Chanukah Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on chanukah.


Blogs

Living the Chanukah Miracle

[article by Dan Brook, PhD & Richard H. Schwartz, PhD] Hope springs eternal. Indeed, it’s always been an integral part of Jewish history, spirituality, and politics. Without hope, there wouldn’t be a Chanukah; without hope, there might not even be a Jewish community. That’s the power of radical hope! Jewish survival is a miracle of hope. Increasing light at the darkest time of the year to celebrate Chanukah and Jewish survival is also a miracle. This year, each year, we work and hope for further miracles. We sincerely hope that Jews will enhance ...

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Chanukah and Moving Towards a Vegan (or Vegetarian) Diet

Jews can enhance their celebrations of the beautiful and spiritually meaningful holiday of Chanukah by making it a time to begin striving even harder to live up to Judaism's highest moral values and teachings by moving toward a vegan diet, or at least a vegetarian diet. Here are eight reasons, one for each night of Chanukah: 1. Chanukah represents the triumph of non-conformity. The Maccabees stuck to their inner beliefs, rather than conforming to external pressure. They were willing to say: This I believe, this I stand for, this I am willing to struggle for. Today, ...

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Vegan Connections to Chanukah

My article is co-authored with Daniel Brook, Ph.D. Chanukah commemorates the single small container of pure olive oil — expected to be enough for only one day — which, according to the Talmud (Shabbat 21b), miraculously lasted for eight days in the rededicated Temple.  A switch to vegetarianism, and even more so veganism, would be using our wisdom and compassion to help inspire another great miracle: the end of the tragedy of world hunger, therefore ensuring the survival of tens of millions of people annually. Currently, from one-third to one-half of the ...

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Chanukkah Chesed Challenge: Acts of Kindness

The evening of November 8 was the first of the month of Kislev, which means Chanukkah (there are many English spellings!) isn't far away - it begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends on the 2nd of the month of Tevet. During these days, from today until the end of Chanukkah, I invite you to be part of the Chanukkah Chesed Challenge. Chesed means "kindness," and the idea of the Chanukkah Chesed Challenge is to work consciously, every day, to do one act of chesed, or kindness, to someone you encounter throughout the day. This act should be something that does not ...

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Miraculously Stretching the Oil: a Chanukah Message

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Chanukah and Vegetarianism

Many connections can be made between vegetarianism and the Jewish festival of Chanukah: 1. According to the Book of Maccabees, some Maccabees lived on plant foods since they were unable to get kosher meat when they hid in the mountains to avoid capture. 2. The foods associated with Channukah, latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (fried donuts) are vegetarian foods, and the oils that are used in their preparation are a reminder of the oil used in the lighting of the Menorah in the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean victory. 3. Chanukah represents the triumph ...

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Making Hanukkah Green, Inspiring Future Generations

This blog is written by guest blogger Leah Schuckit, JCRC Fall 2016 Social Justice Intern.   As a young Jewish kid, Hanukkah was my favorite time of the year. I can still remember being in grade school and impatiently waiting for my Hebrew School lessons to turn to the Maccabees and the Temple menorah’s miracle. I remember the way that certain brands of candles smelled once you lit them and the excitement I felt when my family would start singing Hanukkah songs. I remember all of this alongside the more central concepts of Judaism I was taught in my childhoo...

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Hanukkah Night 8, 5776 – Seeing in Detail

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger Eight lights burning, sending out light, sending out heat - the hanukkiah is full. May our hearts be full as well, of light and warmth, allowing us to see in detail both the pain and the beauty of the world. Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and ...

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Hannukah Night 7, 5776 – One

Text by Rabbi Katy Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger     One. What does it mean? One Homo sapiens. One Earth. One G!d. One Universe. One time. One future. What does it take for us to live as ONE? Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish ...

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Hanukkah Night 6, 5776 – Let it Flow

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger Let the light within us flow, Let our lives flow, and our hearts, and our souls. Shabbat shalom. Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network, and a hospice chaplain. She received her ordination ...

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Hanukkah Night 5, 5776 – Sparks

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   A spark of Mystery burns within every single human being,   and within every part and parcel of Creation,   and every one of those sparks is different.    All of the sparks are needed for shleimut -- for total healing, wholeness,  for Oneness.    What is the essence of your spark?       Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi ...

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Hanukkah Night 4, 5776 – What Is Burning?

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photo by Gabi Mezger What is burning in your heart? What is burning to be expressed? To come out? To be shared with the world? To bring a blaze of light?   Whatever it may be... Let it out! Let it come forth! Let it shine!     Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan ...

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Rededicating Ourselves to Helping The Environment and the Poor During the Holiday Season

By Guest Blogger Maggie McCarthy,  JEI Environmental Intern   The winter months provide several occasions for celebration. Hanukkah is the festival of lights and celebrates the victory of the Jewish people over religious persecution.  The secular New Year is a time for reflection and renewal.  Though we find ample opportunity for gratitude during these holidays, many in our local community struggle with hunger and poverty. These issues result from, not only a lack of resources, but also from the mounting environmental crisis. Tumultuous environmental condit...

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Hanukkah Night 3, 5776 – Within and Without

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   Baruch atah Adonai - Blessed are You Adonai -- Blessed is the spark of G!d -- of Life, of Light, of Specialness, that burns within your being, within every living being. Blessed is the Spark. Eloheinu melech ha'olam - Our G!d, Sovereign of the Universe -- We acknowledge You, Source of All, from before time began to the end of time,  and beyond, from this pin point of place to the farthest ends of the Universe, and farther still. We acknowledge You. As the words of the blessings enter the ...

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Hanukkah Night 2, 5776 – Reflections

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger     The moon appears in the sky while sunlight still shimmers, the sky can still be called blue, and clouds are visible.   In the waning daylight, the reflection of the reflected light  we call moonlight sears a bright path across the sea.     As darkness rolls in the moon seems to brighten.        And when the darkness of the sky is complete - though ...

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Hanukkah 1 – 5776

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen Photos by Gabi Mezger   dark emotions lurk in our hearts heaviness weighs down our souls the night stretches on            interminably; we cannot see we are lost hope fades but the picture is incomplete a candle burns piercing the darkness anticipating dawn reviving hope carrying us forward into a new day Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan ...

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Conserving Our Oil: A Chanukah Message

Richard H. Schwartz   The Jewish festival of Chanukah commemorates the miracle of the oil that was enough for only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight days in the liberated Temple in Jerusalem. Hence, this holiday is a good time to consider our own use of fuel and other resources. Like Chanukah’s miraculous extension of scarce resources, vegetarianism also allows the increasingly scarce resources of our contemporary world to go much further. This is no trivial matter, since it is expected that future conflicts between nations might involve scarcities ...

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Chanukah and Vegetarianism

                       Chanukah and Vegetarianism  Jews can enhance their celebrations of the beautiful and spiritually meaningful holiday of Chanukah by making it a time to begin striving even harder to live up to Judaism’s highest moral values and teachings by moving toward a vegetarian (and preferably a vegan) diet. Please consider: 1. According to the Book of Maccabees, some Maccabees lived on plant foods since they were unable to get kosher meat when they hid in the mountains to avoid capture. 2. The foods associated with Channukah, ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 8 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this last night of the Festival of Re-Dedication, we light all eight candles, we complete the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and we add one last item to our list of promises to ourselves for the year to come. Hanukkah Night 8: The Litany of Harm: For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness! For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness! For all those who suffer from ...

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Hanukkah 5775 – Night 7 Re-Dedication Meditation

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen On this penultimate night of Hanukkah, we light seven candles, we continue the “Litany of Harm” and the “Call to Action,” and we consider a seventh way to strengthen our resolve to change the world in positive ways. Hanukkah Night 7: The Litany of Harm: For all those in island nations, where rising sea levels and superstorms threaten their very existence. We stand in witness! For all coastal cities and villages, where storm swells and flooding put lives and homes at risk. We stand in witness! For all those who suffer from ...

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