Hannukkah 5782 and Thanksgiving 2021 Together – Never Before Or Again

This year Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, on 11/28/2021. The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7  = 133 years. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it  would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally  established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before.

Because the Jewish  calendar  is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000years . This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29.

Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah could again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79,811 * .

Calendars , not with standing we need an early Hanukkah this year.  It is a holiday that brings hope and good cheer to all of us regardless of our religious backgrounds.

So pass the cranberry sauce AND the latkes, please.

  • NOTE: The 79811 date is NOT accurate, but was meant to be tongue in cheek. Jewish law requires Passover to be in the Spring.  Therefore, the Jewish calendar will have to be adjusted long before it loops all the way around.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Bat Mitzvah Preparation

Chavurah Beth Shalom, Rabbi Nat Benjamin
Zoe Baumrind reviewing her prayers for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah

We’re working through the last-minute preparations for Zoe Baumrind’s Bat Mitzvah and so very honored to be a part of her and the Baumrind family’s special day !




Rabbi Nat Benjamin, Chavurah Beth Shalom
Zoe Baumrind reviewing prayers with Cantor Janine Schwarz

Rabbi Nat Benjamin, Chavurah Beth Shalom
Practicing with Zoe Baumrind for her
Bat Mitzvah on September 8 .


When Sandy Koufax Did Not Pitch on Yom Kippur

Rabbi Nat Benjamin

A story that may be even more important today…. and a story we hope you share with current and future generations.

The legendary pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sandy Koufax, informed his team that he would not be able to pitch on Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it was Yom Kippur, Wednesday, October 6, 1965.

This decision made by Sandy gave all young Jewish children and their families such a sense of pride that the best pitcher in baseball was not available due to his observance of the most solemn of days in the Jewish calendar. As great as he was already, he became the biggest hero for the American Jewish community who felt such a wonderful sense of Judaic pride.

As legend has it, Koufax pitched in 3 of the next 6 games ( winning two of the games by shut out) and won game 7 on only 2 days of rest!

We hope you can read the full story courtesy of ESPN’s Jim Caple here.

Chavurah Beth Shalom
Sandy Koufax, Hall of Fame Pitcher , Observes Yom Kippur During World Series of 1965

Chavurah Beth Shalom Community Seder

Rabbi Nat BenjaminPlease join us for Chavurah Beth Shalom‘s annual community Seder on Saturday, March 31 at 6:00 pm in Alpine (NJ) for the second night of Passover.
We invite you to celebrate Passover with wonderful friends, delicious food and special guests.
The Cost: $45 / Adults and $25 / Children
Please join Rabbi Benjamin along with Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Rabbi Steve Meltz and Cantor Janine Schwarz for prayers, songs and a delicious Seder meal.
Please contact Rabbi Benjamin to reserve your place:
Email: rabbinatbenjamin18@gmail.com
Phone: 201.294.8028

Shabbat before Purim ( Shabbat Zachor) at Chavurah Beth Shalom:

Rabbi Nat BenjaminCelebrating Shabbat at our Chavurah Beth Shalom :
Please join us this evening (7:30pm) at the Alpine Community House for Evening Shabbat Service, Friday, February 23.

Tomorrow: Morning Shabbat Service will begin at 10:30am and all are welcome to attend, Saturday, February 24.
A light brunch and coffee will be served to all who attend.