What happens when an ancient holiday is rebranded for modern audiences? For Israelis, Hanukkah was reinvented as a celebration of Jewish heroism, of our ability to persevere against overwhelming threats, with the Maccabean warrior as the precursor to the IDF. In contrast, in North America Hanukkah has been rebranded as a universal battle against religious suppression, with the Hanukah lights as beacons for interfaith ecumenism and religious tolerance.
In this episode Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss what this dichotomy says about the two largest Jewish communities in the world. Click here for Elana’s sources from this episode.
A transcript of this episode is available here.
Subscribe on all major platforms
For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of Machloket l’shem shemayim, “disagreeing for the sake of heaven.”