500 Questions and Answers on Chanukah Jeffrey M. Cohen

ISBN: 9780853036760

Published: January 1st 2006

Hardcover

235 pages


Description

500 Questions and Answers on Chanukah  by  Jeffrey M. Cohen

500 Questions and Answers on Chanukah by Jeffrey M. Cohen
January 1st 2006 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 235 pages | ISBN: 9780853036760 | 7.25 Mb

This is probably the most comprehensive and detailed treatment of the festival of Chanukah in the English language. It commences by placing the festival in its historical context by surveying the history of the Jewish people from Abraham untilMoreThis is probably the most comprehensive and detailed treatment of the festival of Chanukah in the English language. It commences by placing the festival in its historical context by surveying the history of the Jewish people from Abraham until Alexander.

It proceeds to explain the origin, nature and ramifications of Hellenism and the spiritually-corrosive effects it had on Judea. Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen employs his customary analyitcal approach in looking at the classical sources afresh in order to describe the stages of the Maccabean revolt and the reoccupation and cleansing of the Temple. A major question that he addresses is how such a unique military victory could have been so down-played in Jewish tradition to the extent that the miracle of the oil, rather than the courageous Maccabean exploits, has become the popular rationale of the entire festival.

The writer describes the traditional explanations, and explains why they fail to satisfy. His approach is to subject the five main literary sources for the festival- I and II Maccabees, Megillat Taanit, Talmud and liturgy -to close analysis, and to offer a rationale for their variant descriptions and explanations of the purpose of the festival, and why the two books of the Maccabees, for example, make no mention of the miracle of the oil. His research leads him to reassess the various stages of the evolution of the festival, from the first century BCE, and through the talmudic times, and to offer a theory which also accounts for the different names for the festival employed by those early sources.

Following the structure of his previous books, 1001 Questions & Answers on Pesach and 1001 Questions & Answers on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the author provides an encyclopaedic treatment of the festival, embracing its philosophy, theology, rabbinic insights into the festival, its laws (including womens obligations) and customs, its celebration in home and synagogue, how exotic Jewish communities have observe



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