Chanukah, known as the Festival of Lights, uses a hybridized version of the original menorah -- eight cups instead of seven, to hearken back to the original as well as to commemorate the great miracle of the single cruise of oil lasting for eight days.
Originally, G-d didn't care about good and evil or the Torah. Then, out of an act of absolute selflessness He decided He would care about this stuff. With all this in mind, we can now begin to appreciate the secret of Rosh Hashanah according to Chassidus.
Yesterday was proclaimed National Education and Sharing Day in tribute to the late Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem Schneerson's birthday. It baffles me that the Chabad movement has inspired such an observance.
While one must not tar all ultra-Orthodox Jews with the brush of intolerance, the fact is that the antagonism displayed by haredim toward other Jews is becoming ever more extreme. It was not always thus.
What more is there to say about the Lubavitcher Rebbe 16 years after his passing that has not already been said? I was pondering that question as I walked the streets of my boyhood town of Miami Beach over Passover.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe brought about the greatest Jewish spiritual revolution of all time, and by the time he died he had almost single-handedly reversed the tide of two centuries of Jewish assimilation.
The Rebbe replaced religious judgment with an impassioned humanity. His message became a mantra: give charity, pray daily, offer hospitality, and love every stranger as oneself. He gave faith back its heart.