The Gantseh Megillah

Happy Chanukah
November 1, 1999

Shalom dear friends,

The big moment has arrived!! Mazel Tov!!!

This is the very first edition of what I hope will be a source of enjoyment to all of you who have signed on as “Charter members” of this new enterprise. It has always been my plan to make this YOUR news letter.

To show you how sincere I really am about that intention I have decided that the best way to make this a news letter of it’s subscribers right from the start, is to ask all of you to help me give it a name. That’s right, this new online publication does not YET have a name. I thought, what better way to get people involved in this news letter, than to have the readers decide on its identity? So there you have it!! The first order of business is for all of you to enter your suggestions for a name.

In the next issue (#2) I will publish all of the submissions and ask you to vote on the best of the lot. That will determine the official name of your new online publication. Is this democracy in action, or what?? If you would prefer to email suggestions send them to:

Chanukah arrives very early this year. The first candle is scheduled to glow on our menorahs at sundown, December 3rd. In order to add a bit to the holiday spirit, I am including some recipes appropriate to the season which I hope you will try out. It would be greatly appreciated if those of you who are brave enough to attempt the preparation of these delicacies would share your opinions of them with all of us.

You will be doing a service to your fellow readers by either turning them on to a wonderful new treat, or forewarning them of potential heartburn. Either way, it is another example of our community spirit here at …..oh yeah, I forgot we don’t have a name yet!! (Hint, hint.)

Of course, should anyone care to share a personal recipe of their own for Chanukah, please feel free to send them to me pronto, ( so it can make it into a special mailing before Chanukah is over for another year.

Also in honour of Chanukah I have included some articles, clip art and other miscellaneous related material for your use and enjoyment. It is my fervent wish that these small efforts will add just a little bit of extra joy to this wondrous holiday for all of us.

That’s it for this inaugural issue of our newsletter. I hope it meets with your approval and that you will be looking forward to the next edition. Between now and then, please submit anything you feel would be appropriate to the subject of Yiddishkeit. Stories, pictures, opinions, questions, recipes…absolutely anything YOU judge as being suitable for YOUR new online publication. All submissions should be submitted to the forum.

One closing remark I feel is important to make has to do with a couple of email letters I received (2 to be exact) complaining that I am not instructing properly on the religious aspects and laws of Judaism. Please understand, I do NOT profess to be an expert on Judaism, Torah, Talmud or anything having to do with the religious practice of being Jewish. It is my firm and heartfelt belief that religion is a very personal subject which should be dealt with by each and every individual as they see fit. It is NOT my intention to preach religion or to take on the role of teacher.

To me Yiddishkeit is purely cultural. I personally know many people who are NOT Jewish and yet embrace Yiddishkeit to one extent or another into their lives on a daily basis. My partner Arnold, who is a dyed in the wool WASP (his own description) cracked me up one day when we were having dinner at his parents home. He was telling a story of how we got lost while driving through the back roads of upper New York State in search of our destination. In the middle of the story he said, “and here we were at 2:00 in the morning somewhere in the druchas and discovered we were totally farblunget.” That is an example of the Yiddishkeit that this newsletter is based on.

My very best to all of you and yours for a sparklingly beautiful Chanukah.

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