Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Nisan 16, 5774
Our tradition offers up contradictory reasons regarding why Chanukah is celebrated for eight days. The Mishnah (the Oral Law - written down in the beginning of the third century C.E.) states that the holiday is celebrated because of the miracle of the oil. Yet the book of Maccabees - the account written by those who participated in the rebellion against...
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According to legend, Jewish freedom-fighters holding secret meetings while plotting against the Syrians, pretended they were merely gambling. Back then, people gambled with a top - called a dreidel in Yiddish - spinning it and letting it fall to see what letter appeared on top. That is why we play dreidel games at Chanukah; it's also why we hand out...
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King Solomon, the third king of Israel, lived in a splendid palace surrounded by lavish gardens filled with all sorts of colorful, sweet-smelling flowers. One day as he sat in his garden thinking important thoughts, he was startled by a pain on his royal nose. "Ouch!" cried King Solomon, touching his red, swollen nose. "I think I have been stung...
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Insects have been described as the little creatures that run the world, and there's a lot of truth to this seemingly simple statement. Insects are the principle pollinators of plants, and we would not have many of the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy if it were not for them. Insects are food for many types of animals: birds, fish,...
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The construction of an eruv - a symbolic barrier surrounding an area within which observant Jews are halachically permitted to carry things outside of their homes on Shabbat - has for years been a dream of many in Center City. And now that Mayor John Street has signed into law a City Council ordinance approving the eruv, the only apparent...
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