Ideological Warfare

I would like to address an aspect of Chanukah which I think is a little misunderstood. Chanukah is very popular, and I think this popularity is due to many people having a misconception about it. They look at it as some type of 4th of July, some type of fight or struggle to Jewish independence, or a struggle for the Jewish people to have a freedom, and so on and ...

Read More

The Spiritual Battle

The underlying theme of the conflict between the Jews and the Greeks is the clash between two diametrically opposed worldviews.  [In the Jewish view of reality, everything in the physical world is a reflection of the spiritual.  A physical conflict is a superficial manifestation of a deeper spiritual conflict.]  There are, of course, many points of contention between Jewish tradition and Greek philosophy.  The spiritual essence of the Judeo-Greek conflict ...

Read More

Chanukah Background

Chanukah begins in a short time so here is a little historical introduction to the Chanukah festival, to which we will hopefully add some spiritual insights in the coming weeks. Approximately 200 years before the events of Chanukah, hundreds of thousands of Jews returned from the Babylonian exile to the Land of Israel.  In time, they rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem and established an independent Jewish monarchy.  Meanwhile in Greece, after ...

Read More

Chanukah Celebration!

Chanukah is a celebration of the miracle of Jewish spiritual survival.  After millennia of attempts to assimilate us, whether through force or persuasion, we are still here.   But, it is not mere physical survival that we celebrate.  After all, the genes of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Greeks have also physically survived.  The miracle of Jewish survival is that we have survived with our spiritual heritage intact.  When we ...

Read More

Chanukah Background

Chanukah begins on Sunday night (Dec 2, 2018) so here is a little historical introduction to the Chanukah festival, to which we will hopefully add some spiritual insights in the coming weeks. Approximately 200 years before the events of Chanukah, hundreds of thousands of Jews returned from the Babylonian exile to the Land of Israel.  In time, they rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem and established an independent Jewish monarchy.  Meanwhile in ...

Read More
Just Ask asktherabbi.org

Ask The Rabbi: 8 Reasons for 8 Days

Question: The Chanuka miracle: A flask with one night’s oil burned for 8 nights. But being that there was oil for one night, the miracle actually lasted only 7 nights. So why is Chanuka 8 nights? AskTheRabbi.org answered: Good question! I'll give you 8 reasons. They divided one night’s oil into eight portions. Miraculously, each portion lasted an entire night. The Greeks ransacked the Temple many days in search of oil to defile. ...

Read More