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hanukkah history

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The Shocking, Not-So-Oily History of the Latke

By On December 29, 2016

If for the past week, you’ve forked up a pile of potato latkes fried in olive oil, thinking you’re channeling the persistence of your Hasmonean ancestors, think again. Far from being canonical,… Read More

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The Secret History of “I Have a Little Dreidel”

By On December 7, 2015

You’ve probably never heard of the late Samuel E. Goldfarb, but chances are good that you’ve heard the music he’s written. In fact, you probably know one of his songs by heart:… Read More

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The Slippery History of Jews & Olive Oil

By On December 2, 2013

What’s so holy about olive oil? On Hanukkah, olive oil is a part of the story. According to the Talmud the Maccabees only found one sealed vessel of consecrated olive oil with which to light the… Read More

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The Secret History of Hanukkah

By On November 27, 2013

Everything your Hebrew school taught you about the miracle of Hanukkah is a lie. According to the Book of Maccabees, which most scholars believe was written shortly after the Maccabean revolt, Hanukkah was born of another… Read More