Some of the older texts of al hanissim contain a request from Hashem to perform more miracles for us. Isn’t it inapropriate to make requests for more while in the middle of saying thank you? A proper understanding of what Hoda’ah really means sheds great light on this issue.
A study of the liturgical and musical origin, the influence and practical usage of the popular MAOZ TZUR melody. This lecture is presented by Cantor Bernard Beer, director, Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music, Riets, YU.
Free Download! of this classic Phillip Namanworth Chanukah song. These lights illuminate and reveal, they take us deeper. These are the Chanukah lights. Put a little light in your life.
Why do we celebrate Chanukah as a miracle done on our behalf? Wasn’t Hashem simply standing up for Himself from Hellenists who were determined to destroy Him and Judaism?
The basic mitzvah of Chanukah is to celebrate “the miracle that happened then,” by lighting the chanukia for eight days. Interestingly enough, though, there is a dispute in the Talmud between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel whether to increase the number of candles each day from one to eight, or to start with eight and […]
The “machloket,” or disagreement, between Hillel and Shammai and their respective Academies, Bait Hillel and Bait Shammai, in the matter of the lighting of the Chanukah Menorah, turns on a fundamental question regarding commandments, the performance of which varies with time. According to Shammai, one begins with the “days remaining;” that is, with the “maximum […]
Candles highlight the performance of four important religious observances. The Mishnah in Pesachim instructs that “on the night of the fourteenth of Nisan we search for chometz by the light of a candle.” Chometz signifies not merely the physical process of fermentation leading to seor, but also the fermentation of deeds, of our inner beings. […]
There is an unusual law in the observance of Chanukah which is unique among mitzvos. The Shulchan Aruch rules that one who doesn’t have the opportunity to kindle Chanukah lights or to have someone lighting on his behalf in his home becomes obligated, upon merely seeing Chanukah lights anywhere, to recite the blessing “She’asah Nissim,” […]
The Golden Menorah in the Bait HaMikdash represents the wisdom of Torah. The miracle of Chanukah is the miracle of the Jewish victory over the Greeks’ attempt to force the Jewish people to abandon and forget the Torah. Despite the fierce effort of the Greeks and their Jewish Hellenist allies to destroy every shred of […]
Chanukah is a victory celebration. The emphasis is not on the struggle against tyranny, the land liberated, “religious freedom” or the military victory against overwhelming odds; it is the celebration of a spiritual struggle and a spiritual victory. Despite the Hellenization of a significant number of Jews, the Jewish people refused to surrender to the […]