Each week, one of our distinguished faculty, mentors, or alumni dedicate themselves to providing you with insightful and inspiring torah commentary. In this section you will find this week's parsha hashavua - weekly torah portion commentary - as well as podcasts, videos and links to other resources for you to explore and enjoy. 


Hanukkah: Rites and Responsibilities

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
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by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on December 8, 2020
Hanukkah is not a holiday that gets a lot of attention in the earliest rabbinic texts (the Mishnah and its sister text, the Tosefta). It is known as a holiday but only a few of the dos (say Hallel, read Torah) and don’ts (say Musaf, declare a fast day, have excessive wailing at a funeral) are described. The reasons for celebrating Hanukkah are never given, and its most central ritual, the lighting of the Hanukkah lamp, appears only incidentally, in a context that isn’t particularly about Hanukkah at all. Read more...