Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated in the winter. Outside of Israel, the festival is often considered as the Jewish equivalent to Xmas but this does not do justice to this wonderful festival that is a festival in its own right, with its own history, symbolism and traditions. Unfortunately, as with many other religions, Hanukkah has been commercialized and each year we find another Hanukkah accessory that we “simply can’t live without.” Sometimes, one just needs to go back to the roots and renew the appreciation for a festival in the simplest way, in order to realize the preciousness of it so we would like to present a list of ten lesser known facts about this wonderful festival, in the hope that it will bring back some of the glory to this special eight-day-period. Continue reading
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What is the Evil Eye?
There is a prevalent belief in a number of cultures that a malicious gaze can bring evil upon the target of the gaze. It is widely understood that some human beings possess powers that allow them to send what may be termed as destructive rays that can harm those they are envious of or simply dislike. An interesting question is how Judaism relates to such ideas. Continue reading
Another Hanukkah, another Gift-Fest?
Hanukkah 5763 (or 2012 according to the non-Jewish calendar) is rolling around and before long we will be racking our brains for appropriate holiday gifts. It has become customary to give gifts on the wintery festival of Hanukkah that celebrates the incredible victory of the band of Jewish guerilla fighters known as the Maccabees who fought against the mighty Greek army. Continue reading