Where Does Hanukkah Come from?

Nov. 26 2021

Hanukkah may be one of the best-known Jewish holidays, but its status is anomalous if not marginal. The two books of Maccabees were excluded from the Hebrew Bible, and the holiday appears in the Talmud almost as an afterthought. The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus describes Hanukkah, but says he does not know why it is called the “festival of lights.” Medieval rabbis questioned the exact nature of the Hanukkah miracle. Rabbi Hayyim Angel sorts through these difficulties and concludes with a provocative thesis about the holiday’s origins. (Audio, about 1 hour; talk starts at 14:15).

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Read more at YU Torah

More about: Hanukkah, Hellenism, Josephus, Maccabees, Talmud

 

The Demise of UNRWA Is Long Overdue

June 27 2022

The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)—which provides educational and social services to the descendants of Palestinian refugees—recently predicted disaster if the organization is unable to raise $100 million in the next few months. Ruthie Blum explains why this official’s claim that UNRWA “is indispensable in the lives of Palestinian refugees” is simply false:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, UNRWA