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 ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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Translation: A Greek Tragedy

The idea that any one people could be “chosen” or have a Divine revelation was completely contrary to Greek belief.  Their campaign against Judaism and the Jews did not focus on physical extermination, but rather attempted to eradicate the Jews as a special people.  One example of this effort was the Emperor Ptolemy’s translation of the Torah into Greek.  The Talmud  relates that Ptolemy gathered 72 Sages, placed them in 72 ...

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Chanukah: Culture Clash

Chanukah starts in about a week and a half, and without doubt it is one of the most popular of our festivals amongst Jews in general, even if not observant. A lot of people identify with Chanuka, and there is a lot of misunderstanding of its significance. Chanuka marks a clash of cultures - Judaism and the Torah versus the Hellenistic Greeks. I have nothing against the current Greeks. We’re ...

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Chanukah

Setting the Scene Israel: 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. Greece: After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, the Greek-Macedonian Empire split into several smaller kingdoms:  the Greek empire based in Greece; the Seleucid empire, based in Syria, ...

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