Archive for 'Holidays'

George Washington and the Miracle of Chanukah

Hi, two  friends sent me the following story[1]…I have scoured the Google Library to see whether it is apocryphal or historically based; clearly it is the former. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read that may also be found  in the Sefer Pardes Chanukah. This is a folk story about George Washington and the Jewish soldier who fought alongside the famous general. The narrative is attributed to a personal journal of a Jewish soldier who fought alongside General George Washington at ...

Learn More

The Dreidel as a Spiritual Metaphor

I often get asked the questions, “What is the symbolism of the dreidel? What exactly is its origin?” The dreidel is a four cornered top that was popular in the medieval era and originally used for gambling. Jewish folklore purports that when the Syrians prohibited the study of Torah, the Jews insurrectionists would take a top to gamble with, so that the soldiers would let them play their game in peace. The name, “dreidel,” is a Yiddish word that derives ...

Learn More

A Modern Hanukah Story in Iowa

Byline: December 11, Friday 4:00 PM

Here is a story I read in Aish.com, it is about my present community; I hope you enjoy the story!

==============

My younger sister and I were the only Jewish children attending Monroe Elementary school in Davenport, Iowa in the sixties. In most ways I was just like any other little girl in the Midwest. I went sledding in the winter and caught fireflies in the summer. Only a few symbols formed my Jewish identity. For instance, ...

Learn More

Explaining why Maimonides’ view of the Menorah is incorrect . . .

The menorah’s physical dimensions have puzzled many scholars for centuries. This famous image of the menorah raises several problems and much has been written on it.  The authenticity of the depicted menorah’s base is sometimes called in question since it consists of two hexagons, the one superimposed on the other, on whose sides dragons are depicted–images that one would hardly expect to see on a sacred Jewish artifact! Perhaps Roman artists added these embellishments for the public procession of Israel’s ...

Learn More

Is there a sequence for lighting the Hanukah candles? Should it be done from right to left, or from left to right?

ANSWER: There are a number of ways of lighting the Hanukah menorah and each method is considered appropriate. R. Israel Isserlein (a.k.a, the “Rema”) indicates that the Rhineland tradition began at the left of the menorah and continued in sequence day by day. On the other hand, he also notes that in Vienna, precisely the opposite sequence was used, and one moved from right to left, in other words, in the fashion of the Hebrew writing.[1] To the best ...

Learn More
Page 4 of 6 «...23456