The Essence of Hanukkah: Creating Light or Kindling Fire?-Rabbi Morris Panitz-November 27, 2021 – Is the work of transformation primarily about building positive habits or rooting out negative behaviors? Lighting the hanukkiah offers a glimpse into both strategies and a challenge for the 8 nights of Hanukkah.
To Soften the Darkness-Shabbat Vayeshev 5781-Rabbi Sharon Brous-December 12th, 2020 – Our Jewish tradition calls us to be extremists in one way and one way only: in the fight to mitigate the darkness and bring more light into the world. A look at Hanukkah in dark times, America’s fatal attraction to the death penalty, and our stubborn insistence that we can and must do better.
Hanukkah in May-Shabbat Behar Behukotai-Rabbi David Kasher-May 8th, 2021 – We are, thank God, finally coming back to pray together in person. So what will this experience of reentry be like for us, after having been apart for so long? In our tradition, we have a word for this act of rededication: ‘Hanukkah.’ And if the Hanukkah ceremonies of the past are any indication, this will be a complicated emotional process.
Joseph, The Real Hero of Hanukkah?-Shabbat Vayeishev-Rabbi David Kasher-December 21st, 2019 – The way the Jewish Calendar tracks with the cycle of reading the Torah, we are always in the Joseph story during Hanukkah. And so, every year, there are a slew of valiant rabbinic attempts to somehow link the figure of Joseph to the themes of Hanukkah. But all of this effort is a bit ironic, since Hanukkah seems to celebrate the Maccabees resisting cultural assimilation, whereas Joseph is perhaps the most successfully assimilated character in the Torah. Yet it is precisely for that reason that Joseph may be just the Hanukkah hero we need.
By The Hand of a Woman: Judith and the Miracles of Hanukkah-Shabbat Miketz-Rabbi Sharon Brous-December 8th, 2018 – In an era of radical reclamation, what will we learn when marginalized stories move to the center?
The Light That Will Shine-Shabbat Miketz-Rabbi Sharon Brous-December 16th, 2017 – Rabbi David Hoffman teaches that Hanukkah is about “experiencing fear, vulnerability, and darkness and not being consumed.” May 2018 be the year in which the sun starts to bring greater and greater light into our days and our hearts.
Winter Solstice-Shabbat Vayashev-Rabbi Nate DeGroot-December 24th, 2016 – Hanukkah, our little festival of light, comes in the dark of winter to proclaim that great miracles are possible if only we take the first step.
Against the Dying of the Light-Shabbat Vayetzei-Guest sermon-Rabbi Adam Greenwald-December 10th, 2016 – Talking Hanukkah, light, and spiritual resistance in a dark time.
IKARites Darkness in the Light stories: