This year we celebrate the festival of Purim on March 1st. The story is recounted in the biblical book of Esther and has lessons which are relevant today, several thousand years later.
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Chanukah coincides each year with the reading of the story of Joseph in the cycle of weekly Torah portions. Our sages have discovered numerous connections between this holiday and the Joseph narrative. I’d like to suggest an additional connection help us appreciate what might be Chanukah’s underlying spiritual motif.
The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av begins tonight (Wednesday, July 29) at sunset. This day marks the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, in 423 BCE and 69 CE by the Babylonians and the Romans respectively.