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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!”

Beauty and the Greeks
Beauty and the Greeks

What does Noah’s son Yephet have to do with the story of Chanukah and the mitzvah of circumcision?When the Syrian-Greeks sought to force Hellenization on the Judeans, one of the first mitzvot they outlawed was brit milah, circumcision. In f…

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages

“Rock of Ages let our song / Praise thy saving power / Thou amidst the raging foes / Wast our sheltering tower….” This is the first verse of Maoz Tzur as translated, loosely from the original Hebrew, by Marcus Jastrow and Gustav Gotthei…

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 Temple, occurred on the same calendar day on which the Israelites in the wilderness listened to the spies and cried out in fear that God was leading them to their deaths. This resulted in 38 additional years of wandering in the wilderness before the next generation was allowed to enter the Promised Land.

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