Jewish Journal

  • Emek Ha-Hodayah: The Valley of Gratitude

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    November 27, 2013 | 11:17 am

    Chanukah and Thanksgiving don’t line up very well for me. Chanukah celebrates an unlikely military victory, of the “few against the many.” The closest rough equivalent to Chanukah in the American tradition is probably the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. Had...

  • Chanukah, mom and me

    Ellen Alperstein, Contributing Writer

    November 27, 2013 | 11:08 am

    Many years ago, when my mother downsized from her roomy suburban condo to a smaller, high-rise version in downtown Denver, she had to cull the storage herd. Among the files that didn’t make the cut was a packet of my early literary oeuvre, which she sent to me. 

    The contents,...

  • Openness, acceptance spreads the light

    Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

    November 27, 2013 | 11:02 am

    The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, which this year, uncharacteristically begins the night before Thanksgiving, is popularized by a rabbinic myth. The myth tells of a cruse of oil lasting seven days beyond its expected usage; the oil’s account appears tucked away in the Talmud.


  • Keeping the peace versus publicizing the miracle

    Shraga Bar-On

    November 27, 2013 | 10:58 am

    Our lives are full of value judgments. We learn to make decisions on these issues when dilemmas relating to our society, our religion, our culture or ourselves arise. While it is easy to declare loyalty to a particular value, it is very difficult to decide which value to prefer...

  • What if the Maccabees lost?

    By Jared Sichel

    November 27, 2013 | 10:39 am

    What if Chanukah wasn’t Chanukah? 

    What if, instead of recalling the Maccabean victory over the Seleucid rulers of Judea in the second century B.C.E., the conflict was remembered as a tragic failure? How would a Jewish loss have impacted Judaism? How would it have impacted the...

  • Finding LGBT pride in Chanukah

    By Ryan Torok

    November 26, 2013 | 4:10 pm

    Fifteen years ago, Stephen Sass and his husband, Steven Hochstadt, consecrated their commitment to each other during a religious marriage ceremony that took place during Chanukah. The timing was intentional.

    “Chanukah has always resonated deeply for me as a Jew and as a gay man,...

  • Chocolate freedoms of Chanukah and Thanksgiving

    Deborah R. Prinz

    November 26, 2013 | 3:22 pm

    The freedom food of chocolate should star in desserts for Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Puritans seeking asylum in North America and Jews hiding from the Inquisition in New Spain (Mexico) had their first encounters with chocolate in the 17th century. Chocolate paves the religious...

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