Category Archives: Judaism

To Say and to Pray

Hanukkah is not a biblical festival – we still drive, go to work, and study as usual – but some extra prayers and blessings make an appearance in our normal daily prayers. This is a quick introduction to the extra things we say and pray over Hanukkah. Al hanisim: the al hanisim prayer is added […]

Why is Hanukkah Eight Days?

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 […]

Maybe-it’s-not-so-Mar Cheshvan

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 […]