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Giving Gifts
Giving Gifts

“One who is diligent in lighting Chanukah candles will have children who are scholars” (Shabbat 23b).The desire for scholarly children was actually one of the motivations for the custom of giving Chanukah gelt(money). In modern times, money h…

Chanukah Yum
Chanukah Yum

While Jewish holidays are known for their food (except Yom Kippur, of course), most of these foods are not known for being particularly healthy. Chanukah is no exception. Forget matzah or apples, those are healthy in comparison–pull out your deep frye…

The Challenge of Fitting In
The Challenge of Fitting In

The weekly Torah reading of Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17), which almost always coincides with Chanukah, tells the story of the rise of Joseph the son of Jacob from slave to viceroy. And while Miketz contains no Jewish oppression, no b…

Spin the Dreidel
Spin the Dreidel

I have a little dreidelI made it out of clayAnd when it’s dry and readyWith dreidel I shall play!The dreidel is a four sided top, with a single Hebrew letter on each of its sides. Before the game begins, all players are given an equal number of coins…

These Lights We Kindle
These Lights We Kindle

While the mitzvah of lighting the menorah is an outward-focused mitzvah – the menorah is lit in a window or doorway – it is also an opportunity for personal reflection on the deeper meaning of the holiday.

On The 25th Of Kislev
On The 25th Of Kislev

It is not uncommon to find that significant events in Jewish history occurred in different years but on the same day on the Jewish calendar. For instance, Tisha B’Av (9th of Av), the day on which we mark the destruction of both the First and Second Tem…

Jewish Treats 2013-11-28 01:03:00
Jewish Treats 2013-11-28 01:03:00

If there is one thing that is guaranteed to be in supermarkets in November, it’s turkey! In fact, many supermarkets even give them away to promote large purchases of other groceries.As you put the turkey into the oven, take a moment to think about th…

The Chanukiyah
The Chanukiyah

The term menorah is used for both the classic symbol of the holiday of Chanukah and the great seven-branched candelabra that was built in the wilderness following explicit Divine directions and used first in the Tabernacle and later stood in the Holy T…

Pure Olive Oil
Pure Olive Oil

While a large number of Jews today light Chanukah candles, the more traditional custom is to light the Chanukah menorah with olive oil. This is done in order to most accurately recreate the original miracle.When God instructed Moses on the construction…

The Story of Chanukah
The Story of Chanukah

Around the year 167 B.C.E., the Syrian-Greek rulers of Judea tried to force the Jews to assimilate into Hellenic culture. They summoned the Jews to the town squares where they were forced to worship idols or to sacrifice a pig before the idol.

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