Nes gadol hayah sham, “A great miracle happened there.” These beloved words are symbolized by the four initials nun (נ) gimmel ( ג), heh ( ה), shin ( ש), which appear on the dreidel, referring of course to the miracle of Chanukah. Moses stands at the burning bush and observes a miracle. The bush is on fire and astonishingly […]
During the second Temple when the Hellenists ruled, they made decrees against Israel and suppressed their religion. They did not allow them to study Torah and perform the mitzvot. They seized their wealth and their daughters. They entered the Sanctuary, made many breaches in it and defiled that which was sanctified. Israel was greatly afflicted […]
What is Chanukah? During the period of the second temple, the Syrian-Greek kingdom issued decrees against the Jews observing the Torah and following the commandments in an attempt to cause them to culturally assimilate. They disrupted the Sanctuary of the Temple and rendered it ritually impure. G-d sent redemption through a rebellion led by the […]
Hanukkah is the festival on which Jews celebrate their victory in the fight for religious freedom more than two thousand years ago. Tragically that fight is no less important today, and not only for Jews, but for people of all faiths. The Jewish story is simple enough. In around 165 BCE Antiochus IV, ruler of […]
My dreidels delight me. They delight me because of their colors and shapes; they delight me because of all that they represent and they delight me because guests in our home smile when they see them. But sometimes a guest will look at my collection with a curious twinkle and ask: “But why so many? […]
Introduction to Chanuka Chanuka commemorates the miracle of God’s saving the Jews during the time of the Greek empire. The Greeks wanted to destroy Judaism and Jewish practices and have the Jews follow the Greek culture and religion. A small group of Jews defeated the Greek army, which was the world’s greatest military force at […]
There are precious moments in our lives that we all wish to make memorable and lasting. Lighting the menorah is one of those special moments. Many of us simply light the menorah and move on. The key to success: Don’t rush through this precious mitzvah. Slow down. Take in the moment. Pious Jews were known […]
For Part 1 click here. A shiur from Rav Soloveichik on the halachot (laws) of chanukah as presented in the Gemara in Masechet Shabbat and in the Rambam’s Mishna Torah. Delivered in December 1970.