Unexpected Sabbath reminds us of its true meaning

When I started to write this column, it was the fourth of five snow days in two weeks for Williamsburg/James City County’s schools — or, as my children mistakenly believed, week two of their second Winter Break!

This unexpected time off was a gift, giving us the opportunity to relax indoors and to enjoy winter activities that are rarely experienced in Virginia. We thought we had left snow days behind when we moved here, so this was a real treat, an opportunity for our young sons to experience the snow days we grew up with. Continue reading “Unexpected Sabbath reminds us of its true meaning”

‘Thanksgivukkah’ is upon us

If you type the words, “Thanksgiving and,” into Google right now, the first item you’ll see is “Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.”

This year, the first night of Hanukkah falls on the night before Thanksgiving, making Thanksgiving the first full day of the Jewish Festival of Lights. Unlike the longer, solar Gregorian calendar, the Jewish calendar is purely lunar. In order to insure that holidays fall during the seasons with which they’re associated, the ancient rabbis devised a system of leap years, using a set pattern to add an additional month to the year every few years. Continue reading “‘Thanksgivukkah’ is upon us”