The open tent, the figuring out how to welcome those whom others don’t welcome, is the essence of Judaism. To cease to be the oppressor.
Though Hannukah is a few weeks away, the second session of Book Club: Finding Sparkle in the Jewish Calendar took a moment to explore cultural questions brought up by the story of the Maccabees and the Hellenists. Abigail drew a connection between the conflict of the two groups and the difficulties of “embracing the other” in Jewish communities. As Judaism in the twenty-first century ranges from secular adaptation to strong holds on tradition, from Jews who celebrate Christmas to Jews who practice halakhah, we reflected on a new interpretation of the age-old story: “How often do we use Hanukkah as an opportunity to examine how we hold on to our values/principles and sit with others who are different?”
“Why I Light My Menorah in the Window and Why You Should Too” Edmon J Rodman, JTA