Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

11 October 2016. Yom Kippur Begins at Sundown Tonight

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Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days in the Jewish Year, begins tonight at sundown. If your Jewish friends need a hand today… give it! Run an errand, watch the kids, walk the dog… whatever that they might need on this hectic day for them. It’s what decent people do… tomorrow, give ’em the space to honour their day of repentance. That’s the best gift that you can give them.

BMD

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

2 October 2016. It’s Rosh Hashanah… The Start of the High Holy Days

01 Rosh ha-Shana 3

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Today is the start of Rosh Hashanah (commonly called “Jewish New Year”)… the beginning of the High Holy Days that end with Yom Kippur (that’s 11/12 October this year). Except for Pesach (Passover), this is the holiest time of the Jewish liturgical year… Chanukah doesn’t even come close. If your Jewish friends or coworkers need a hand during this period, give it to them! It’s a hectic time of year for them. Do whatever good that you can do for them with a good heart, expecting nothing in return (“Yes, I WILL have some of the honey cake and Carmel wine… thank you, very much!”). We’re Christians; that’s what we do.

One last thing… remember the words of a humble Greek country pappas during the German occupation in World War II… “Our Lord Christ lived and died a believing Jew”. We should have the same attitude. Respect others and their faiths… full stop. That IS our duty as Christians. If we fail to honour that, we’re no Christians, and I’m not afraid to say so. I confide that I’m not alone in thinking that way…

BMD

Friday, 22 April 2016

22 April 2016. It’s Past Sundown… The Jewish Passover is On!

00 Passover 04.2012

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The sun is down, so the Jewish Passover has begun, running until sundown 30 April. This is, perhaps, the defining festival for all Jews in all climes and all times. The Seder is the Table of Freedom for all Jews… it symbolises their liberation from slavery in Egypt. Many Jews take this theme of liberation and extend it to the general society. Look at Saul Solomon, a politician in 19th century Cape Colony, who stated, “[I] give my decided opposition to all legislation tending to introduce distinctions either of class, colour, or creed”. We also see this thirst for justice in Bernie Sanders, who despite being non-observant, is still a proud Jew. Friends have told me that Passover for them is the Festival of Freedom, not just for Jews, but for all people. Remember this… as a lowly Greek country pappas said during World War II during the fascist occupation of Greece, “Our Lord Christ lived and died a believing Jew”. Antisemitism amongst Christians is self-hatred and oxymoronic… do ponder that…

BMD

Sunday, 6 December 2015

6 December 2015. Hanukkah Begins Tonight

00 Have a Blessed Hanukkah. 2012. 08.12.12

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Hanukkah began tonight at sundown… it’ll run until sundown on 14 December. Do recall WHY Jews celebrate it… Judas Maccabaeus whipped the plug-uglies and purified the Temple (short version). It’s a Festival of Freedom… ask your Jewish friends… they’ll tell you the same thing that I just did. Don’t forget to wish all the Jewish people that you know, “Happy Hanukkah! And a Happy Holiday to you!”

This is why “Happy Holidays” is germane to all of us… oh, do save me some latkes, if you will…

BMD

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