I grew up loving this holiday – until I learned the dark side and felt like a kid discovering that there’s no Santa Claus. It turns out Hanukkah is, in part, a tale of Jew vs. Jew.
According to Rashi, we light Hanukkah candles to “publicize the miracle.” What exactly is the miracle we’re publicizing – and what’s the best way for us to do so today?
Whenever I'm asked if the Jewish holidays are coming early or late this year, I promptly answer that they'll be coming on time. And that's partially true. Rosh Hashanah will always arrive on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei just as Hanukkah will always begin on the 25th of Kislev.
Sometimes we create our own traditions, sometimes we carry on a tradition we inherit, and sometimes a tradition can come from unexpected places.
Now that my daughter is in preschool, I've come to realize that hearing about cultural and religious practices directly from the practitioners only emphasizes our otherness.
On "Black Friday," I went to the mall, and for the first time since my conversion many years ago, I felt an empty pit in my stomach.