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Spotlight on Modi’in: Ancient Birthplace of the Maccabees.

Modi’in used to be more famous for its past than its present. But not any more. Today, this ancient birthplace of the Maccabees is about to become Israel’s fourth largest city. Once famous for its Hasmonean roots, modern day Modi’in has more than 150,000 residents and is Israel’s first planned city. Mentioned in the Talmud […]






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Hanukkah: Heroes & Villains

Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said, “Women are obligated to light the Hanukah menorah for they took part in the miracle” (Shabbat 23a) Two heroines emerge from the Hanukah story that often get lost in the heroic tales of the Maccabees. Their names were Judith and Hannah and they also symbolizes the victory of the Jews […]






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Hannukah: Laws & Customs

The Menorah: Candles are lit on a menorah, or Chanukiah, in Hebrew. A kosher menorah must have space for eight candles all lined up in a straight row. All eight candles must have the same height. A ninth, extra, space must be raised above the other eight candle branches.  So, the fancy candelabra you may […]






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Hanukkah: Religious Meaning

HaRabim Beyad HaMeatim: The victory of the few over the many. This Hebrew phrase stands for the unfaltering resolve of the Jewish people. It was not only true in the days of the Hashmonaim, it is true today. The tiny land of Israel has always been surrounded by hostile nations. Even before the Maccabean victory […]






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Hanukkah 101:

Hanukah, Feast of Dedication / Festival of Lights Hanukah, the Hebrew word meaning dedication, is celebrated for eight days in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually occurs in mid to late December. Hanukah recalls the struggle for religious freedom and commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Hellenistic Syrians in the year 165 […]






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