Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
You wanna know how to play No Limit Texas Dreidel? Watch this:
By the way, the correct term is "hole cards" and "hole spins" -- not "hold" -- although it should be "hold," yes? Thank you The Jewish Channel and Modern Jewish Mom Meredith Jacobs.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I am so excited that No Limit Texas Dreidel has caught fire in the press, in site visitors, and in sales. We knew all kinds of people would get excited about this party game that combines the traditional Hanukkah dreidel game with no limit Texas hold'em poker! Now it's reached Jewish and mainstream audiences worldwide. We appreciate all the love and encourage you to spread the word too on your blog, facebook page, or twitter!
- Fark.com -- on the geek page of this hugely popular link-sharing site
- BoingBoing -- on the homepage of this mega-site
- National Review Online
- Many twitter users
- Ima on (and off) the bima blog -- check out her incredibly popular NLTD contest!
- Global Voices
- My Right Word
- The Angel Forever
- Purple Pawn
- Many, many other blogs
- In Newsweek's holiday gift guide
- For sale at Bloomingdale's, PopJudaica, Amazon, eBay, and many other retailers
Thursday, December 11, 2008
National Public Radio (NPR) -- Everywhere -- Saturday, December 13th -- Times VaryI have been interviewed to be on "Only A Game" the nationally syndicated NPR sports show which airs Saturdays. The producer chose No Limit Texas Dreidel for their holiday gift guide saying No Limit Texas Dreidel is, "Absolutely irresistible to us." I've been interviewed about the game by veteran NPR commentator and show host Bill Littlefield. The portion on the game and me will probably be only a snippet so listen carefully.
The nerdy, sports-challenged Jews that you may be (and I count myself in this category), you may not know the show but apparently it's pretty well known. http://www.onlyagame.org/
Listen on your local NPR station this Saturday or look up stations and times here: http://www.wbur.org/
UPDATE: Listen to the Only A Game Gift Guide. Listen to my snippet on NLTD.
1160 AM -- Newstalk 1160 Atlanta -- Women on the Move with Jennifer Green -- Saturday & Sunday, December 13th & 14th 1-2 PMI'm really excited about this interview! Jennifer Matilsky (AKA Jennifer Green) and I "chatted" yesterday for about an hour about the origins of No Limit Texas Dreidel and ModernTribe.com. I share several triumphs and setbacks during the start up of our businesses. It will only be broadcast in Atlanta but I hope to post the show -- or excerpts -- online for everyone soon.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Have guests bring a symbol of a freedom they are guarding or fighting for. Yes, there is the (silly) story about oil lasting for eight days. But, really, Hanukkah is a celebration of religious freedom. In 167 B.C.E. the Maccabees fought Antiochus who brought Greek idols into the Temple and banned the practice of Judaism. The menorah is the Jewish symbol of this fight for freedom. Ask guests, "What freedom are you guarding or fighting for?" Invite guests to bring an object that represents this freedom. Guests can choose to share the meaning with the group or simply set the item with the others.
Upgrade your holiday menu for an adult palate. Chocolate gelt (coins) has developed a bad reputation as something you don't necessarily want to eat. Serve gourmet chocolate coins, which the most discerning chocolate lovers will appreciate, such as those (personally taste-tested and approved by me!) from Madelaine, Godiva, or See's. Serve sweet potato latkes or Zucchini Latkes with Garlic by Faye Levy, the cooking columnist for the Jerusalem Post, or try serving traditional latkes (like those from Modern Jewish Mom Meredith Jacobs) with gourmet Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce from Bon Appetit. The Bon Appetit website has many gourmet latke recipes.
Tzedakah is always appropriate for any Jewish holiday. Tzedakah is translated as "charity," but its root, tzedek, means justice: We give not only to help those in need but to help set things right, as part of the process of creating a just world. Have guests bring a grocery bag of food for your local feed-the-hungry program or a toy for the Toys for Tots program. Or have each guest "buy in" to receive their chocolate gelt for the No Limit Texas Dreidel game and make a group donation to a local charity. The buy-in idea came from a ModernTribe customer, who is doing this for her own Hanukkah party this year.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
When is Hanukkah?
Jews begin celebrating on the first night of Hanukkah: after sunset on December 21, 2008. The first day of Hanukkah is December 22. The eight-day Festival of Lights ends on December 29, 2008.
Why does the first night of Hanukkah change each year?
Chanukah always begins on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, as Jon Stewart tells Stephen Colbert below. The Jewish calendar is lunar, and its dates vary each year relative to other calendars, such as the Gregorian calendar used in the U.S. In fact, the first day of Chanukah can fall anywhere between November 28 and December 26.
Why do Jews celebrate Hanukkah?
Hanukkah celebrates religious freedom and the rededication of the Temple (Hanukkah means rededication). Around 165 BCE, two groups of Jews -- one led by Judah Maccabee -- successfully revolted against the oppressive King Antiochus IV, who had prohibited the practice of Judaism, desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, and ordered the killing of Jews.
Once free, the Jews were able to rededicate the Temple. They needed oil for the Temple's menorah, which was supposed to burn every night, but according to the Talmud, the Jews had only enough oil to burn for one night. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, giving them enough time to obtain more oil. To celebrate this miracle the next year, the Jews began to observe an eight-day festival.
What is a menorah?
On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, Jews light a candelabra called a menorah after sunset. The menorah holds nine Hanukkah candles (or wicks in oil). On the first night, Jews light the shamash (attendant or "helper" candle), then light another candle with the shamash. On the second night, we light two candles plus the shamash. This continues until the eighth night, when we light eight candles plus the shamash. The custom of lighting Hanukkah candles has given the holiday its nickname, the Festival of Lights.
In what direction do I light menorah candles?
Candles are added from right to left, but they are lit from left to right. On the first night of Hanukkah, place one candle in the far right holder of the menorah, and light it with the shamash. (The lit shamash is often placed in the center of the menorah.) On the second night, put two candles in the two far-right candle holders, then light the left-most candle first.
Is there a special blessing I can recite while I light the Hanukkah candles?
Yes, while holding the shamash you may recite the Blessing over Candles and the Blessing for Hanukkah. On the first night, it's customary to recite the Shehecheyanu as well; this prayer celebrates special occasions and milestones.
Where can I get a menorah? ModernTribe has unique artisan-made menorahs from girly to manly, glass to chrome, plus a kid's play menorah. Menorahs are also available at synagogue Judaica shops and Jewish bookstores.
What are some other Hanukkah traditions?
A Jewish holiday wouldn't be complete without special foods! On Hanukkah we often eat foods fried in oil, such as latkes (pancakes made of shredded potato) and doughnuts (sufganiyot), to commemorate the Hanukkah miracle. Dairy foods also are commonly eaten.
Families often exchange Hanukkah gifts or just give gifts to children. It's traditional to give children gifts of money, or gelt. Another Jewish custom is to give more money to charity each day of Hanukkah.
Jews often send each other Hanukkah cards.
I've seen "Hanukkah" spelled many different ways. What's the correct spelling?
Because it's transliterated from Hebrew, there are several possible spellings: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanukkah, Hanuka, and Chanuka. Less typical spellings include Hanaka, Channuka, Channukah, Hannuka, Hannukah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, and Khanukkah!
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