Hannukah has been nonstop going in our house and tonight…night 5 is no different. Above was an incredible site by constitution plaza we found, while visiting the liberty bell here in Philadelphia and we needed a family picture there. Well, I have to get back to the heated games of dreidel we have going here in our house <3
Chag Hannukah Sameach!!!
My family’s first night of Hannukah was a rousing success and so much fun for all six of us. My daughters both said “BEST DAY EVER!” and my sons can’t wait for more Hanukah celebrations to come in the next 7 nights. We have a Hannukah room set up in our house that’s decked out with the main table, banners all over, and games. Oh, and speaking of games, my wife is a Dreidel hustler, she only got Shin 1 time the whole game and cleaned us all out. The game of Dreidel was so loud I thought the cops were going to be called lol
So many fried cheese bits and latkes were eaten and sufganiyot had to be saved for tomorrow night’s festivities because everyone ate so much tonight. This first night, the kids each got large themed popits, a dinosaur, among us, and unicorns, my wife got a box of metal puzzles and I got an authentic Swiss army knife.
Our Mensch on a bench “Moshe,” can be seen just chillin’ in the picture, keeping the electric Hannukiah going (We had to blow out the real one after.
And Sam (my wife) and I both got Yair Immanuel artisan Dreidels to commemorate our first Hannukah and they are beautiful moments of this beautiful festival of lights. I got to teach my kids the meaning and history of Hannukah and let them know about the Maccabees and the miracle of the lamp’s oil. I added, “Just as the night way back when we lit the candle the first night to tell Hashem we see him and are thankful, he lights the rest (metaphorically) to say he sees us too.”
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, so first and foremost I hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving and got your grub on!
I’m sorry this post is a bit late, but we had a huge celebration at my mother’s house; Sam and I, my mother, my uncle Bill, Sam’s mother, and father drove in from NC, and our four kids… it was hopping at mom’s house. We all broke our diets and ate so much food and had so much fun, it was a great one to remember for sure. We took pictures, which I’ll show everyone once we gather them from everyone’s cameras.
Meanwhile, today is the Shabbat, so Shabbat Shalom… We’re going to be heading to the synagogue later to celebrate with our congregation and tomorrow the In-laws want us all to go see the liberty bell and other American historical sites while they’re in town. Then Sunday is Hannukah, the festival of lights and we’re so excited to celebrate our first Hannukah!
So to Jews in the diaspora of America, I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and to all others, Shabbat Shalom!
Hannukah is mere days away and we’re excited beyond words to celebrate our first of many. My whole family has been studying the history and meaning behind every bit of the holiday and my four kids are bursting to light the hanukiah. We’re even translating our old tradition of making sugar cookies and instead of cutting them into trees and snowmen shapes, have cookie cutters to make Magan David stars and menorahs. We have a beautiful traditional hanukiah and an electric one we can leave on the whole 8 nights and of course, we have a mensch on a bench overseeing everything 🙂
We are also excited beyond words to see Nissim Black on December 9th and meet up with him after the show (VIP passes). NB is a huge inspiration to us as fellow converts who are wholly devoted to Judaism and the Jewish people.
I will have copious pictures of our Hannukah celebrations over the eight days and will share them here with all of you.
Oh yeah, I also added a ton of new content here, so be sure to check it out…
Hannukah is fast approaching on November 28th, and it’s holiday after holiday back to back (thanksgiving, Shabbat, Hannukah) and we’re soooooo ready to celebrate the miracle of lights. We know it’s a minor holiday in Judaism, but our house is decorated and gifts are gotten, dreidels and gelt are ready and as a Jew in the diaspora with kids, it’s our slightly inflated winter festivities so that they don’t feel left out. This will be our first Hannukah celebration as well, so we’re “doing it big,” and making it one to remember.
Also, something huge happened, something that my wife and I are so extremely excited about… our favorite Jewish rapper Nissim Black is going on tour, the bright lights tour that coincides with the last day of hannukah. My wife and I got VIP tickets to his December 9th tour date here in Philadelphia, and will get a signed poster, a picture with him, and to meet him. This will honestly be my wife and my first full big date (without our four kids) and we’ve been together since 2009, and it’s going to be an amazing night, plus we’re going to go out to dinner afterward.
Meeting Nissim Black is huge for me personally, his music has been a source of inspiration through my Jewish journey and he had a past similar to mine and wound up at the same point as me. Nissim Black gave me the ability to listen to good hip hop again, without sacrificing my Jewish values and morals. This will be my wife Sam’s second concert ever, and her first was new kids on the block in London at age 11, so it’s been a long time coming and makes this even more special.
So, if you’re a fan of my music, my art, or my writings/books and want to meet me at the concert, I’d be more than happy, don’t be shy…the video announcement for the tour is below, get your tickets ASAP they will sell out fast!
Since my last post here, I’ve added many articles, new wallpapers, new recommendations (for youtube channels), and a ton more. I have been rather consistent in adding new content on a daily basis, with no sign of slowing down in the conceivable future. All of this while preparing for my family’s first Hannukah on Nov. 28th, which we’re going big because it’s our first.
I also got a new handmade large Kippah that is absolutely beautiful and expertly made from Elora’s Castle on Etsy, now my wife wants one!
So much more is coming… stay tuned!
I have added so many new articles here and new wallpaper, with more on the way!!!
So much has been added since my last update here and pretty much on a daily basis to boot. I have been trying to promote this site to show that change is possible for everyone and to help those who are possible converts to Judaism to learn a little more than the basic holidays and such, from someone converting. So, I want to say thank you/Todah Raba to everyone who has been sharing this site with others, my hits are reflecting the love from all over the world <3
New everything is coming, more content will be steadily being worked on and added as soon as possible, so check back often!
So have you added any new content? Yabetcha!
I have added a few new articles, the free PDF booklet “Bee and me,” and have been tweaking the sections of this page daily. I have so much more planned and coming, but as you’ll notice (if you’ve been here before), there’s new content in every section of the site.
…as for me…
I have also been working on my personal website “Lord Frederick W Cook,” and my art website “The art of Ambrogio,” both with a facelift and with new content. I try to change the aesthetics and interface at least once a year on those sites, and the same will probably be true here as well.
I am not proud of, nor shy of my past, I’m not that person anymore. In the SOS media section, you’ll find the Interviews link, and in the articles, under I Am link, you’ll find articles about who I was. Today I actively work to combat extremism and Anti-Semitism, armed with the inner workings of many of these groups, my mental health training, and a desire to see an end to hatred, racism, violence, and division.
I write copious essays on the inner workings of extremism, I do interviews on my past (a lot of them), and work with organizations to study the wave of extremism and what makes the movements tick, I help in extremist interventions, healing, dissolving of ideological bonds, and the reintegration of former extremists into a new life of love in society. I work a lot…in very difficult work, for very little money, that is how much I believe that together we can all change and make a difference in this world.
Not to Kvetch or anything, but I’ve actually been really busy as of late, dieting, planning holidays, studying, events for the kids, etcetera; general but busy life stuff. Despite all of the living life things, I’ve been adding content pretty regularly here again!
Almost every section has some tweaks, articles, or content added to it since the last post here. Aside from a lot of new content, I am also planning on changing up some of the links and adding a new section or two here, with even more content. I have also contemplated a few more additions, such as a free email list that I could send out newsletters with exclusive content and send updates right to your inbox once a week. Finally, I am writing a small booklet on my friend Bee and how much he impacted my life that I will put up for download here in PDF format.
Also, I have been contemplating returning to YouTube with content similar to this site, maybe some insiders information into the world of a convert/ethnic Jew? Who knows, but I have been giving the idea of a YouTube Channel a lot of thought as of late.
More to come…
I… have been a busy fella as of late… not only updating the content here (of which there are several new articles and a new interview on the Derate the hate podcast here, but also in life. I am doing everything I can to fight to regain mobility, if not in my back, in my legs, this includes trying the Keto diet and laying off weights to lose pounds to remove the weight that my knees have to hold up. I’ve been working on quite a bit of art as well and developing my new art website, which I’ll slide into my links section here when it’s done.
I’ve also been teaching my kids more Hebrew and Jewish prayers, as well as teaching them music, art, and letting them game on my PC when we all have free time. Mind you, each of my four kids wants to learn something different from me, I don’t push them into anything.
Aside from that, I’m still obsessively reading everything Jewish, with Mussar and Kaballah thrown into the mix for good measure. The fountain of Jewish wisdom is unending!!!