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Monday, December 7, 2015

Have a Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah began yesterday. As many of you know, it commemorates the rededication of the Jewish (Second) Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It's observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which can occur at any time from late November to late December. It's popularity (at least in secular culture) has grown considerably in recent years, but its origins and traditions remain obscure for most.

To help in this regard, a recent Research on Religion podcast ("Elie Estrin on the History and Traditions of Chanukah") interviews Rabbi Elie Estrie, director of the University of Washington’s Chabad and chaplain with the 627th Air Base Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, about Chanukah's history and tradition. Here's a brief summary of the podcast (from the Research on Religion website):
With Chanukah season upon us, we invite Rabbi Elie Estrin, director of the University of Washington’s Chabad, to explain the history, meaning, and traditions of the holiday. We cover recent archaeological discoveries in Israel, different ways Chanukah has been celebrated over time, and what it is like celebrating Jewish holidays in a predominately Christian nation. For those not familiar with Chanukah, this is a wonderful introduction and Rabbi Estrin also connects it to the importance of religious liberty in our contemporary world.
You can listen to the podcast at the Research on Religion website ("Elie Estrin on the History and Traditions of Chanukah") or download it from iTunes. Of course, I can't leave this post without a nod to Adam Sandler's, "The Chanukah Song."


Have a Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy Chanukah!

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