Although the medieval recasting of Hanukkah as a celebration of the victories of the Maccabees is important, the core of the talmudic observance celebrates the Sages' stand against assimilation and religious zealotry.
In a sense, we each are two people: our heavenly ideal self; and our earthly self. The heavenly self is an ideal to which we should aspire. We are each born with unique talents, sensitivities, opportunities. If we strive to develop to our maximum potential, we can approach the heavenly ideal of ourselves.
The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals
and Lincoln Square Synagogue
Invite you to a double book reception and program:
The tale of the Ben Hecht can help remind us that Israel is a moral and humanitarian enterprise. It took the bravery and the sacrifices of so many to build a country where refugees could rebuild their lives in freedom and allow their dynamism to contribute so much to the well-being of the world.
The Torah does not insist on democratic rights; the Torah antedates modern democracy. Torah-observing Jews have survived under many other sorts of political entities. The Torah clearly wants us to create a virtuous society, in which the powerful protect the weakest and most vulnerable, who represent the “image of God” as well as powerful people do.
We sadly note the passing of Mrs. Emy Cohenca, a devoted supporter of our Institute since its founding in 2007.
Perhaps the Torah is teaching us to be attentive to the Leahs and Rebeccas among us. No one should have to die feeling that their lives had been unfulfilled, second best, unimportant to those among whom they lived.
The story of Isaac and Abimelech repeats itself in various forms throughout history. It is a reminder of human conflict and reconciliation, enmity and peaceful relations. It is a story that speaks to us today.
When Abraham died, the Torah informs us that “Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah.” How did Ishmael learn about Abraham’s death? He had been banished many years earlier. Who invited him to the funeral?
The unprecedented pogrom of November 9-10, 1938 in Germany has passed into history as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). Violent attacks on Jews and Judaism throughout the Reich and in the recently annexed Sudetenland began on November 8 and continued until November 11 in Hannover and the free city of Danzig, which had not then been incorporated into the Reich.