An Engineers Perspective

Santa Clause: An Engineer’s Perspective There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million according

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Erev Chanuka

The Jewish people: we look at the holidays as opportunities, Mizvot as instructions for livings, holidays as seasons for growth. What is the opportunity of Chanukah? On Yom Kippur you can change. During Pesach you can be free. The events of Chanukah: The Nes of the Nerot

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Chanukah Sameach Quiz!

Chanuka Sameach! The holiday of Chanukah marks The Jewish victory against the Romans The Jewish victory against the Christians. The Jewish victory against the Greeks. The Jewish victory in the Greek Olympics. The Greeks wanted the Jews. to die. to assimilate. to buy Greek olives. to come

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History And Background of Chanukah Story

In general, Jewish national history may be broken down into four major periods of exile; the first was (15 century BCE) the Egyptian exile; the second may be divided into three sections, the Assyrian exile (564 BCE) during which the ten tribes were exiled, the Babylonian exile

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Chanukah

Chanukah is called the Festival of Lights. We light candles for eight days consecutively. What are we celebrating and since Chanukah, like Purim, is not a holiday from the Torah what need did we have as a people that the major holidays were not providing that Chanukah

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Miketz The Strong into the Hands of the Weak

based on teachings of Rav Weinberg zt’l During most years, the Shabbat of Parshat Mikeitz coincides with the festival of Chanukah. Hence, tens and tens of commentaries have established links and hints between Miketz and Chanukah. But there seems to be a more simple connection as well

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Chanukah – Rekindiling Our Inner Flame

Author: Rabbi Joel Padowitz During Chanukah Jews relive their military and ideological victory over ancient Greece. We still hear the echoes of this cultural clash today, as Winston Churchill wrote in his History of the Second World War, “No other two races [but the Jews and Greeks]

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Chanukah – The Festival of Hiddur

The gemara in Shabbos tells us that the reason the festival of Chanukah was fixed as a permanent festival was because of the miracle of the single flask of oil lasting 8 days.  Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz zt”l points out that the miracles that enabled the Hasmoneans to

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Chanukah – Hallel and Hodaa

Every Chanukah we celebrate the remarkable victory of the Jewish people over the mighty Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of the single flask of oil that lasted eight days.  We celebrate these events by lighting a Menorah for eight days and by saying the ‘Al HaNissim’

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Chanukah – The Battle of Chanukah

On Chanukah we celebrate the momentous defeat of the Hashmonaim over the mighty Greek army and the subsequent miracle of the shemen that lasted eight days.  The war with the Yavanim (Greeks) was far more than a standard military confrontation between two nations striving to attain power.  This was

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Chanukah – Perfectly Imperfect

Chanukah is one of the most observed of all the Jewish festivals – everyone enjoys lighting pretty menorahs and eating lots of doughnuts!  But beneath the enjoyable remembrance of how the Hasmoneans defeated the powerful Greek army lies a fundamental ideological battle, one that still rages today.  These two

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The ‘Miracles’ of Nature

It is a strange and disorienting panorama that Rabbi E. E. Dessler, the celebrated Jewish thinker (1892-1953) asks us to ponder: a world where the dead routinely rise from their graves but no grain or vegetation has ever grown. The thought experiment continues with the sudden appearance

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The Nature of Al HaNisim

(based on the teachings of Rav Yaakov Weinberg zt’l) The Nature of Al HaNisim Rav Yaakov Weinberg ZTL asked, why is it that we don’t say Al HaNisim on the 3 Regalim? Why do we only say this on Chanukah and Purim? What is the unique function

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Fear No Evil Hanukkah in the Soviet Gulag, 1980s

Author: A Different Light: The Hanukkah Celebration from A Different Light: The Hanukkah Celebration, page 53   Natan (Anatoli) Sharansky was arrested in 1977 for his Zionist activism, his insistence on the right of Russian Jews to make aliyah to Israel. However he was accused of the much more

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Chanukah

Author: Rabbi Paysach Freedman (based on address by Rav Zev Leff The Attack A man is walking peacefully down the street. Out of nowhere, someone appears, wielding an iron bar. He swings it mightily at the man’s legs. Both of his knees are shattered immediately. The injured

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Eugenics In Israel

Author: Tamara Traubmann A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the ‘best of people.’ Castrating the mentally ill, encouraging reproduction among families “numbered among

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Yehuda and Yosef: A Taste of Judgement Day

Breishit 36  Yehuda & Yosef: A Taste of Judgment Day (44:18—45) Ask: If you could schedule a personal appointment with G-d, would you do it? The only condition is that G-d is going to be completely honest with you—He’ll tell you exactly what you did right and what you

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The Power of the Menorah

Author: Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller The Temple in Jerusalem — where Jews once had a special connection to God — was destroyed 2,000 years ago. Any discussion of it today must seem arcane. What difference do the symbols of the Temple make to our collective life in the

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MYSTICAL ILLUMINATIONS OF THE MENORAH

1. Genesis begins the story of Chanukah. The very first line is a hint. Greece is darkness – Genesis. 2. This primordial darkness broken up by the first light. 3. Zohar – “The Tzaddik – foundation of the world, this is the foundation upon which the Holy

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‘And Darkness’: That is Greece

Author: Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky When explaining the deeper meanings of the Torah’s account of creation, our Sages have written that the nihilistic forces of tohu, vohu, choshech and tehom — “void, formlessness, darkness, and abyss” — are manifest in four nations that have risen to rule the world: Babylonia, Persia, Greece,

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The Beauty and the Light

Author: Mrs. Dina Coopersmith The Chanukah story took place during the time of the Second Temple in the Land of Israel. This was the time of Greek occupation of the land, about 139 BCE. Yet we find references in Talmudic sources that these events were already hinted

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Israel’s Glory vs. Greece’s Beauty

Author: Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky The Greeks restricted the world to yofi, “beauty,” while the Jews, descendants of Yehudah, opened the eyes of the world to hod, the “glory” that lies deep within. The mandrakes have released their scent, and at our doorsteps are to be found delicacies. (Song

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Thanking G-d for Misfortune and Deliverance

As we celebrate Chanukah, it is appropriate to cite the words of Rabbeinu Yonah in Shaarei Teshuvah., “When one receives Hashem’s chastisement and he improves his ways and deeds, it is proper for him to rejoice in his suffering, for they availed him great benefit, and he should

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