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November 26th, 2013
08:49 PM ET

Giving thanks for the miracle of survival

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Leon Gersten could not bear to watch “Schindler’s List,” the movie about Czech industrialist Oskar Schindler who saved 1,200 Jews from Nazi extermination camps. It was too painful for the Holocaust survivor, too close to reality.

But now, almost 70 years after his village in Poland was liberated by the Soviet army, Gersten is meeting the man who is the Oskar Schindler of his own life: Czeslaw Polziec.

Like Schindler, Polziec is Catholic. His family secretly sheltered Gersten in rural Poland for two years during World War II.

As though such a reunion between survivor and rescuer were not emotional enough, this one is taking place Wednesday on the eve of Hanukkah, which coincides this year with Thanksgiving. Two celebrations of gratitude.

FULL POST

- CNN Wire editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith Now • Hanukkah • Holocaust • Israel • Judaism • New York • Poland • Thanksgiving

December 10th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

National Menorah lit in Washington

By Stacey Samuel, CNN Producer

Washington (CNN) - On Sunday, as he has for more than 20 years, Rabbi Levi Shemtov presided over the annual lighting of the National Menorah.

The event dates back to 1979, but it was President Ronald Reagan who officially designated the candelabrum, placed in the Ellipse just south of the White House, the National Menorah.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Hanukkah • Holidays

Doughnuts and potato pancakes: The simple pleasures of Hanukkah
So popular are the doughnuts in Israel that Jewish-American chef Joan Nathan recalls the local marketplaces resembling a "pastry auction" around this time of year.
December 10th, 2012
04:38 AM ET

Doughnuts and potato pancakes: The simple pleasures of Hanukkah

By Joan Nathan, Special to CNN

(CNN) - It is no accident that Hanukkah comes in the darkest time of year. The winter holidays are about light, about miracles, and about waking up to light when it is least visible to the naked eye. Food-wise, we jolt our senses alive through texture, taste and flavor with fried foods that couple warmth, crispness, and the smoothness of oil in order to reinvigorate and fine-tune us just as the sun begins to seemingly disappear altogether.

For some, Hanukkah is "the potato pancake holiday" - a holiday that takes the mundane potato and gives it a massive makeover. It is shredded and tossed and recombined, squeezed and remolded into new form and then fried up lightly so that its texture shifts, its flavor alters. The latke (pancake) itself becomes the miracle of light, of oil, and of transformation.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Food • Hanukkah • Holidays • Judaism

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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