Tag Archives: Hanukkah-Rav

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The Forgotten Miracle of Hanukkah

Why is this month (Kislev) different from all other months in the Jewish year? It offers us a holiday (Hanukkah) that (at least in the Northern hemisphere) resists and subverts the natural order. At the darkest time of year, we celebrate light. And the stories we tell to explain our rituals of creating light emphasize the overturning of “natural” expectations. A small band of improvised fighters defeats an imperial army…. Read Article →

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Hanukkah and Parashat Vayigash: Living with the Dark After the Light

I woke in the dark this morning. It will be dark before I walk through my door again. While I know objectively that there were once leaves on all the trees outside the Beit Midrash windows, I’ve lost the sense memory of looking out at a density of green. There’s no doubt: winter has us surrounded. While thick coats and streetlights go a little way towards dampening the radical effects… Read Article →

Community Blog Community Blog Hanukkah and Thanksgiving An opportunity for Hybridity

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving: An Opportunity for Hybridity

Everyone is talking and writing about the rare overlap between Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgivukkah has become a virtual industry with bloggers, websites and commercial products focusing attention on this unusual calendric phenomenon. Beyond all the hype, is there something of substance that can be derived from the intersection of these two different holidays? I would like to suggest that we are in a moment of American Jewish history… Read Article →

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Doing More Than We Think We Can

There is a somewhat obscure debate regarding the lighting of Hanukkah candles that actually gets across a striking message about Hanukkah and the performance of religious acts in general. But in order to understand that dispute, we first have to review the original source for our practice of candle lighting. In “Massekhet Shabbat” 21b, we are told that the actual mitzvah of Hanukkah is to light one candle per household… Read Article →