Hanukkah: From Ancient to Modern Times

Prof. Marc Bregman

With Hanukkah not mentioned in the Bible, the series begins with a brief survey of Scriptural antecedents to the holiday and its historical context in Second Temple Times. This leads to a summary of the
Books of the Maccabees, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid Empire (312–64 BCE) that were preserved in Christian sources. We continue with a survey of Hanukkah in Rabbinic Literature, focusing on the Torah Readings and Haftarot for Hanukkah as reflected in Liturgy and Midrash. We conclude with a look at the medieval Jewish retellings of the story of the Maccabees and a more recent “Sicha” (discourse) in the Chabad tradition based on a Rabbinic Hanukkah midrash.


Biblical and Second Temple Origins

Sunday | December 4 | 8pm (1pm EST)


Rabbinic Tradition

Sunday | December 11 | 8pm (1pm EST)


Medieval and Hasidic Times

Sunday | December 18 | 8pm (1pm EST)

Past events

More on the subject