Chanukah and DEI

DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), a perspective and movement that is common in American universities and colleges, seems to stem from Greek thought. Thus, apropos for looking at during Chanukah. Especially with what is happening on college campuses post October 7th. To this day, the Greeks are fighting for our mindshare.

Shmini Atzeret

Shmini Atzeret is a hidden holiday. We tend to treat Shmini Atzeret like the eighth day of Sukkos. Similar to the eighth day of Pesach. But the eighth day of Pesach is actually the eighth day of Pesach. Shmini Atzeret is not the eighth day of Sukkos. Shmini Atzeret immediately follows the seven days of … [Read more…]

Tisha b’Av

On Tisha b’Av, we speak extensively about terrible things that have happened to the Jewish nation and the Jews within our nation. This includes the destruction of the first and second bais hamikdash. But why have these terrible things happened to us? Hashem explicitly tells us because our averas, our sins, our doing things that … [Read more…]

Fasting

A person can live at least one week without water. For many, longer. A person can last two to three months without food. For many, longer. This being the case, why are so many people so uncomfortable when they fast? A medical doctor can tell a person that their current hunger during a fast is … [Read more…]

Burning Chometz

I believe, for me (and very likely you and most everyone on earth), when I’m good in my head, I’ll be good. Not good as in “a good boy” as if I’m still a child trying to get other’s approval. But good as in tov, as in whole, complete. That’s my goal. Burnt my chometz … [Read more…]

Fasting and Teshuva

How does fasting help us to do Teshuva? Discomfort – When we fast, we’re uncomfortable. This discomfort can serve as an impetus for teshuva. Your lack of food creates an unwholeness, a lack of Shalame-ness, much like your averas create an unwholeness, a lack of Shalame-ness. By feeling this unwholeness in your life through the … [Read more…]

Asara b’Tevet (Tenth of Tevet)

Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia sieged Jerusalem on the Tenth of Tevet. Eighteen months later, on the 17th of Tammuz, he broke through the city walls. Three weeks later, on Tisha b’Av, the siege ended with the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah.  The Tenth of Tevet is thus … [Read more…]

Chanukah: Kohain Gadol and Jew in Galus

The contrast of the Bais HaMikdash Menorah and the Chanukah Menorah is like the contrast between the Kohain Gadol in the Bais HaMikdash and a Jew in galus. The Kohain Gadol, like the Bais HaMikdash Menorah, is wholly pure, is solely connected to Torah and Mitzvahs. Alternatively, the Jew in galus, like the Chanukah Menorah, … [Read more…]

Chanukah: How to Build a Fire

We live in a world where we flick a light switch and a room is immediately illuminated. But, min haTeva, living in accordance with nature, this is not how we light a room. To light a room, one finds a small flame, a spark. This spark, this flame is, by definition, flammable but it will … [Read more…]

Chanukiah

The Chanukiah, the Chanukah Menorah, reminds us of the Bais HaMikdash Menorah. This seven-branched Bais HaMikdash Menorah is a primary symbol of the Jewish nation. Though it wasn’t actually always burning, the Bais HaMikdash Menorah represents a Ner Tamid, a light that was always burning. A light to combat darkness. Like many objects and acts … [Read more…]