Category Archives: Rabbinical School Student Blog

Rabbinical School Student Blog Jessica Lowenthal

Have We Learned from History? A Hanukkah Reflection

We say that we need to learn from history, but how often do we actually do so? Hanukkah provides us with an important test case. When learning about Judah Maccabee in Hebrew school, I was taught about a strong and brave leader who fought for the right to practice Judaism freely. However, I was not taught about the darker side of the Maccabees and the Hasmonean dynasty they established, which… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Student Blog Hanuka-Menorah-100px

The Truth(s) about Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah all about? There are many possible answers to this question; here are just a few to consider: Hanukkah celebrates the military victory of Judah Maccabee and his small band of Jewish freedom fighters over the mighty Syrian Greek Empire Hanukkah recounts the discovery of the miraculous tiny pot of oil the Maccabees used to rededicate the ancient Temple in Jerusalem Hanukkah was introduced as a make-up holiday… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Student Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

“If I Were a Rich Man”: A Sukkot Reflection

The great sage, Teviyeh, from “Fiddler on the Roof,” gives voice to the universal issues of poverty and wealth with humor and candor as he calls out to God: “It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. After all, with your help, I’m starving to death. Oh, dear Lord. You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor … but it’s no… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Student Blog Rally Jews Say Black Lives Matter

Do Not Turn Away From the Light: Joseph, Hanukkah and Racial Justice

At its most basic level, Hanukkah is a holiday about bringing light into the darkness. It’s winter. It’s cold, and the night comes early. This is the time of year when we need light more than ever. One function of light is that it reveals to us that which we could not previously see. Light increases visibility. On each night of Hanukkah, we light another candle to illuminate our surroundings…. Read Article →

Rabbinical School Student Blog 220px-Ragaputra_Velavala_of_Bhairava

A Hanukkah “Raga”: An Ecological Reflection

One of the first teachings that drew me to Hindustani (North Indian) classical music was that of the raga. Each raga – literally color or melody – is associated with a unique time of day. On the tree of Indian classical music, each raga is a different branch; in the cycle of a day or a year, each raga embodies a different quality or emotion that is expressed through improvisational… Read Article →