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GTJ Health Series: Starting a New Fitness Routine

Group of people at the gymThe contents of this article are for informational purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

With my last column I outlined successful strategies for achieving New Year’s resolutions. This week I will focus on a common resolution – starting a new fitness routine.

Fitness: An Introduction

We all know exercise is good for us.  Exercise helps us reduce our risk for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart attack.  However, you may not know that exercise has many other important functions.  The endorphins released during exercise help improve mood and can control depression and anxiety symptoms.  For those of us who are looking to lose weight or tone up this holiday season, exercise is the driving force as it helps burn calories and defines muscle.  Here are some tips to get started!

A Roadmap to Success

  1. Determine your Goals: There are many reasons people begin a fitness routine.  Many work out to lose weight, while others do so to tone, gain muscle, or improve self-confidence.  Before beginning your new fitness routine, consider what your goals are and write them down.
  2. Consult your Physician: Even if it hasn’t been that long, schedule an appointment and have your doctor assess whether you’re healthy enough for exercise and if you have any limitations.  By knowing your limitations you can better tailor your fitness routine to achieve your goals while avoiding harm to yourself.
  3. Get Equipped/Enlist a Professional: Each fitness activity has its own equipment and skill requirements.  Before you begin a new fitness routine, make sure you have the right equipment.  If you are beginning a running routine, get fitted for running shoes (I recommend Fleet Feet).  If you are starting to do yoga, having the right yoga mat can make all the difference.  While not necessary for some activities, a fitness professional can be a great way to get you started with a new fitness routine.  If you are starting weight training regimen, a personal trainer can guide you into the appropriate exercises for your goals and the correct form and technique to minimize injury.
  4. Make it a Date: Grab a significant other or friend and schedule workout dates with them.  While it might be easy to hit the snooze button if you’re going on a solo run, if you have to meet a friend, you’re suddenly accountable to someone other than yourself and thus more likely to complete the activity.
  5. Know Yourself: Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit who you are.  If you love competition – join a sports league.  If you love solitude-take up jogging.
  6. Variety: Try to mix in different types of activities as well as days off to give your body a rest.
  7. Start and Go Slow: As you start a new exercising routine, take it slow and advance incrementally.
  8. Record your Progress: By setting goals and keeping track of your exercise, you are more likely to achieve your goals.   A review of several large studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that using a pedometer and setting a specific goal for number of steps taken per day increased physical activity by 27 percent and helped those people lose more weight and get lower blood pressure compared to those who did not use a pedometer or set a goal.  To achieve your fitness goals, write them down, record your progress, and celebrate your accomplishments!

Which Type of Exercise is For You

  Calories Burned During an Hour of Activity

Ideal For

Exercise 125 lb PersonMila Kunis Black Swan weight loss 175 lb PersonReese+Jake+Go+Jogging+Santa+Monica+DkA1j3XJT3Zl
Aerobics 283 396 Social fitness
Cycling 453 635 Commuters
Hiking 340 476 Outdoor Enthusiasts
Running (8 minute mile) 708 992 Seeking Solitude
Swimming 453 635 Fish
Walking 198 277 Beginners
Yoga 226 317 Seeking Inner Peace


Liked this article? Stay tuned for Alex’s next article on What Obamacare Means for You!

Alex Berger, a new GTJ contributing columnist, is a native of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.  He graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina and is currently in his last year of a combined MD/MPH program. He is excited to be back in the DC area and to share tips on nutrition, health, and fitness. He can be reached at Alexander_Berger@med.unc.edu.

 

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GTJ’s February Volunteer Event – Young Adult Sports Day with KEEN!

keen_dc_logoThe KEEN Foundation‘s primary goal is to promote awareness, enrich education, and provide services to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by autism and other special needs.

On February 3rd, GTJ will participate in Young Adults Sports Day with KEEN.  Young Adult Sports takes place in the gym at Tilden Middle School and has two components: tae kwon do and kickball.  The first is 30-45 minutes we do tae kwon do led by a local tae kwon do master.  Volunteers help our young adults with the tae kwon do exercises, cheer them on, and help them stay on task throughout this time.  After tae kwon do, we play very casual, friendly games of kickball in which there are no real rules and everyone wins.

KEEN could very much use your help and support with the Young Adult Sports program, and our young adults would love to have DC young professionals come hang out with them and be their buddies.  We will organize a carpool for those without transportation.

WHEN: February 3rd, from 2:15 pm to 4:30 pm (we will be done before the Superbowl!)
WHERE: Tilden Middle School (11211 Old Georgetown Road., N. Bethesda, MD)
WHAT: Young Adult Sports Day with KEEN

We only have 24 spots so please RSVP here! – All spots have been filled. See you next time!

 

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Mesorah Minute – Vayechi – Sincerely Yours

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GTJ’s Satirist Brian F. – Jewish Geography Offered as a Major at 23 Universities

Jew GField of Study Focuses on Jewish Peoples’ Ability to Find Mutual Connections

MADISON, WISCONSIN – (@The Comedy News) – Its description starts almost like a joke: “Two Jews meet in the street. One says to the other, ‘Hey do you know’…”

The social inquisition colloquially known as Jewish Geography is now being offered as a major field of study at twenty-three colleges and universities across the nation.

Some of the universities and colleges offering Jewish Geography as a major include Columbia, Duke, University of Delaware, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, University of Florida, Maryland, George Washington University, Brandeis, and Vanderbilt.

The Jewish Geography department at the University of Wisconsin in Madison offered to publish its syllabus for their survey class during the upcoming spring semester: Jewish Geography 118: Introduction to Jewish Geography
Lecture 1:  Jews:  Who the hell are you?

Lecture 2:  New York, Miami, and Wyoming??  Big City vs. Small City Jewish Geography
 
Lecture 3:  The Art of Asking Leading Questions
 
Lecture 4:  Conventional Reactions to Positive Jewish Connections
 
Lecture 5:  The Steins and the Bergs:  Goldsteins and Bernsteins; Goldbergs and Pittsburghs
 
Lecture 6:  Tactics in Abruptly Ending a Jewish Geography Session Gone Awry
 
Lecture 7:  Summer Camp Politics
 
Lecture 8:  Jew-dar:  Seeking Potential Jewish Geographers Without Saying a Word
 
Lecture 9:  Guilt Trips: Backhanded and Intentional
 
Lecture 10:  Parent-Orchestrated Blind Dates and Other Disasters in Jewish Geography

Other classes in Jewish Geography:

Jewish Geography 269: Forming Early Geography Skills in JCC Nursery School

Jewish Geography 313: The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Wars

Jewish Geography 613: Overbearing Jewish Mother Seminar

Jewish Geography 714: Jewish Dads and The Sociology of Tolerating Miserable Jokes

Jewish Geography 750: Palm Beach, Palm Springs, and Scottsdale: Jewish Geography While Eligible for Social Security

Jewish Geography 799: Gathering the Jews: How to Run a Jewish Community Website

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GTJ’s Satirist Brian F. – Jewish Holiday Parties That Were Discontinued

getting lit - kosher ham - funny jewish tshirt website.jpgWASHINGTON, DC – (@The Comedy News) – We have all been invited to our fair share of holiday parties- with our coworkers, with our friends, with our neighbor who hoards cats and trash in the front yard.

And for the 165,000 Jews in the DC metro area, there is no shortage of Jewish-themed winter gatherings.

Various Jewish organizations have facilitated dozens of successful parties for the DC Jewish community, some even running annually for over twenty years.  Just like good Jewish humor, the names of the parties have been alliterated and cheesy.

However, there are some Jewish winter holiday events that were discontinued over the years:

Challah Back Y’all Karaoke Kabbalah (2005-2006)
A short-lived karaoke tournament inspired by the Gwen Stefani song, Hollaback Girl.  A schmorgesborg of challah bread kept the bashful non-singers enthused.  Discontinued after too many renditions of Sweet Caroline, Don’t Stop Believing, and Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu.

Bagel Bash (2000-2008)
A $5 fee got revelers admission to a wild and crazy dance party at McFaddens in Foggy Bottom, as well as all-you-can-eat bagels and schmear. Discontinued after Michelle Obama smote excess carbohydrate ingestion.

Pork Protest (1993-1994)
A dance party primarily attended by reform Jews who advocated for a change in kashrut laws forbidding pork products.  Popular with American Jews from Midwestern states.  Discontinued after no one would admit to each other that they loved the taste of pork.

Shrimp Strike (1993-1994)
Same as pork protest.  Just more popular amongst New England seafood snobs.

Brisket Bris-off (1946-1964)
During the post World War II baby boom, DC Jews used to gather at RFK stadium on Christmas Eve for an outdoor mass-celebration of brit milah, or “bris”.  Local chefs provided complimentary brisket samplings to the new parents.  Discontinued for too many reasons to list.

Mistletoe Mitzvah (1989-1999)
Billed as “The Easiest Jewish Singles Event to Get To First Base!”  Basically, it was an awkward happy hour with mistletoe hanging from the tavern’s ceiling.  Interest faltered after everyone in the Jewish community had made out with each other.

Jew-Jitzu Jam (1984)
Popularized by the film, Karate Kid, the Jew-Jitzu jam was a martial arts-themed dance party that encouraged Jewish revelers to dress up in either Cobra Kai attire, or Miyagi-do Karate attire.  Discontinued after too many fights broke out on the dance floor.

None of the aforementioned parties are real.  Instead you should subscribe to GTJ’s events calendar for your holiday cheer.

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Mesorah Minute – Vayigash – Reverse those Charges

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Chutzpah in Motion

Ollie-w-bible-text-lighter-border“My So-Called Jewish Life” was at 8 PM, Saturday, December 15th at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue

The story of the Maccabees is one often told during Hanukkah, but that was not the story those at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue heard on Saturday night.  The stories told on that last night of Hanukkah were similar to the theme of the Maccabee tale as they all featured the presence of perseverance and meaning.  Stories were told courtesy of SpeakeasyDC, a non-profit whose mission is “to give voice to people’s life experiences, support artistic expression, build community, and contribute to DC’s cultural capital and creative economy by promoting and teaching the art of autobiographical storytelling.”

The Saturday evening event, titled “My So-Called Jewish Life”, was the fourth annual event of its kind.  The speakers were invited by founder and Director, Amy Saidman.  Their stories, tones, and styles varied, but a pride in their heritage (whether born into or adopted later in life) was there.  The snarky, self-defeating style typical of Jewish humor also rang true and loud, giving the event an authentic Jewish feel (though the synagogue setting also helped.)

Bonnie Benwick, interim Food Editor of The Washington Post, used audience participation to tell an age old tale, all too common to Jewish hardship: how to make the perfect brisket.  Andy Pollin, co-host of The Sports Reporters on ESPN980, led the audience to gasp as he told the tale of receiving a phone call from Sandy Koufax.  Sara Polon, aka Soupergirl of the (delicious!) DC soup delivery service, recounted a camping trip gone awry with Jordanian Bedouins.  Meleia Egger, returned Peace Corps volunteer liaison, spoke of a dear friend who showed her comfort in Judaism and later inspired her to find prayer.  Hillah Culman is a Program Manager for Pro-Active Performance who met the perfect “NJB” only to realize he wasn’t a Jewish boy at all – leading them to search for an interfaith solution to their relationship.  The story told by Eliot Stein, Managing Editor of Living Social, had the room in hysteria.  He told the story of lying to impress his teacher, writing to her that he became a man when he had a Bar Mitzvah.  Here lays the catch: Stein (despite the suggestion of his name) is not Jewish and never had a Bar Mitzvah.  He tugged on heart strings as he explained how the confusion his name often causes has brought him experiences to be gained from.  John Donvan, an ABC News correspondent, closed the night.  Mr. Donvan, a three-time Emmy winner, told of finding himself at his daughters’ Bat Mitzvah wondering just far he’d go “with this Jewish thing.”  Mr. Donvan was not born Jewish, but always held a deep curiosity for Judaism.  Married to an Israeli, he found he was clinging on to his own heritage as his family around him delved deeper and deeper into Judaism.  He realized, though, that this was the “Jewish thing to do,” holding onto his own heritage.  Also, noted from his storytelling, he speaks excellent Hebrew for a goy.

The storytellers closed the night by lighting a menorah together on stage with Stein controlling the shamash in good humor.  After the show, Stein credited Saidman with being a “tremendous force” in the success of the night. “The night was great.  There was a variety and a good message.  It was a well-rounded event, very telling of the Jewish community.”  His father, who was by his side afterwards, also noted that he “experienced the same name confusion Eliot has his whole life.  It was like hearing my own story, but dramatized.”

Those statements envelope the theme of the night, and a theme of Judaism: we are all in this together, all sharing and living similar stories.  It is up to us to listen and learn from each other.  Everyone who attended the fourth annual “My So-Called Jewish Life” did just that.

 

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‘Tis The Season for Online Dating – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 56)

flat,550x550,075,f.u1Please note that starting in 2013, Erika E’s dating column will appear once a month, on the 4th Wednesday of every month.  If you have burning questions that you’d like addressed in a future column, e-mail date411@alittlenudge.com

Ah, December… the time for lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel to get that elusive gimmel, and, of course, wondering whether you’re going to have a date for New Year’s Eve this year.

People ask me all the time, “Is there a best time of year to do online dating?”  In short, the answer is no.  I’d first say that the best time for you to do online dating is when you’re emotionally ready for it.  Remember, online dating takes work, so make sure you know what it entails.  Online dating is not simply about writing a few lines as fast as you can and posting it to see who writes to you.  It’s about being creative, proactive, and patient.  Once you’ve crossed that emotional threshold and you’re ready to take the online dating plunge, there is one time of year that it may suit you well to log-on: the week between Christmas and New Year’s. And if that goes well, ride that wave all the way through Valentine’s Day.

Match.com’s relationship expert, Whitney Casey, when asked last December how the numbers stack up, said, “From December 26 to February 14 is our busiest season.  New Year’s Eve is such a big deal because it’s a new beginning.”  Plentyoffish.com also reported a 15% jump in signups, in addition to a 20% spike in activity from current users during that time period.  Lastly, JDate.com’s Community Manager, Rachel, says the holidays are the perfect time to get online and get excited about meeting someone new. “This is definitely one of our busiest times of the year and that’s simply because the festive fun of the holiday season often reminds singles there is nothing better than being around those we love – that includes romantic relationships! Plus, we often see a big bump in membership numbers with so many people adding ‘find love’ to their New Year’s resolutions!”

As we all probably know, some of the top New Year’s resolutions out there are to work out and find love (in addition to saving money, spending more time with family, volunteering, staying organized, and reading more, to name a few).  In order to find love, though, you have to do something about it, and that something, according to the statistics, is to look for love online.  And when you do, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with flattering, accurate pictures, a profile that truly represents you without sounding too generic (“I love to laugh and have fun” will sadly not make the cut), and a positive attitude about what the future might bring.

Maybe this year is the year to find love and maybe it’s not, but for what it’s worth, signing up with a brand spankin’ new JDate profile on December 26th (or on December 25th for that matter, over some veggie lo mein and  moo goo gai pan) isn’t a bad idea.  At least you know you’ll be in good company.

Erika Ettin is, as the Washington Post has noted, a “modern day Cyrano.” She is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating.  Check out her interview on NPR here. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

 

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Mesorah Minute – Miketz

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From the Four Corners of the Earth: At the Crossroads of Ghana and Judaism

Deep in a rural and remote area of Ghana, a community has existed for centuries called the Sefwis. They’ve been practicing a religion unlike any of those around them – and just within the last twenty years, realized that this religion is Judaism.  An even more profound discovery among the Sefwi’s was the realization that they aren’t alone, as millions of people around the globe are following the very same religion.

Along with the help of Toronto based Filmmaker, Gabrielle Zilkha, a documentary entitled “From the Four Corners of the Earth” aims to film the Sefwis’ journey to self-discovery of Judaism – from the past to the future as they embark on their very first trip to Israel.

“From the Four Corners of the Earth” is currently in its first phase of production, as the focus is on the Sefwis’ telling their story and journey of discovering their Jewish roots, and will also paint a vivid picture of their life today.  The goal is to explore how Judaism has shaped who they are, their understanding of the world, and their place within it.  Gabrielle and her crew plan to have just 2 people working on this phase of production, to take place over 3 weeks.  Additions to the first phase will include key interviews with experts in African Jewish history and past visitors to the Sefwi Wiawso community.

Delving deeper into the project, Gabrielle and her team seek to enhance the creation of “From the Four Corners of the Earth” by employing techniques that use a variety of digital, social media, and communications technologies to enable deeper and ongoing communication between the Sefwi community and people around the world.  One solution to this is to provide members of the Sefwi community with video-enabled smartphones and enable them to post their own video diaries online.

Why is Gabrielle and her team so interested in the Sefwi’s?  A little back-story reveals that as a young Jewish Canadian, Gabrielle was six weeks into a five-month volunteer placement in Accra, Ghana when the Jewish High Holidays came around.  The prospect of finding a group of Jewish people was looking grim, until she discovered the Sefwis.  Whilst Gabrielle was looking for nothing more than to celebrate a holiday with others, what she found was a community with an incredibly touching story.

Though Jewish traditions such as celebrating the Sabbath, circumcision, and kosher dietary laws have been followed for generations by the Sefwis, it was only in the last twenty years that they came to the discovery of Judaism and its worldwide belief.  Driven to find out more about who they are and to find others like them, the Sefwis embarked on an incredible journey of self-discovery, which leads us to the premise of this upcoming film.

Gabrielle Zilkha and her crew have started to raise money to fund the first phase of “From the Four Corners of the Earth”, but unfortunately still haven’t reached their financial goal.  They’ve recently started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to ask for help, which can be seen here for more information: http://kck.st/U0BhF5

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GTJ Health Series: A Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

If you’re like me and you’ve enjoyed a few too many latkes and slices of apple cake (we all should have read my healthy holiday eating column a few more times), you may be looking forward to a fresh start in the new year.

We enter the New Year with important goals that are often challenging to accomplish.  Whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking, or paying off debt, this guide will get you ready to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2013.  This week’s column includes general tips on achieving your goals and avoiding pitfalls (stay tuned over the coming weeks for more in-depth columns on starting a fitness routine, quitting smoking, and losing weight).

Setting and Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

1. Love Yourself, You’re Pretty Awesome! 

The first step of self-improvement is realizing that you are pretty awesome and you are motivated to make yourself even more awesome.  By loving yourself and starting from a place of strength you will be more likely to achieve your goals.

2. Set Small, Realistic and Reasonable goals.

If you have a larger goal, break it into smaller units.  By making your goals small, they are more easily obtainable and you will be more likely to succeed.  If you are trying to lose 30 pounds by your high school reunion, break it into weekly weight loss goals such as a pound of weight loss a week.  As you meet this goal, you will get more frequent and positive feedback of success which will motivate you moving forward.

3. Write it Down

Write down your goal and why you want to achieve it on an index card.  Think about why your goal is important to you.  Identify what you want to change and why.  Keep this index card with you and put a copy on your fridge, bathroom mirror, car steering wheel –wherever you’ll see it.  These cards will serve as a reminder of your goal and why it is so important.

4. Plan

Consider your goal, how best to accomplish it, potential pitfalls, and a plan for when the pitfall happens (because they will and that’s okay).  Keep a copy of this plan and refer to it regularly.

5. Hire a Professional

Whether you are trying to lose weight, quit smoking, or learn to dunk a basketball- a professional can be an important component of your plan.  Physicians, psychologists, and therapists can provide guidance, therapy, and medication to help you quit smoking.  A personal trainer, dietitian, or physician can provide exercise, nutrition, or other advice to help you lose weight.  While you are doing the bulk of the work, professionals can provide guidance and support to help you achieve your goals.

6. Share your Goal 

Share your goal with loved ones, significant others, children, parents, friends- anyone that will listen.  By sharing your goal it becomes larger than yourself.  Your friends will be there to support you, cheer you up when you stumble, and keep you focused.

7. Get Rid of Negative Stimuli

Rid yourself and your home of the objects and people associated with the thing you are trying to change.  If you’re quitting smoking, get rid of your cigarettes and lighters, and ask your loved ones and friends who smoke to abstain when they are around you.  If you’re trying to eat better, throw out your unhealthy food and ask those you eat and cook with to try healthier options.  Altering your environment, and thus your environmental reinforcement, will help change your behavior.

8. When Setbacks Happen, Move Forward

You’re making a lifestyle change and it will be a marathon, not a sprint.  You will hit setbacks and you’re not alone.  The average person who quits smoking succeeds on their seventh try.  Treat each setback as part of the process of succeeding in reaching your goal.

9. Celebrate your Accomplishments!

You’re awesome- and you’re getting more awesome as you reach your goals.  Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Liked this article? Stay tuned for Alex’s next article on Starting a New Fitness Routine!

Alex Berger, a new GTJ contributing columnist, is a native of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area.  He graduated in 2008 from the University of North Carolina and is currently in his last year of a combined MD/MPH program. He is excited to be back in the DC area and to share tips on nutrition, health, and fitness. He can be reached at Alexander_Berger@med.unc.edu.

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Pictures from the November Happy Hour!

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The Mayans are 227 Years Early…

Another doomsday is lurking before us.  A lot of speculation, controversy, and talk have come up regarding the end of the Mayan Calendar.  As with most prophesies of the sort, there will be a large number of people swayed by convincing information found in the infinite world-wide-web regardless if the information is legitimate or not.

I first learned of the Mayan calendar ending on a trip to Mexico when I was a young teenager.  The date,  December 21, 2012, seemed like an eternity away, but, with the kind of mathematical accuracy this long gone civilization had, was such a thing plausible?  I found myself curious and wondered what would actually happen, but it’s not something I ever lost sleep about.  I’ve lived through a few doomsdays: The first Rapture in 1994, Nostradamus’ August 1999, Y2K, The second Rapture in 2011 and now the Mayan Calendar coming to an end.

It’s a bit ridiculous when you think of it in terms of a calendar ending.  We don’t go into a frenzied panic when the Gregorian calendar ends each year, so why all the fuss about the Mayan Calendar ending?

Every culture has their doomsday prophesy.  Did you know the Hebrew Calendar is supposed to end, too?  We’re currently in the year 5773 and according to the Talmud we have 227 years left until everything will come to a close.  The details of which are extremely vague, of course.  Then after the year 6,000 we’re supposed to have 1,000 years of rest; some call it 1,000 years of Shabbat which doesn’t sound that bad, actually.

Can you imagine what it will be like 226 years from now?  Will there be the same kind of conspiracy like there is today?  Just picture it, observant Jews will argue and debate about it for years and years prior!  Or perhaps they’ll be too busy while beginning to make arrangements for the everlasting Shabbat by preparing vats of cholent and plenty of challah ahead of time.  How will they agree on what to do when the calendar comes to an end?  Will we light Shabbat candles every night or just once marking the first night of many to come?  …All very important questions.

This actually might be something to look forward to!  We’ll leave all the chores, work, and business left to the goyim and the rest of us will relax, lounge, reflect on life, and more importantly we’ll eat and enjoy the company of our family.  Let’s not get a head of ourselves, though… We still need to get through a few more prophesies first!!  This coming December 21, I’ll be welcoming Shabbat with friends and family.  We’ll be sure to toast the end of the Mayan Calendar with some tequila and start planning for the 1,000 years of Shabbat.

This author is a writer on www.worldofjudaica.com.

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GTJ’s Satirist Brian F. – Christmas Writes Cease-and-Desist Letter to Hanukkah

The following letter was leaked from a law firm in Brooklyn: 

Hanukkah
18 One-Candle Drive
Jerusalem, Israel

Dear Hanukkah,

It has come to my attention that my client [CHRISTMAS] contends that you [HANUKKAH] have infringed upon Christmas’ position as the preeminent gift-giving holiday during the cold weather months of November and/or December.  My client demands that you cease and desist your existence as a gift-giving holiday immediately.

I understand that you [HANUKKAH] are a “festival” and not a holiday.  However, you and my client [CHRISTMAS] are constantly grouped by the politically-correct masses into the same category.

In the scenarios listed below, the unauthorized likenesses of Hanukkah (H) to Christmas (C) are highlighted:

· Menorahs (H) vs. Christmas Trees (C). A free-standing symbol of holiday cheer consisting of lights and flames.

· Potato Pancakes(H) vs. Buttermilk Pancakes (C)  Honestly, did you really have to re-invent the pancake?

· Blue Tinsel (H) vs. Green/Red Tinsel (C).  Decorative tinsel is for Christmas.  You may not make it blue and call it ‘Hanukkah Tinsel’

· Dreidels (H) vs. Assorted Gambling (C).  Dreidels are a cheaper knock-off of dice- which are supposed to have six sides.  The only gambling allowed during the holiday season is reserved for College Bowl Games.

· Eight Nights (H) vs. Christmas Eve (C).  The nights of Hanukkah are artificially inflated, my client alleges, to overlap with Christmas every few years.  Unacceptable.

· Adam Sandler (H) vs. Bing Crosby (C).  Mr. Sandler’s “humorous” incarnations of the Hanukkah song are a rip on Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”  And all he does is name celebrities that are Jewish.  That’s not a song, that’s a Wikipedia page.

You must cease and desist all attempts to emulate Christmas immediately.Should you not comply, Christmas will write another Cease and Desist letter each year until you come into compliance.You will be responsible for an eternity of attorney fees, plagiarism, royalties, individual and/or class-action law suits on behalf of Christmas.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sincerely,
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Click here to learn more about the National Menorah Lighting.

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