Later this month, Jews around the world will gather to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah in places as far afield as Tehran, Toronto and Tokyo.
Continuing a tradition dating back to the Second Temple period, they will kindle lights for eight nights, recalling the miracles of old and seeking to inspire a new generation to carry the torch of Jewish identity into the future.
But there is one small community that will be unable to mark the festival this year, a tiny, beleaguered group whose most basic rights are inexplicably being repressed: the few hundred remaining Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, China.
Next week marks the annual commemoration of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when the world remembers the heinous Nazi pogrom throughout Germany and Austria that took place on November 9-10, 1938.
Unleashing their appalling hatred, the Germans destroyed 267 synagogues, attacked 7,000 Jewish-owned businesses, and arrested tens of thousands of Jewish men who were sent to concentration camps, all in the course of a few hours.
Recalling this horrific event, which served as a prelude to the Holocaust, should evoke solemnity and reflection and remind us all of the unique horror perpetrated by Germany and its collaborators against the Jewish people.
As a youth growing up in America in the 1980s, I had a decidedly complex and often uneasy relationship with The New York Times.
For a news junkie both by birth and by training, life in the antediluvian days before the Internet offered a considerably narrower selection of sources through which to learn about current events.
Television was shallow, cable was in its infancy, and the radio was a better source of noise than news.
And so it was the written word, delivered early each morning at random spots in the driveway in the form of a rolled-up newspaper, that offered nourishment to a teen thirsting to understand the world.
Last month, in a sign of the further warming of ties between Jerusalem and Belgrade, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia opened a representative office in Israel's capital. The office, the seventh of its kind to be established worldwide by the Serbs, aims to promote greater economic and commercial links as well as foster the requisite conditions for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between Israel and Serbia.
There are moments, often quite fleeting, when the masks donned by politicians briefly fall away, revealing the true person who lies beneath the carefully cultivated layers of spin and sophistry.
Kamala Harris had just such a moment last week. And it wasn't pretty.
Speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to mark National Voter Registration Day, the vice president of the United States took a question from a student that was as fallacious as it was foolish.