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As children, we learn to be afraid of the dark. We learn to associate darkness with the unknown, monsters under the bed, and shadows that loom eerily out of proportion. But what if we could hold the darkness as we hold the light? What if this year, when we light the candles of our hanukiyah, we admire not only the light of the fire but acknowledge the place of the darkness?
You’ll find in this guide texts both for adults and for families with kids to accompany you each night. As your candles burn and you hold both light and darkness, gather yourself and your loved ones, and make space in your home for a little learning.
Tuesday, December 15, 7:30-8:30 PM Eastern
Hanukkah offers an opportunity for cheer and solace amid the hardships of our time. We invite you to sing and learn with Hadar as we gather to celebrate and commemorate the triumphs of resilience and survival, past and present. Equal parts conversation, prayer, study, and song, we will delve into the lyrics of Joey Weisenberg’s music, explore relevant words of Torah with Rabbi Aviva Richman, and join together to sing melodies of joy and celebration.
December 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, 5:30-5:50 PM Eastern
Spreading the light and joy of Hanukkah has rarely been so challenging and so necessary. In the face of uncertainty and a global pandemic, we hold up our light and hope for better. Join Hadar faculty throughout Hanukkah to learn, connect, and light the candles. We will share some Torah and fulfill this mitzvah in community, with blessings and song.
Lunchtime Learning with Rabbi Yitz Greenberg
Wednesday, December 16, 12:00-1:00 PM Eastern
The Hanukkah story is generally understood as a showdown between Greek Hellenism and the upholders of Jewish tradition. The truth is more complicated. This session will make the case that there were actually three streams in the Jewish community who played a role in the Hanukkah narrative: The Jewish Hellenizers, the ‘Hasidim,’ and the Maccabees. We will explore the thought and practice of each group and the critical issues of the time that animated them such as: Can you fight a military battle on Shabbat? Can humans rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) or must they wait for it to be restored by a miraculous lowering of a new purified building from heaven. Finally, we’ll ask, if the actual Maccabee victory occurred in Tishrei-Cheshvan, why is Hanukkah celebrated at the end of Kislev?