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Book of Maccabees
Book of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees are not included in the Biblical canon, because these events occ…

The Challenge of Fitting In
The Challenge of Fitting In

The weekly Torah reading of Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17), which 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 battles,…

Hey Handsome
Hey Handsome

Religion is about spirituality, morals and becoming a better person. One might, therefore, assume that physical beauty is beyond the Torah’s spectrum of interest. But the Torah makes a point of stating that Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel were all beautifu…

Chanukah and Divine Order
Chanukah and Divine Order

Chanukah always overlaps with at least one Shabbat (if not two), and since Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev and lasts for eight days, the holiday always coincides with the celebration of Rosh Chodesh (the new month of) Tevet. (Tomorrow, 1 Tevet, is Rosh Chodesh.) This is significant, because both Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat were loathed by the Syrian-Greeks and their observances were outlawed.

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…

A Chanukah Heroine
A Chanukah Heroine

Have you ever heard of Yehudit (Judith), the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, who saved her city, Bethulia, from destruction at the hands of the Syrian-Greek general Holofernes?As the Jews in the town neared starvation due to the enemy siege, Yehu…

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…

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…

It’s A Chanukiyah
It’s A Chanukiyah

Chanukah celebrates the relighting of the menorah by the Maccabees. But the menorah that the Maccabees lit was actually the great seven-branched candelabra of the Temple, and not a nine-branched candelabra - one with eight lights for Chanukah and …

Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars Announced
Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars Announced

United States Senator Joseph Lieberman, Billboard Top 10 Artist Alex Clare, and best-selling author Faye Kellerman are among those being honored as “All Stars” within the Orthodox Jewish community in a new video hitting the web this week. Read on to see who made the top 10 list of “Orthodox Jewish All Stars!”

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