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Everything you need to know about the holiday of Chanukah - Hanukkah.
Chanukah (Hanukkah), the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. On the secular calendar, Chanukah generally falls out in December.
This primer will explore:
(1) A Bit of History
(2) Lighting Instructions
(3) Other Customs
(1) A Bit of History
The Hebrew word Chanukah means "dedication." In the 2nd century BCE, during the time of the Second Holy Temple, the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus sought to pull Jews away from Judaism, with the hopes of assimilating them into Greek culture. Antiochus outlawed Jewish observance ― including circumcision, Shabbat, and Torah study ― under penalty of death. As
In 1974, the United Nations passed a resolution granting observer status to the PLO. This was the first recognition of the PLO by a major political body, and was seen by many as opening the door to eventual Palestinian statehood. The UN decision came nine days after Yasser Arafat addressed the UN plenary in New York. In the speech, with a gun holster strapped to his hip, Arafat compared himself to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. By 1980, the PLO has been recognized by
Understanding the cultural clash between the Greeks and the Jews
During the holiday of Chanukah, Jews relive their military and ideological victory over their Hellenistic adversaries. We still hear the echoes of this cultural clash today, as Winston Churchill wrote in his History of the Second World War, "No other two races [but the Jews and Greeks] have set such a mark upon the world. Each of them from angles so different have left us with the inheritance of its genius and wisdom...the main
In the song Maoz Tzur that we traditionally sing after the Chanukah candles are lit, we find the following stanza: "Greeks gathered against me then in the days of the Hashmoneans, they breached the walls of my towers and defiled all the oils." Where do we find a breaching of a wall that is of significance?
Rav Gedalia Schorr explains that we see in a Mishna (Midos 2:3) that in the Temple, there was a wall in the courtyard called the Soreg. The Mishna writes that the Greek kings breached the
Shattered and made whole. Learning to trust God with everything.
A decade ago, I began a journey toward Jewish observance together with my husband. I embraced performing mitzvahs and keeping Shabbat. I loved the holidays, and began to see through what I previously thought were random events, God’s loving hand in my life.
But all that changed when my husband became ill. Suddenly, God’s management skills came into question. How could this random, awful thing happen to my husband? I much