The history of Hanukkah squeezes us between two competing narratives: one of idealization
When we love something, we want to share it – so why not be inspired to bring our Jewish friends into the kehilla kedosha (holy community), embracing them within a wonderful, sacred congregation?
Like most parents, from the time we gave birth to our son, we had many hopes and dreams for him. We wanted him to have a good education, have friends and grow up to live a happy and prosperous life.
In Parashat Emor, the Torah reports that a man born of mixed Israelite-Egyptian descent “blasphemed the Name [of God],” was placed on trial, and was stoned to death. A law was then enacted that anyone, Jewish or gentile, who blasphemes the name of God shall be put to death. Over time, in communities throughout the world, laws against blasphemy were put in place to address curses leveled at God as well as perceived slights against some religions.