Why is Hanukkah Eight Days?

Nov 29, 2016  |  By Sarah Gold

The eight day festival of Hanukkah is something of an oddity. There are two other holidays that last this long: Passover and Sukkot. They are very different: Sukkot and Pesach are both biblical festivals given in the Torah, by God. They include all the restrictions associated with religious observance, so we don’t drive or use electricity, and significant day are spent in prayer. Hanukkah is different. It lasts eight days, […]

Category  : Judaism   

Your Guide to Lighting the Menorah

Nov 24, 2016  |  By Sarah Gold

Every holiday has its own unique traditions, and lighting candles is arguably Hanukkah’s most famous and iconic ritual. This is our guide to explain the basics of lighting your Hanukkah menorah. Who? Women and men are equally obligated in the mitzvah of candle lighting. In Ashkenazi households, every member of the family lights their own menorah; in Sephardi homes, the head of the household lights on behalf of their family. […]

Category  : Jewish Holidays   

Maybe-it’s-not-so-Mar Cheshvan

Nov 14, 2016  |  By Sarah Gold

This week, Jewish communities welcomed the Hebrew month Cheshvan, which is remarkable only in how utterly unremarkable it is. It is one of just two Jewish months in which there are no religious festivals or fast days. The other is Elul which has its own significance: it is the month in which we prepare for the High Holy Days by blowing the shofar daily and reciting the selichot prayers. Cheshvan, […]

Category  : Judaism