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Chanukah Learning with Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

  • November 24, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

  • Remote Access Only

“The Chanukah Story You Were Never Taught: What Really Happened 167-164 B.C.E”

Tuesday, November 24 | 8:00-9:30PM

Through a careful reading of the historical sources presented in Maccabees I and II, we will reconstruct the circumstances that occasioned the Maccabeean revolt – a civil war and/or a response to Antiochus’ persecution. Further study will reveal how the victors celebrated the first Chanukah as well as the theological meaning attributed to the liberation and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. We will also consider the ultimate consequences of the establishment of the Hasmonean kingdom and its long-term implications for the politics of the rabbinic tradition.

The session will include sources that establish a Jewish case for reparations as well as a plea for our active involvement in advocating for racial justice and for foundational social and structural change at this moment of national crisis.


“On the Radical Reframing of the Chanukah Miracle: From Military Victory to the Light of Peace”

Tuesday, December 8 | 8:00-9:30PM

An immersive study of Maimonides’ presentation of the Chanukah celebration. We will see how the faithful rationalist radically transforms the miracle story and turns the classic understanding of Chanukah on its head in a spiritual direction. A taste of modern Israeli poetry will illustrate the effort to recast the ancient holiday back again into a military guise that is compatible with the self-image and mythos of contemporary Israel.



B’nai Jeshurun
(212) 787-7600
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Remote Access Only
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