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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach on Herring and Chanukah

"Do you know how far we can reach? Do any of us know how high and how deep we can reach? Infinity. We are made in G-d's image. We can get close -- really close -- to G-d.

The Talmud says that G-d's light does not get that close to this world. Usually there must be at least a little space in between Him and our world -- a small space of ten tfachim. 

But on Chanukah, His light comes all the way to the ground. All year long, without that light, I understand that "holiness" is cute, sweet, beautiful, but let's face it -- it doesn't reach down to this world. Can you sell herring and be holy? Can you be a stockbroker and really be holy? You can't because you have no light, right?

With light, the lowest place can be made holy.
And here I want you to open your hearts in the deepest depths.
We all know a lot of holy words. Why don't they change us?
Because we have this little in-between space. I don't let G-d get too close, I leave myself a little space where I keep my unholy stuff. I don't let myself overdo it, so I never change.  

On Chanukah, G-d's light reaches me in the lowest places in the world.

But is there really such a thing as "low"?

There is no such thing. It is only because I had no light that I thought there was high and there was low. Until the light of Chaukah reached me, I thought that when I'm praying, I'm high. When I sell herring, I'm low.

On Chanukah, I realize that I can be the highest even when I'm selling herring. Do you think I'm only close to G-d when I yell " Hashem Echad" -- G-d is one?

A person can come into my store and buy herring, and I give him change. From the way I give him change that person can know there is one G-d.

This is the teaching of Chanukah. It is the last miracle which has to keep us going. Chanukah gives us strength. What keeps us going is that I have a little candle in my house and this candle doesn't have to be high. On Chanukah, it comes all the way down, to my place.

The light of Chanukah reaches everybody, everywhere."  

Excerpt from the newly released and very beautiful  book "The Soul of Chanukah - Teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach" compiled by Rabbi Shlomo Katz 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Hosted by Congregation Netivot Shalom
Saturday December 14th 8:30PM - 11:00PM
811 Palisade Ave, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Admission: $50 BEFORE December 10th, $60 AFTER
For reservations and additional information email ( )
10% of all profits will be donated to the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

Netivot Shalom welcomes Grand and Essex (Teaneck), Maadan (of Teaneck,
returning again!) and a surprise third vendor to Teaneck to celebrate
all things herring. The evening will showcase a tasting of a wide
variety of herrings, fine vodkas as well as select single malt scotch.

It will be an evening perfect for aficionados and newcomers alike.

At the Herring Festival , guests will sample a variety of herrings, including
Matjes, Schmaltz, Honey Mustard, Spicy Matjes, Texas style and others.
In addition, we will have a sampling of smoked salmon and roes, all accompanied
with breads, olives, potatoes, beets, and hard boiled eggs in the traditional
Finlandian style. We will once again have an “Old School” table that
will remind
everyone of yesteryear kiddushes. Accompanying the herring will be an array of
premium vodkas as well as single malt scotch (for the non-purists).

To complete reservation please send check, payable to Netivot Shalom, to:
Noah Rothblatt, 206 Cedar Lane Apt 4D, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love Those Herring Girls !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Herrings Workers on Romance Covers

I don't think anyone will accuse Jane Liffen's article, published in a recent issue of Social Semiotics, of being overly broad in its focus. It's title is: “A very glamorized picture, that”: images of Scottish female herring workers on romance novel covers. Here's the abstract:
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.

And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.

I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (8) 
Category: Literature, Gender