Growing up in the Reform community in the US in the 50s and 60s, I remember the constant discussions of the Chanukah-Christmas dilemma. Was it possible to disengage Chanukah from the seasonal linkage to Christmas, and keep it somehow true to its roots? Or was it doomed to be "the Jewish answer to Christmas," which increasingly meant an orgy of shopping and materialism?
When I first heard the term “Thanksgivukkah”—the convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving—and that it was happening this year, I must admit that I became a little anxious because it brought back some of my interfaith marriage insecurities that I thought were long gone.
This post was written by RAC Legislative Assistant Molly Benoit as part of the Union for Reform Judaism's "Ten Minutes of Torah" series. As a child of the 90’s I learned the Chanukah story in many contexts, from the traditional religious school recounting of the miraculous oil to the mem
Saperstein: Lights—a symbol of freedom and hope.
You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me; for you will serve their gods - and it will prove a snare to you.
Our rabbis taught: When Adam saw the days getting shorter, he said, "Woe is me, perhaps because of my sin, the world around me is being darkened and returning to chaos; this is my punishment from heaven!" So he began an eight day fast.
In 1974 in Philadelphia, a small menorah was lit in front of Independence Hall, home to the iconic Liberty Bell. The menorah was crude and made of wood. Five people attended what is now considered to be the first Chabad-Lubavitch public-menorah lighting.