General

Chanukah Gelt - Where does the custom of "Chanukah gelt" (of giving money to children) come from? My understanding is that the practice of giving presents is adapted from the non-Jewish holidays which occur in the same season. Is it just a non-Jewish… More »
December Dilemma - Every year I am challenged as a mother by the proximity of Chanukah to Christmas, especially in a year like this where the two actually coincide. How can our candles possible compete with their stunning display of colorful lights, gift-filled… More »
Dreidel Game - I read that some students in New York beat the world record for dreidel spinning, with 618 people simultaneously spinning dreidels. As a kid I remember playing a game where everyone spins a dreidel and then gets to take money… More »
Final Judgment on Chanukah - I heard there is a Midrash that the Book of Judgment is open even after the High Holidays, and is not sealed until the last day of Chanukah. Can you explain the idea behind this? More »
Greek Defilement - During the war against the Maccabees, why did the Greeks make such an effort to attack the Holy Temple in Jerusalem? More »
Jewish Holidays and Celebrating our Enemies’ Destruction - I have a coworker who has some pretty anti-semitic views about a lot of things. I’m not Jewish either but I’ve tried my best to defend the Jews against him. Most of his “claims” are patent nonsense and he probably… More »
Maoz Tzur - I remember singing Maoz Tzur as a child during Chanukah. What does this song mean, and how does it go? More »
Seasons Greetings? - Do you wish someone "Happy Chanukah" in the same way you wish someone "Merry Xmas"? I have met some Jewish friends on my travels, and I wish to send them seasons greetings. But I'm unsure what to write. Thank you. More »
The Books of the Maccabees - I’ve been reading about the history of Hanukkah and found that a lot of the material comes from the Book of the Maccabees. What is that work? Is it a sacred work, part of the Torah, or just a work… More »
Women in the Chanukah Story - In the Chanukah story, did the women have any part of the fighting? What was their role? More »
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