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Identity/Crisis

Unpacking the Meaning of Hanukkah

Exploring historical and religious interpretations of the holiday
Yehuda Kurtzer, Joshua Kulp
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Yehuda is a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, on Jewish history and Jewish memory, and on questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda led the creation of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in 2010 as a pioneering research and educational center for the leadership of the North American Jewish community, and teaches in

Joshua Kulp

How did Hanukkah transform from a story about a military conquest and temple rededication into the festival of lights that we celebrate today? In this episode, Yehuda Kurtzer studies texts about Hanukkah with Joshua Kulp, senior scholar at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and scholar of ancient Judaism. They argue about the meaning of Hanukkah as they explore the rabbinic relationship with militarism as well as historical and religious interpretations of the events connected to the Hanukkah story.

View and download the source sheet for this episode here.

A transcript of this episode is available here.

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In a frenzied media cycle, Identity/Crisis delves into the big ideas behind the news from a uniquely Jewish perspective. Host Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, talks with leading thinkers to unpack current events effecting Jewish communities in North America, Israel, and around the world, revealing the core Jewish values underlying the issues that matter to you.

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

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