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A Question for the Second Day of Hanukkah and Update on Our Fall Subscription Drive

A Hanukkah Oil Lamp in Jerusalem
Each night of Hanukkah I am posing a question for discussion, Each of these questions is included in an original Hanukkah Seder I composed in collaboration with the chef, Emily Moore .
We will be doing the Hanukkah Seder on Friday night, December 7, 2018 at the WeWork Center in Lincoln Square, Downtown Bellevue starting at 7:00pm. To preregister for this unique Hanukkah event, click, HERE.
Question for the 2nd Night of Hanukkah
How was Hannukah a Culture War?
As we read and discuss the text below, we will dip Greek Pita into Sweet Almond Oil.
Mishnah: These are the festivities of the idolaters: Kalenda, Saturnalia, Kratesis. The anniversary of accession to the throne as well as [royal] birthdays and anniversaries of deaths.
Gemara (commentary on the Mishnah): Said Rav Hanan bar Raba: Kalenda is kept on the 8 days following the [winter] equinox.
Our Rabbis taught: When primitive Adam saw the day getting gradually shorter, he said, 'Woe is me, perhaps I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!' So he began keeping an 8 day fast. But as he observed the winter equinox and noted the day getting increasingly longer, he said, 'This is the world's course.',and he set forth to keep an 8 day festival. In the following year he appointed both as festivals. Now , he fixed them for the sake of Heaven, but the [heathens] appointed them for the sake of idolatry. (Source: Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Avodah Zarah 8a
The Talmud reveals an ancient template to the 8 day festivals of the early winter.  How does Hanukkah get into the mix? Why is the Talmud seem to suggest that the idolaters corrupted the "primitive festivals"?  Is Hanukkah a reclamation of a primitive awareness? What do you think?
Rabbi Dov Gartenberg
Convener and Director of Panim Hadashot-New Faces

Panim Hadashot Fall Subscription Campaign Update

Our Objectives
  • Milestone 1: Signup at least 18 subscribers a month starting October 2018 for a total of 54 subscribers by 12/31/18.
  • Milestone 2: Achieve a revenue flow from subscriptions of at least $2500 a month to help us continue to support Shabbat Hospitality all around Seattle.

As of Sunday, December 2, 2018, Erev Hanukkah,

  • Twenty Seven households have become subscribers. We have 27 more subscribers to go.
  • We have achieved a monthly revenue flow of $2913 reaching our second milestone early.  RAV TODOT-Much thanks to the generosity of our donors.  We are resetting the end of the year revenue flow to $4000.

Please support Panim Hadashot-New Faces by making a monthly recurring subscription. Click on the link to subscribe:

Or if you prefer, make a year end online donation. Click on the link to donate.

Thank you to everyone who has become a monthly subscriber or given a generous  annual gift equivalent to a subscription.

If you prefer to send us a check, send it to our mailing address: Panim Hadashot | 115 N. 85th St. Suite 202, Seattle, WA 98103.

Please send a note to to let us know to look for your donation.  All subscriptions, donations, and gifts are tax deductible.
  1.  Yulia and Nir Arad, Board Member
  2.  Hilary Bernstein, Board Member
  3.  Anna Boiko-Weyrauch
  4.  Alan Fingeroot
  5. Rabbi Alan Iser
  6. Roberta and Larry Jordan
  7. Jan Gartenberg and Don Kroll
  8. Marc and Joan Gartenberg
  9. Ina Gartenberg
  10. Joel and Barbara Konikow, Board Member
  11. Ron and Jana Mohr-Lone
  12. Ari Lacenski
  13. Janet Levy and Bill Pauli
  14. Lorne and Elizabeth Richmond
  15. Lisa Orlick and Corey Salka
  16. Sam Perlin, Board Member
  17. Helene Rubens
  18. *Paul and Robin Lichter
  19. *Oren Etzioni
  20. *Ruth Etzioni
  21. *Gilbert and Marlyn Scherer
  22. Beth Huppin
  23. David Bierman
  24. Sam Aborne
  25. Michael Newman and Elaine Sachter
  26. Fred Connan

*Subscribed/Donated or increased their subscription during the two weeks