Exploring how Soviet Jewry celebrated Chanukah!
Produced by the Lookstein Center’s Refusenik Project.
Read this text, written by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks for the OU.
After you have read the source sheet, discuss the following questions related to the text and the holiday of Chanukah.
- How was life for Jews under Alexander the Great similar to life for Soviet Jews?
- What do we learn from the Maccabees?
- Why did the Maccabees bother to search for oil? What do we learn from this?
- What has survived from the suffering of Jews in the FSU? Why did Soviet Jews begin to seek a new life in Israel in 1967?
- According to Rabbi Sacks, how did Gorbechev become part of the Chanukah story? Do you agree?
- What is the Jewish response to a tragedy, according to our history?
- How is the tradition of lighting candles a logical response to remembering a tragedy
- Why do Shabbat candles take priority over Chanukah candles?
- Why did some communities want to stop celebrating Chanukah?
- How are the words in Hatikvah a reflection of the fact that we still celebrate Chanukah, Pesach, Yom HaShoah, etc?
- Why do some people light Chanukah candles outside?
How does the way in which we light Chanukah candles inspire us to make the world better?