AM Shacharit

4:56 PM Candle lighting

5:00 PM Mincha








2nd of Tevet, 5770

Parashat Miketz

Chanukah: 8th Day

1st of Tevet, 5770

Rosh Chodesh Tevet

Chanukah: 8 Candles

30th of Kislev, 5770

Rosh Chodesh Tevet

Chanukah: 7 Candles

29th of Kislev, 5770

Chanukah: 6 Candles

28th of Kislev, 5770

Chanukah: 5 Candles

27th of Kislev, 5770

Chanukah: 4 Candles

26th of Kislev, 5770

Chanukah: 3 Candles

7:00 AM Shacharit

7:30 AM Blessings and


1:00 PM Lunch and Learn

5:00 PM Mincha

5:30 PM Sisterhood

Chanukah Dinner

7:00 AM Shacharit

9:15 AM Women's Torah


5:00 PM Mincha

8:30 PM The Book of


7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

9:00 AM Shacharit

4:45 PM Mincha

6:01 PM Havdalah

7:00 AM Shacharit

4:58 PM Candle lighting

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

10:45 AM Women's Siddur


5:00 PM Mincha

8:00 AM Shacharit

4:00 PM Chanukah in the


5:00 PM Mincha at the

Holocaust Memorial in

Marion Square








9th of Tevet, 5770

Parashat Vayigash

8th of Tevet, 5770

7th of Tevet, 5770

6th of Tevet, 5770

5th of Tevet, 5770

4th of Tevet, 5770

3rd of Tevet, 5770

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

5:01 PM Candle lighting

BSBI Office is closed

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

8:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

9:00 AM Shacharit

4:45 PM Mincha

6:05 PM Havdalah






If you are interested in sponsoring an

upcoming Kiddush,

please contact Linda Trestman at

843-577-6599 ext.1

or at

14th of Tevet, 5770

13th of Tevet, 5770

12th of Tevet, 5770

11th of Tevet, 5770

10th of Tevet, 5770

Asara B'Tevet

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

2:00 PM Unveiling for Melvin

Solomon, BSBI Maryville


7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

7:00 AM Shacharit

5:00 PM Mincha

5:00 PM Mincha

6:02 AM Fast Begins

8:00 AM Shacharit

4:45 PM Mincha

5:37 PM Fast Ends

Chanukah in the Square

Sunday, December 13 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm in Marion Square

Live music, hot latkes, donuts, hot dogs, make your own menorah, bouncing castle and

more! Mincha 5 pm at the Holocaust Memorial.

We are looking for volunteers at the BSBI table. Please contact Linda at 843-577-6599

ext.1 to let her know if you can volunteer.

***Please note that only the hot dogs provided by BSBI are supervised by Rabbi Sytner.

The Messenger 7

BSBI Sisterhood’s Annual Chanukah Dinner

Special Program of the Evening: Searching for G-d in a Magic Shop with Arthur


Wednesday, December 16 at 5:30 pm in BSBI’s Solomon Hall

What if you went to a magic show that was not designed to fool you nor to trick you, but rather to teach you how to see? And,

what if our first step in learning how to see, to really see, is to know that we don’t see everything?

Take a journey with Arthur Kurzweil through his unique exploration of the world of illusions and some of the profound ideas of

Jewish thought.

Please note that the program is recommended for adults and children over ten and that there will be Chanukah crafts, games and

activities for younger children. For more information, please see page 13.

Chanukah Candles

We have extra boxes of Chanukah candles in the office. They are available for free on a first come first serve basis. Donations will

be greatly appreciated.

Tri-Sisterhood presents: Eat Right for Life with Dr. Ann

Sunday, January 24 at 2:00 pm at BSBI in the Social Hall

With electrifying energy and unrivaled credibility, Dr. Ann brilliantly transforms the compelling body of

new science as it relates to diet and health into a program that is simple, fun, delicious and completely

straightforward. You will be motivated and entertained, but most importantly, walk away with take-action-today

inspiration and everything you need to know to “eat right” for a long, active and vital life.

Dr. Ann has been featured in a number of national media outlets including Oprah and Friends Radio, Time

Magazine, WebMD, Cosmopolitan, and Woman’s World, among many others. For more background on

Dr. Ann, please visit

Friday, January 15th - Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Mrs. Shelley Israel, will be coming to Charleston as our guest speaker for BSBI’s Shabbaton. There will be

an elegant Friday night dinner, followed by a lecture entitled,

“Knock, Knock. Who’s There? It’s Me, G-d”.

On Shabbat morning (Rosh Chodesh Shevat), we will be celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of Samantha Kirshtein. During Davening,

Shelley will lead a women’s explanatory service in the Chapel in honor of Samantha. After services, Samantha will deliver a

Dvar Torah in the main sanctuary. A kiddush lunch will immediately follow services. Saturday afternoon, Rabbi Sytner will be

teaching a class for men, while Shelley will host a discussion for girls and women entitled, “Girls Rule!”.

On Sunday after, BSBI will be hosting a musical concert by the Sephardic music group BRIO.

More information will be available soon, so please look for it in both your mailboxes and e-mail inboxes.

8 The Messenger

1. Kashruth is supervised by our very own Rabbi Sytner. This

gives all Jewish organizations and individuals the capability of

having kosher meals.

2. Our children can go to Camp Baker, a day camp

where the food is kosher, brachot are said and

references are made to the incoming Shabbat.

Children are comfortable there with kippot and


3. This year, the JCC, with the Torah Umesorah organization

expanded Camp Baker by having a two week Torah Camp

steeped in Hebrew prayers, Torah study, brachot and bentching

and activities such as tzitzit making and challah baking in addition

to the regular Camp Baker program…

4. Kosher Challahs are baked at the JCC and are available for

purchase before each Shabbat.

5. Kosher meals and other kosher products are available for

Passover and the High Holidays.

6. The JCC building houses the Addlestone Hebrew Academy

– free of charge – alleviating the burdens of rent and mortgage!

(Just imagine how much more fundraising AHA would have to

do within the community if they had to carry a huge mortgage).

7. The JCC hosts events for Israel Independence day, Holocaust

Remembrance Day as well as Jewish cultural events.

Additionally, there is a communal succah, which is used by

children and adults, and offers Chanukah and Purim celebrations.

8. It provides in-house athletic leagues so

that our children and adults can participate

in leagues without feeling the pressure to

play on Shabbat or Jewish holidays.

9. It has a teen lounge where teenagers can

relax in a Jewish environment, a place for

seniors and even hosts Charleston Jewish Welfare Fund, serving

Jewish families in need.

10. The Center is closed on Shabbat, and is supportive of the

needs of Observant, Orthodox Jews (something with JCC’s

around the country fail to do). In Charleston all observance

levels can feel welcome at the JCC.

In my opinion, membership to the JCC should not depend on

how frequently you use their facilities. It is a question of supporting

another Jewish organization, which shares your values

and promotes Judaism. That is why many of the JCC’s leaders

over the years have been prominent and illustrious members of

BSBI Congregation. Let us all continue to show our support to

the JCC.

Steve Silverman, Gabbai of Beth El Congregation, Pikesville, Md., went into

cardiac arrest recently while standing on the bimah. Fortunately this Synagogue

owns three automatic external defibrillators, portable machines that administer

electric shock to someone experiencing cardiac arrest. This ultimately saved

Mr. Silverman’s life.

Six years ago, when I was president of BSBI, I received a phone call from Ira Berendt

stating that since we have an older congregation, including his Uncle Benny, it is essential

that we have a defibrillator. Ira, not yet a member of BSBI at that time, called

to our attention the need for this machine, and he gave a sizeable donation toward

buying one. At the time, I was not familiar with defibrillators, so I consulted Dr. Billy

Grossman, a cardiologist, who expressed the importance of our having them at strategic


BSBI members went on to donate money to purchase three defibrillators. One is in the corridor downstairs opposite the elevator.

Another is in the room behind the chapel, and the third is in the Minyan House. Rabbi Sytner and some members attended

a course and became certified to use this equipment. We pray they will never have to be used, but BSBI is prepared to face this

contingency should it occur.

Anna Oberman

Hyman Karesh

Ida S. Fishelson

Lena Fine

Oscar Levy

Rachel M. Solomon

Zachariah Gellman

Rachel Zucker Schwartz

Isaac Read

Mamie Miller Tallent

Rose Lazarus

Charles Cohen

Danny Hirsch

Jake Berry

Abraham I. Karesh

Alex Doobrow

Alexander J. Levinson

Celia Garfinkel

Esther Fox

Harry Schreiberg

Louis Mescon

Moshe Yechiel Fox

Paul Laban

Miriam Zucker

Moshe Mendel Oleonsky

Abe Ochowitz

Annie M. Liberman

Donald Mazo

Ethyl Cooper

Ida Belle Drucker

Jack Berendt

Gertrude Kurtz

Israel Firetag

Marsha Freda Bluestein

Mollie Rosenblatt

Morris P. Sokol

Saul Alexander






































Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 14

Kislev 15

Kislev 16

Kislev 16

Kislev 16

Kislev 17

Kislev 17

Kislev 17

Kislev 18

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 19

Kislev 20

Kislev 20

Kislev 21

Kislev 21

Kislev 21

Kislev 21

Kislev 21

Kislev 21

Kislev 22

Kislev 22

Kislev 22

Kislev 22

Kislev 22

Kislev 22

Isadore Wolper

Amelia Volaski Livingstain

David D. Danneman

Jerome Kaminski

Louis Mark

Mike Prystowsky

Samuel Steinert

Harold E. Knee

Saul Givner

Solomon Cohen

Edna Banov

Isaac ‘Bingo’ Hirsch

T. L. Berkman

Ben Berlin

Mildred Reznick Firetag

Yetta Schwartz

Abraham Appel

Etta Levin

Leo Rudich

Minnie Levy

Rebecca Leah Goldberg

Rose Schwartz

Sam Lynch

Sarah Karesh

Abba Zalman Siskind

Belle Berkman

Dorothy Barshay

Irving P. Cohen

Isadore Kaminski

Jacob Minkoff

Israel Lapin

Rivkah Yaschik

Samuel Weinstein

Jennie Mendelson

Beverly Norma Levinson

Emily Jenkins Novit

Faye Winter






































Kislev 23

Kislev 24

Kislev 24

Kislev 24

Kislev 24

Kislev 24

Kislev 24

Kislev 25

Kislev 25

Kislev 25

Kislev 26

Kislev 26

Kislev 26

Kislev 27

Kislev 27

Kislev 27

Kislev 28

Kislev 28

Kislev 28

Kislev 28

Kislev 28

Kislev 29

Kislev 29

Kislev 29

Kislev 30

Tevet 1

Tevet 1

Tevet 1

Tevet 1

Tevet 1

Tevet 2

Tevet 2

Tevet 2

Tevet 3

Tevet 4

Tevet 4

Tevet 4

Frida Schaeman

Isaac Mendelson

Abraham Livingstain

Rose Genet

Sophie Hannah Draisin

Blanche Leff

Hilda Goldstein

Rose Goldwasser

Sadye Karesh Young

Betty Shapiro

Jack Naimark

Joseph Fromberg

Mrs. Alter Kirshtein

Harris Jacobs

Ida Hecklin Shane

Irving Truere

Morris Rosenberg

Betty Kay

Nathan Bass

Pauline Doobrow

Sylvia Abrahams

Alex Garfinkel

Frank Feder

Jacob Rosen

Lancer Family

Louis Abel

Gerald Schwartz

Jacob M. Rosen

Louis Klein

Mathilde Lehem

Minnie Zucker Kaufman

Samuel Berg

Isadore Irvin Schreiberg

Lucille Reeva Liberman


Ida S. Levin

Maurice D. Widelitz

Rosalie Hilda Enelow

Sadye L. Sunshine

Abraham Berry

David Berger

Leo Bronstein

The Messenger 9










































Tevet 4

Tevet 4

Tevet 5

Tevet 5

Tevet 5

Tevet 6

Tevet 6

Tevet 6

Tevet 6

Tevet 7

Tevet 7

Tevet 7

Tevet 7

Tevet 8

Tevet 8

Tevet 8

Tevet 8

Tevet 9

Tevet 9

Tevet 9

Tevet 9

Tevet 10

Tevet 10

Tevet 10

Tevet 10

Tevet 10

Tevet 11

Tevet 11

Tevet 11

Tevet 11

Tevet 11

Tevet 11

Tevet 12

Tevet 12

Tevet 13

Tevet 13

Tevet 13

Tevet 13

Tevet 14

Tevet 14

Tevet 14

Simcha and

Memorial plaques,

as well as Chumash and Siddur

sponsorships are available.

Please speak to Stanley Baker for

more information or contact

Linda Trestman at

577-6599 ext.1

10 The Messenger

In Honor Of

Stanley Baker

Terry Leff

Mr. & Mrs. Danny Berlinsky on the

birth of new grandchild

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Joe & Frances Chase

Leon & Jean Rudich

Fay Grabin

Elsa Williams & Miriam Frankel

Mr. & Mrs. Gabriel Guigui on birth of

newest grandaughter Ariella Rose &

newest grandson Aharon Mordechai

Terry Schildcrout

Ann-Therese & Eli Hyman

Debbie & Barry Lash

Dr. Jonathan Kirshtein

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Louis Kirshtein’s 2nd Bar Mitzvah

Barry & Lori Stiefel

Eddie & Judy Kramer on doing the

Break the Fast

Phyllis Firetag

Betty Lancer

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Ann Mandel

Betty Quiat

David Odle

Debbie & Barry Lash

Billy Richman

Sylvia & George Greene

Seymour Rudich

Leon & Jean Rudich

Mickey & Itchy Sonenshine

Flo Breibart

Linda Trestman’s Birthday

Betty Lancer & Roslyn & Donald Barkowitz

Harry & Judy Appel

Janette Wolper

Jerry & Susan Garfinkle

Linda Trestman: Without whom all the

Important work would not be done

Terry Leff

Betty Lancer’s 85th Birthday

Lila & Robert Trussler

In Memory Of

Sol Breibart

Gertrude Solomon

Olga Weinstein

Shirley Sonenshine

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Carolee Fox

Debbie & Barry Lash

Joan Roth

Sandra Lee & Raymond Rosenblum

Baruch Frankel

Ivan Sherman

Frances Garfinkle

Alan & Neda Nussbaum

Alan Banov

Dorothy Furman

Garfinkel Family

Janet & James Golden

Lisa & John Torry

Mark & Blanche Wine

Rose & Alvin Savage

Sam & Sara Beth Rosen

Sandra Lee & Raymond Rosenblum

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Maier Hyman

Benjamin Berendt

Carolyn & Steve Kass & Phyllis Katz

Debbie & Barry Lash

Evi & David Reznick

Frances & Joseph Chase

Gertrude Solomon

Hariett Reznick

Harry & Judy Appel

Janet Berg

Janice & James Turner

Joan Roth

Sammy & Mitzy Kirshtein

Sandra Lee & Raymond Rosenblum

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Steve & Carolyn Berlin & Family

Terry Leff

Sunny & Samuel Steinberg

Frances Jacobson

Evi & David Reznick

Max Kirshstein

Debbie & Barry Lash

Frances & Joseph Chase

Harry & Judy Appel

Janice & James Turner

Sammy & Mitzy Kirshtein

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Steve & Carolyn Berlin & Family

Sunny & Samuel Steinberg

Stanley Sonenshine

Terry Leff

Jeremy Kramer

Joseph & Virginia Benmaman

Sarita Lapin

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Terry Leff

Melvin Sokol

Melvin Ortner

Barry & Elaine Krell

Brenda & Kenny Silverboard

Sandra Lee & Raymond Rosenblum

The ECP of the Epstein School

Yanni Schwartz

Joan Roth

Melvin Solomon

Ernie & Mimi Goer

Evi & David Reznick


Lena Barshay

Travis & Kathryn Gaines

Micky Berg

Janette Wolper

Eva Dora Cohen

Elaine Saul

Isadore Cohen

Elaine Saul

Jean Krawcheck Cohen

Elaine Saul

Rhoda Cohen

Iris Gradman

Harry Cooper

Sandra Katz

Vera Doubchan

Joseph & Virginia Benmaman

D. Stanley Feinberg

Neal Feinberg

Morris Fisher

Terry & Dennis Fisher

Annie Garfinkel

Sandra Shapiro

Fannie Krawcheck Gold

Elaine & Louis Saul

Bill Greenberg

Sonia Greenberg

Sylvia Hirsch

Betty Lancer

Ethel Pearlstine Jacobs

Janette Wolper

Jeanette Jacobs

Janette Wolper

Melvin Jacobs

Janette Wolper

David Karesh

Warren Karesh

Abe Kirshtein

Rosalie Garber

Edith Kirshtein

Rosalie Garber

Albert Kohn

Rosalie Garber

Miriam Kohn

Rosalie Garber

Abe Krawcheck

Elaine Saul

Herman Kurtz

A.J. Kurtz

Sam Levin

Allan Levin

Annie Rebecca Levy

Lillie Rubenstein, Jeanette Katz &

Sarabelle Levy

Jack Volaski Pearlstine

Janette Wolper

Jack Liberman

Mr. and Mrs, Robert Liberman

Sadie Livingstain Rittenberg

Janette Wolper

Eva Dora Robinson

Robinson Family

Robert Rothschild

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Frances Schraibman

Arnold Schraibman

Harold Schraibman

Hattie Sohor

Andrew Sohor

Paul Sohor

Andrew Sohor

Joseph Stillman

Muriel Stillman

Jeanette Solomon Toporek

Haskell & Dale Toporek

Rose F. Toporek

Shirley Goldberg

Ida Truere

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Henry Yaschik

Chana Yaschik

Marsha Kronick

Speedy Recovery

Donald Barkowitz

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Fay Brickman

Jennie & Max Garfinkel

Judy & Harry Appel

Sam & Sara Beth Rosen

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Marilyn Brilliant

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Allan Livingstain

Frances & Joe Chase

Janet Berg

Joseph Nebb

Joan Roth

Beverly Ortner

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Sandra Schwartz

Mary & Louis Kirshtein

Sonia & Jerry Rothschild

Rabbi’s Torah Fund

Joseph & Virginia Benmaman

Mel Goldstein

Paul D. Schwartz

Ralph Haller


Rev. Alter & Ruchel Kirshstein

Memorial Jewish Book Fund

Speedy Recovery for Nathan Rephan

Brenda & Sam Rosen & Family

Speedy Recovery for Aaron Pinosky

Brenda & Sam Rosen

In Memory of Avraham Benmaman

beloved brother of Jose Benmaman

Brenda & Sam Rosen

In Memory of Max Kirshstein

Brenda & Sam Rosen

Leon & Betsy Wolper

In Memory of Maier Hyman

Brenda & Sam Rosen

Leon & Betsy Wolper

In Memory of Solomon Breibart

Brenda & Sam Rosen

In Honor of Louis Kirshtein’s “Second

Bar Mitzvah”

Brenda & Sam Rosen

In Appreciation to Stanley Baker for

all his hard work and devotion to BSBI

Brenda & Sam Rosen

The Messenger 11

BSBI greatly

appreciates your support.

Please consider honoring a

person or an occasion, such

as a birthday, anniversary,

graduation, engagement,

wedding, etc...with a


Difficult Times

During these difficult

economic times there are

members of our own congregation

that are struggling to

make ends meet.

If you are able to do so,

kindly donate to the Rabbi’s

Torah Fund for the purpose

of helping to sustain local


Additionally, if you may

know of jobs available,

whether part-time,

full-time, or even on occasion,

please notify the rabbi,

as there are people in our

Shul that are currently seeking

any form of


These are very capable individual

with skills and experience

ranging from office

work to menial labor. Please

keep your eyes and ears

open. The Talmud says:

Giving a person a job is the

most significant form of


12 The Messenger

BSBI cosponsored a program called “Restoring

A Rescued Torah form the Holocaust” with the

Christian Jewish Council of Greater Charleston

that was held on Sunday, October 18.

The program included Rabbi Menachem Youlus from

the Save The Torah Foundation (Bethesda, MD), and

the BSBI-owned Torah, rescued from Poland during

War II. Reverend Dannie Massie from the First Scots

Presbyterian Church, President of the Christian-Jewish

Council, welcomed everyone and introduced Rabbi

Sytner, who explained the importance and history of

the Torah in the Jewish religion. Rabbi Sytner then

introduced Rabbi Youlus, who provided a thirty-minute

overview of his involvement with Torah saving and repair,

as well as to the specifics of the Vengrov Torah, saved from a burning synagogue in Vengrov, Poland by nearby Monks.

The program drew a crowd of approximately eighty people, including a number of BSBI members.

Attendees were invited into the lunchroom after Rabbi Youlus spoke and were offered an opportunity to make a repair of

the Torah with Rabbi Youlus. Many of the attendees were not Jewish and had never seen a Torah before. These non-Jewish

attendees were fascinated by Rabbi Youlus’s story and by actually seeing a Torah close-up. A number of non-Jewish and

Jewish attendees responded favorably to the opportunity to repair the Torah with Rabbi Youlus. This program was viewed as

very successful, and confirmed the universal interest in the role of a Torah, its history and how many were to be destroyed,

and then saved during World War II. We thank the Monks of Poland and others who risked their lives to save the many Torahs

that Rabbi Youlus say were collected from Eastern Europe.

For more information on the Torah Restoration Project, please visit

A special thank you to everyone who made this event possible, especially to Ken Fox, Herb Rosner, Barry Stiefel, Ralph Haller

and Rick Dean. Rick Dean generously donated his time as photographer for the event. To contact him, please visit or call 225-0371.

• Mazal Tov to the following B’nei Mitzvah: William Weinstein,

Aaron Kirshtein, Shayna Kirshstein, Samantha Kirshtein and

Elayna Gleaton

• Special thank you to the Appel Family and Shera-Lee Berlin for

the flowers on the Bima for the High Holidays

• Special Mazal Tov to William Weinstein for being the youngest

person in the history of BSBI to have read from the Torah on the

High Holidays

BSBI Synagogue Gift Shop News

Many new beautiful items have arrived at the BSBI Gift Shop. Pewter

Candlesticks that would grace any table, your own or a bride’s, the cost

is $65.00. Other items to mention are a silver-plated wine fountain

that is only $55.00; a kiddush cup which is silver plated with the city

of Jerusalem in gold metal on the bottom of the kiddush cup that retails

for $16; and last but not least is a silver plated havdallah set along with

a jar of havdallah spices. This set sells for only $55.00.

For more information on the gift shop, please call: 843-637-4471 or


A Note from Jason and Amber Daniels

To all of our beloved family in Charleston, Shana Tovah! We cannot

believe it has been almost eight months since the sun rose on our wed-

The Messenger 13

ding day. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by since our wedding

day where Amber and I don’t turn to each other and wonder if that day

actually happened. We try and tell all of our friends here about what

Charleston is like, people always wonder, “Jews in

Charleston?” It’s so difficult to convey the kindness, care and

genuine friendship everyone in Charleston possesses. We have yet to

find away to tell over the story of what you all have done for us, for the

gift you gave to us.

Anyway, we are writing to say thank you. Although it’s now months

after our wedding day, we were afraid that we may have missed some

people in our thank you note project. So, to the entire community we

wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being so happy for us, for

dancing with us, for sharing your lives with us and for allowing us to

share the greatest day of our lives with you.

We hope that this year is so prosperous across all aspects of life and

that HaShem should bless the Charleston community with His presence,

His Love, and His Peace.

With all of our love, Jason and Amber

P.S. We hope to see everyone real soon (IY’H, plus one more little


14 The Messenger

We would love to hear from you!

Please send us your feedback and any

ideas you have for the Messenger.

Do you like to write? Would you like

to shape the vision of the Messenger?

Get involved!

Please contact us at

Advertising Opportunities

If you are interested in advertising your

business or services, please let us know.

We are in the process of developing an

advertising program to allow you to take

advantage of our reach within the Jewish

community. Please contact

Matan Bat Mitvah Program

Thank you to all the mothers and

daughters who are participating in this

program. This program is proving to

be inspirational and educational to all

of those who attend. Classes will be

going on until March. If you would like

to participate in this program, please


The Messenger 15

The holiday of Chanukah commemorates a miracle that occurred with oil; the jug of oil which naturally should have lasted only one night, lasted

eight. To commemorate this miracle, we eat “oily” foods including fried potato pancakes called “Latkes.” This custom of eating oily foods on Chanukah

is at least nine hundred years old, because we find mention of this delicious custom in the writings of Rabbi Maimon, father of Maimonides.

This is also the reason why people eat donuts; they are also fried in oil.


• 2 eggs

• 2 tablespoons matza meal (add more to own discretion)

• Salt and Pepper

• 8 medium potatoes

• 1 chopped onion

• 1 clove garlic

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil


Add your potatoes (with or without skins), onion and garlic to

the food processor using the regular blade, and process until

mealy. Drain excess water. In a large bowl, beat together eggs,

matza meal, salt, and pepper. Mix in potatoes and onion.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, drop

heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet.

Press to flatten.

Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp.

Drain on paper towels.


In Israel, the traditional Chanukah food is the jelly donut. Recent

alterations to the donut, called sufganiyot in Hebrew, have seen

caramel and even chocolate filling. But the basic recipe and

technique remain the same. While time consuming, the instructions

are straight-forward and the results? Mouth-watering!

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for rolling

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)

3 cups vegetable oil+

1 cup seedless raspberry or strawberry jam or nutella

powdered sugar

10 cc unused medical syringe or baking syringe (for filling the



1. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small

bowl. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Place flour in a large bowl, making a well in the center. Add

eggs, yeast mixture, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and nutmeg or cinnamon.

3. Using a wooden spoon, stir to form a sticky ball of dough.

4. On a well-floured work surface, knead the dough for approximately

8 minutes, until it is smooth and soft, and bounces back

when poked

with a finger.

Add more

flour as necessary.

5. Place the

dough in a

lightly oiled

bowl and

cover with

plastic wrap.

Set in a just

warmed oven

to rise until

doubled, approximately


to 1 1/2 hours.

6. Turn the

dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it to 1/4inch


7. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cutter or drinking glass, cut 20

rounds. Dip the edge of the glass or cutter into flour as necessary

to ease in the cutting.

8. Cover the rounds with plastic wrap and let rise for another 15


9. In a large frying pan, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer

registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, carefully slip 4

rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn sufganiyot

over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds.

10. Remove the sufganiyot onto a paper-towel-lined baking


11. Once they are cool enough to handle, fill the donuts with

jelly or caramel. Fill a syringe with 5-10 cc of jelly. Place the

tip of they syringe right inside the edge of the donut. Squirt the

filling inside, until you can see it bubbling from underneath the

surface of the donut. Be careful not to overfill the donut.

12. Powder each donut with sugar on both sides.

During the final four steps of making sufganiyot, time is of the

essence. Filling the donuts while still hot is ideal. If possible,

work on your sufganiyot with someone else -- while they fry,

you can fill and powder with sugar.

Sufganiyot are best eaten within a few hours of making. Of

course, most sufganiyot in my house never make it to the table!


16 The Messenger

The Hebrew word Chanukah means

“dedication.” In the 2nd century BCE,

the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus

sought to pull Jews away from Judaism, with

the hopes of assimilating them into

Hellenism -- Greek

culture. Antiochusoutlawed

aspects of Jewish

observance -- including

the study of Torah

-- which began to

decay the foundation of

Jewish life and practice. During this period, many of

the Jews began to assimilate into Greek culture, taking

on Greek names and marrying non-Jews.

In response, a band of courageous Jews took to the

hills of Judea in open revolt against this threat to Jewish

life. Led by Matitiyahu, and later his son Judah the Maccabee

(“The Hammer”), this small a of pious Jews led guerrilla warfare

against the Syrian army.

Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion

-- but the Maccabees succeeded in driving the foreigners from

The number eight transcends the natural


Do you sense there is more to life than you

can touch or feel or smell? That there’s a

dimension to reality that cannot be experienced

by any of your senses but it’s as real as

the feeling you have when holding the hand

of someone you love? Have you pondered

the soul, the nonphysical core of your being

which cannot be detected by x-ray technology?

Do you believe in G-d?

If you answered yes to any of these questions,

then Chanukah is the holiday for you.

Here’s why: The world was created in seven

days. There are seven notes in the musical

scale, seven days of the week. Therefore, the

number seven represents the physical world

that we can touch and smell and feel.

The number eight, on the other hand,

transcends the natural world. That’s why the

miraculous days of Chanukah are ?eight.?

Though eight emanates from beyond our

senses, your soul can still reach out and be

touched by its force?

Anti-Milah Decree

The Greeks had a particular dislike of the

Jewish practice of Brit Mila, the circumcision

of a baby boy on the eighth day after his

birth. In fact, they outlawed the practice of

Brit Mila.


observe this

holiday for eight

days in honor of the

historic victory of the

Maccabbees and the

miracle of the


Why such string opposition?

First of all, circumcision offended the

Greek idea of perfection of the human body.

Public nudity was accepted in Greek society

because everybody was another piece of art.

Greek Olympic athletes competed naked.

To the Greeks, circumcision was mutilation

of a masterpiece, like spraying graffiti on a


To the Jew, Brit Mila is one of the most

essential expressions of Jewish identity. A

human being can only achieve its greatest

beauty if affected by a relationship with G-d.

The perfectly sculpted human recognizes and

embraces the reality of his transcendent soul.

During the period of Greek oppression, Brit

Mila was intolerable. It became a capital


Days of Eight

The wise sages, days of eight they proclaimed

for song and rejoicing.?

When the Jews recaptured the Holy Temple

from the Greeks, the first thing they did was

light the golden Menorah. They had only

one enough oil to last for one day, and new

oil would take seven days to prepare. But a

miracle happened. Instead of burning for one

their land. Jewish fighters entered Jerusalem in December, 164 BCE.

The Holy Temple was in shambles, defiled and desecrated by foreign

soldiers. They cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th day

of the Jewish month of Kislev. When it came time to re-light the Menorah,

they searched the entire Temple, but only one small jar of oil

bearing the pure seal of the High Priest could be found. Miraculously,

the small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of

oil could be brought.

From then on, Jews have observed a holiday for eight

days in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of

the oil.

Today, the observance of Chanukah features the lighting

of a special Chanukah menorah with eight branches

(plus a helper candle), adding one new candle each night.

Other customs include spinning the dreidel (a top with Hebrew

letters on the sides), eating “oily” foods like potato latkes (pancakes)

and sufganiyot (jelly donuts), and giving Chanukah gelt (coins) to


day, the


stayed lit

for eight


Today we

light our


for eight

days to

recall this


and to be

inspired by its message.


Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf

On a


level, the

days of Chanukah are eight days of tran-

scendence. Days of opportunity to look both

within ourselves and beyond, to sense that

there is far more to our existence than the

world of nature could ever contain.

The Greeks detested Brit Mila because of its

“eightness,” because it stands for transcendence.

The miracle of the oil lasted for eight

days as a reminder that Jewish life is hewn

from the “Rock” of transcendence.

Adapted from “Chanukah - Eight Nights of

Light, Eight Gifts for the Soul,” by Rabbi

Shimon Apisdorf.

What Menorah to Light

To publicize which night of Chanukah it is,

all eight candleson the menorah should be at

the same height -- and preferably in a straight

line. Otherwise, the candles may not be easily

distinguishable and may appear like a big


In addition to the eight main lights, the

menorah has an extra helper candle called the

“Shamash.” As we are forbidden to use the

Chanukah lights for any purpose other than

“viewing,” any benefit is as if it’s coming

from the Shamash.

Since the Shamash does not count as one of

the eight regular lights, your menorah should

have the Shamash set apart in some way --

either placed higher than the other candles, or

off to the side.

What Candles to Light

The most important thing is that that your

candles must burn for at least 30 minutes after

nightfall. (Those famous colored candles

barely qualify!) Many Jewish bookstores sell

longer colored candles.

Actually, it is even better to use olive oil,

since the miracle of the Maccabees occurred

with olive oil. Glass cups containing oil

can be placed in the candle holders of any

standard menorah. Many Jewish bookstores

even sell kits of pre-measured oil in disposable


Where to Light

To best publicize the miracle, the menorah is

ideally lit outside the doorway of your house,

on the left side when entering. (The mezuzah

is on the right side; in this way you are “surrounded

by mitzvot.”) In Israel, many people

light outside in special glass boxes built for a


If this is not practical, the menorah should be

lit in a window facing the public thoroughfare.

Someone who lives on an upper floor

should light in a window. If for some reason

the menorah cannot be lit by a window, it

may be lit inside the house on a table; this at

least fulfills the mitzvah of “publicizing the

miracle” for the members of the household.

Since the mitzvah occurs at the actual moment

of lighting, moving the menorah to a

proper place after lighting does not fulfill the


When to Light

The menorah should preferably be lit immediately

at nightfall. It is best to wait, however,

until all the members of the household are

present. This adds to the family atmosphere

and also maximizes the mitzvah of

“publicizing the miracle.” The menorah

can still be lit (with the blessings) late

into the night, as long as people are still


The menorah should remain lit for at

least 30 minutes after nightfall, during

which time no use should be made of its


On Friday afternoon, the menorah should

be lit 18 minutes before sundown. And

since the menorah needs to burn for 30

minutes into the night, the candles used

on Friday need to be bigger than the

regular “colored candles” (which typically

don’t burn longer than a half-hour).

How to Light

On the first night, place one candle at the far

right, as you face the menorah. This applies

whether the menorah is placed next to a doorway

or by a window.

Another candle is placed for the Shamash

(taller helper candle) which is used to light

the others. It is not counted as one of the


First light the Shamash, then recite the blessings,

and then use the Shamash to light the

Chanukah candle.

On the second night, place two candles in

the two far-right positions -- and use the

Shamash to light the left one first.

The third night, place three candles in

the three far-right positions -- and use the

Shamash to light them in order, from left to


Follow this same procedure each night of

Chanukah... until all the lights are kindled

and glowing brightly!

The Blessings

The first two blessings are said with the

Shamash already lit, but immediately prior to

lighting the Chanukah candles.


Baruch ata Ado-shem Elo-keinu melech

ha-olam, Asher kid-shanu bi-mitzvo-sav, Vitzee-vanu

li-had-leek ner shel Chanukah.

Blessed are You, the Lord our G-d, King

of the universe, Who sanctified us with His

commandments, and commanded us to kindle

the Chanukah light.


Baruch ata Ado-shem Elo-keinu melech ha-

The Messenger 17

olam, Shi-asa nee-seem la-avo-seinu, Bayameem

ha-haim baz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, the Lord our G-d, King of

the universe, Who made miracles for our

forefathers, in those days at this season.


This blessing is said on the first night only.

Baruch ata Ado-shem Elo-keinu melech

ha-olam, Sheh-he-che-yanu vi-kee-yimanu

Vi-hee-gee-yanu laz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, the Lord our G-d, King of

the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained

us, and brought us to this season.

The following paragraph is said each

night, after the first light has been kindled:

Ha-nerot ha-lalu anach-nu mad-likin Al hanissim

vi-al hanif-laot Al ha-tshu-ot vi-al hamilchamot

She-asita la’avo-teinu Ba-yamim

ha-heim, ba-zman ha-zeh Al ye-dey kohanecha


Vi-chol shmonat ye-mey Chanukah Ha-nerot

ha-lalu kodesh heim, Ve-ein lanu reshut liheesh-tamesh

ba-hem Ela leer-otam bilvad

Kedai le-hodot u-li-hallel li-shimcha Al nisecha

vi-al niflo-techa vi-al yeshua-techa.

We kindle these lights for the miracles and

the wonders for the redemption and the

battles Which You performed for our forefathers

In those days at this season Through

Your holy priests.

During all eight days of Chanukah These

lights are sacred and we are not permitted to

make ordinary use of them But only to look

at them In order to express thanks and praise

to Your great Name For your miracles, Your

wonders, and Your salvations.

18 The Messenger

The Real Secret: What the dreidel

was ‘back then’ and how we can

learn from it today.

by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf

In Judaism, even something as simple

as “spin-the-top is really not as simple

as it appears.

During the time of the Maccabees,

Jews were imprisoned for the “crime”

of studying Torah. While in jail, these

Jews would gather together to play

dreidel. Under the guise of idling

away their time, they’d engage in

Torah discussions and thus defy the

enemies of Judaism.

Every dreidel has four sides with one

Hebrew letter on each side. Each of

these letters begins a word. The four

letters are:

• Nun – the first letter of the word

nes, which means “miracle”

• Gimmel – the first letter of gadol,

which means “great”

• Hey – the first letter of haya,

which means “was” and

• Shin – the first letter of sham,

which means “there”

When taken together, these letters

proclaim “A great miracle happened


Until today, the “game of dreidel”

reminds us of our eternal defiance of

anyone who tries to stand between a

Jew and the Torah.



Someone once said: Life is like a top.

You spin around a lot, and then you

fall over.”

To some, life is a game, a joke,

an arbitrary abyss. Not to the Jewish

people. We’ve been “spinning”

through history for 3,000 years. To

some, history may seem like an arbitrary

string of events whose frequent

tragedies seem to proclaim life’s futility.

But the message of the dreidel is

just the opposite.

In mystical Kabbalah teachings, there

is another dimension to the dreidel.

The four letters represent four different

historical empires – Babylonian,

Persian, Greek and Roman – that tried

to destroy the Jewish people. (Today

we are victims of the Romans who

destroyed the Second Temple and sent

us into the current exile.)

Are we just spinning haphazardly

from one tragedy to another, or is

there some rhyme and reason to all

that has happened in our history?

It is at times of tragedy that the

dreidel presents its message: If we

believe there is ultimate meaning to

the Jewish people, if we know that

despite the dizzying blur of events in

our history there is some purpose to

it all, and if we are prepared to fight

to remain Jews regardless of what

history throws at us, then who knows

– we might just see a miracle and be

reassured that there is a hidden hand

guiding the destiny of the Jewish



About 50 years ago, for the first time

since the Maccabees defeated the

Greeks, the Jewish people were on

the verge of reclaiming sovereignty

in their homeland. Around the world,

many were skeptical if the birth of

this new state would hap- pen

at all. Others were

convinced that if it was

born, it would soon go

down in defeat to the

vastly larger and far better

equipped Arab armies.

For political reasons the Jews of

Palestine had built up an image

of strength. So persuasive was

their propaganda, even the

Arabs had been fooled.

But reality was pathetically


The fledgling Jewish

army had weapons for less

than a quarter of its men.

Its total arsenal consisted of

a few thousand rifles, less than

a thousand machine guns, and

sufficient ammunition for only three

days fighting. The Jews had no heavy

armaments of any kind – no heavy

machine guns, no artillery, no antitank

or anti-aircraft guns, no real armored

cars. And nothing whatsoever

in the way of an Air Force or Navy.


Then, on December 5, 1947, things

got worse. The United States government

announced a total embargo on

arms sales to the Middle East. By that

time, the Arabs had already purchased

tens of millions of dollars worth of

U.S. arms surplus. And the Jews were

left with their paltry supplies.

But you know the rest of the story.

“In Israel, in order to be a realist, you

have to believe in miracles.”

- David Ben Gurion, First Prime Minister

of Israel



On Chanukah, everyone loves spinning

the dreidel. We have contests to

see who can spin it the longest. Or

who can get the most dreidels spinning


And of course, there’s the famous

dreidel game played for Chanukah


• Nun - no one wins

• Gimmel - spinner takes the pot

• Hey - spinner get half the pot

• Shin - spinner matches the pot

I Have a Little Dreidel

I have a little dreidel

I made it out of clay

And when it’s dry and ready

Then dreidel I shall play!


Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel

I made it out of clay

And when it’s dry and ready

Then dreidel I shall play!

It has a lovely body

With legs so short and thin

And when my dreidel’s tired

It drops and then I win!


My dreidel’s always playful

It loves to dance and spin

A happy game of dreidel

Come play now, let’s begin!


Sevivon, sov, sov, sov

Sevivon, sov, sov, sov

Chanukah, hu chag tov

Chanukah, hu chag tov

Sevivon, sov, sov, sov!

Chag simcha hu la-am

Nes gadol haya sham

Nes gadol haya sham

Chag simcha hu la-am.


Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.

Chanukah is a great holiday.

It is a celebration for our nation.

A great miracle happened there.

Maoz Tzur – Transliteration

Maoz tzur yeshua-ti

Lecha na-eh li-sha-beyach

Tikone beyt te-fee-lati

Vi-sham todah ni-za-beyach.

Li-ate ta-chin mat-beyach

Mee-tzar ham-na-beyach

Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor

Chanukat ha-meez-beyach

Az eg-more vi-sheer meez-mor

Chanukat ha-meez-beyach.

The Messenger 19


O Rock of my salvation, with delight we praise You.

Restore the Temple where we will bring offerings.

When You will eliminate our enemies,

Then I shall sing at the rededication.

Chanukah, Chanukah

Chanukah, Chanukah

Chag yafeh kol kach

Ohr chaviv, mi-saviv

Gil li-yeled rach.

Chanukah, Chanukah

Sevivon, sov, sov

Sov, sov, sov! Sov, sov, sov!

Ma nayim vi-tov.


Chanukah is a great holiday.

Surrounded with lovely light.

Fun for little children.

Dreidel, spin, spin, spin.

How wonderful!

Chanukah, oh Chanukah

Chanukah, Oh Chanukah, come light the Menorah

Let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora

Gather round the table, we’ll all have a treat

Sevivon to play with, and latkes to eat.

And while we are playing

The candles are burning bright

One for each night, they shed a sweet light

To remind us of days long ago.

One for each night, they shed a sweet light

To remind us of days long ago.

182 Rutledge Avenue • Charleston, SC 29403

Return Service Requested

Upcoming Classes with Rabbi Sytner

Tuesday 9:00 am

Women’s Torah Class

Join Rabbi Sytner for a morning Women’s Torah

Class at the JCC and discover deeper meanings

to the stories of Abraham and Sara. Coffee will

be served.

Tuesday 8:30 pm


Explore the Book of the Prophets as this

class studies one chapter per week of Shmuel.

The class meets at the home of Sara & Mitch


Wednesday 7:30 am

Blessings and Bagels

Join us for morning minyan followed by a bagels and lox

breakfast and a D’var Torah from Rabbi Sytner.

Non-Profit Org.

U.S. Postage


Charleston, SC

Permit # 539

Wednesday 1:00 pm

Lunch and Learn

Food for the body, Food for the Soul. Take a break

in the middle of your day for some “delicious

learning and inspiring food.”

Thursday 10:45 am

Women’s Siddur Class

Discover the reasons why women have the

greatest ability to connect directly to G-d

with prayer. Through the ancient text of the

Siddur, explained and illustrated through story

and parable, this class will completely change the

way you look at prayer.

Daily Talmud– Gemara Brachot

Join Rabbi Sytner each morning after Shacharit services

for a lively discussion based on Talmudic texts.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines