Crash Course on Chanukah

A fascinating overview of the history and meaning of the holiday.

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Comments (35)

(25) Anonymous, December 10, 2012 9:57 PM

stupendous indeed !!! This is the best way to educated the none Jews as well and I think it does works

(24) Anonymous, December 10, 2012 2:32 PM

response to (19) angel, December 19, 2011 12:18 PM

Rabbi Goldhar; what is your response to Angella's question: "How does the idea of One G-d improve international relations?...Democracy seems to me to fit the multiple gods idea much better." Thank you.

Avraham Goldhar, December 14, 2012 6:47 AM

Please read my response to Angela (19) presented there.

I believe I answered her in full. Please let me know if something still isn't clear.

(23) Elena Tal, November 21, 2012 7:47 PM

Best Video!

Your videos are some of the best on the Aish website. You are straight to the point, and teach the information and messages with such clarity, that makes it very easy to understand (and remember), without trying to align with the secular world to get your point across. All the videos should be more like yours!

(22) rosemary goldhar, December 23, 2011 4:40 AM

fantastic so informative even at my OLD age

you are so easy to listen to . I have loved all the 5 minute lectures and look forward to the m all the time. What a Mitzvah you are doing in sharing your SOUL ad LOVE of learning.

(21) Anonymous, December 21, 2011 4:32 PM


The Crash Courses by Rabbi Avraham Goldhar are all so well done. He has done it again with his Crash Course on Chanukah. Who needs years of a conservative Sunday School when you can learn more in 5 minutes from The Goldhar School. Well Done.

(20) Michal Leah Goss, December 20, 2011 4:58 PM

Rabbi Goldhar you are the best. Your Chanukah video was just fabulous. I will pass it on to my grandchildren

(19) angella, December 19, 2011 12:18 PM

One God - how can this idea be reconciled with democracy?

The Greek man asking a Jew to sacrifice a pig on a former altar was clearly a hostile provocation. But how does the idea of one God improve international relations? It seems to me that wars are all started by the idea that only one person or set of rules applies, mine. Democracy seems to met to fit the multiple Gods idea much better.

Avraham Goldhar, December 20, 2011 3:08 PM

It's God that taught the world He wants us to achieve universal peace

Dear Angela, That's what was at stake in the battle of Chanukah. If the Greeks had been successful, the world would have remained pagan and nations would forever have clashed and killed in the chaos. The Torah introduced a higher vision and destiny for Mankind under One God. That's why the UN, Jew hating institution that it is, can't help but use our teaching to profess that "one day nation will not lift sword against nation and learn war anymore." Happy Chanukah. Avraham Goldhar

chaimss, December 20, 2011 6:58 PM

Reconciling one G-d with democracy

You bring up an interesting point, however it's not a Jewish one. The Torah doesn't believe that everyone must keep the 613 mitzvos, only that Jews must. So if a non-Jew wants to eat a ham and cheese sandwhich no Jew would have a problem with that. Thus international relations don't become an issue unless someone tries to force me into eating that ham and cheese sandwhich and thus violating my religious beliefs.

Mark, December 20, 2011 8:07 PM

The Idea of One God

How does the idea of one God improve international relations? It really doesn't matter how the 'idea' of one God improves international relations. It is not an idea, but a fact. The idea of more than one president would be nice for political constituents. Can you imagine multiple presidents? It wouldn't work as there would be no harmony. So too it is with God, there can only be one God. No matter your views on democracy, God is not an elected official.

Leah, December 21, 2011 2:26 AM


"Democracy seems to fit the multiple Gods idea much better". Exactly! That is why polytheism has so much appeal. But as far as "the idea of one God improve international relations" - for that you only need to examine world history a little closer. (Check out aishaudio's "Can Humanism replace religion" for an in-depth examination of this idea.) Monotheism has brought great improvements in international relations, but not without a price.

(18) Henry Wiltschek, December 18, 2011 5:06 PM

Rash Course about the meaning of Chanukah

Very nicely and educationally presented. Thank You

(17) Ben, December 16, 2011 8:28 PM

The same 'war' within the Jewish community is still on

This morning as I went to work on the NY city bus I was reminded that sadly there are very many 'hellenised' Jews today. I heard a Jewess show pictures of her niece and nephew on a Chrismas card and she talked about her planned Xmas dy meal. In the whole conversation I heard no mention of course of Chanuka. There must've been a time Jews were embaressed to say they were preparing an Xmas meal.

(16) Anonymous, December 15, 2011 2:23 AM

KISed It. Kept it short, simple and concise. Very good job. Thanks for the reminder. Happy Chanukah.

(15) Anonymous, December 14, 2011 5:22 AM

great history lesson

I had been asked about Chanukah this morning and other that the oil lasting for 8 days I was ignorant. Thank-you for the history lesson. Gwen-Ellen

(14) Lisa bee, December 14, 2011 4:56 AM

Always enlightening

A pun on words and the holiday of Chanukah.Thank you, Rabbi Goldhar for bringing so much light to all Jews. That is the beauty of the flame isthat it is never minimizedby adding additional candles. Each light burns bright and none is diminished by lighting another. Thank you for lighting all our souls!

Anonymous, December 14, 2011 5:18 PM

Thanks Lisa

Thanks for your feedback Lisa. Chanukah is a special opportunity to get in touch with our own special light that we are here to bring to life. Happy Chanukah, Avraham

(13) John Perel, December 14, 2011 3:48 AM

Great job although major simplification.

I appreciated the story. It is what I was raised with and loved. However, some say the story is a myth. How prevalent is this thought?

Avraham Goldhar, December 14, 2011 5:13 PM

Not prevalent.

Hi John, Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps before there were Holocaust Deniers there were Chanukah Deniers. I've never heard of them though. Happy Chanukah. Avraham Goldhar

(12) Miriam, December 14, 2011 12:30 AM

Great presentation! Just one thing, It would be easier to concentrate on the material without the background music...

Anonymous, December 14, 2011 5:15 PM

Thanks for your feedback

Dear Miriam, Thanks for letting me know that you found the music distracting. It's the first time I've included it in one of my Crash Courses. Perhaps others could let me know whether the music add or detracted from the presentation. Happy Chanukah, Avraham Goldhar

(11) Jeff, December 13, 2011 11:47 PM

happy Chanukah

You have done it again! Thank you Rabbi Goldhar for providing a clear and concise summary of Chanukah.

(10) Patrick, December 13, 2011 11:08 PM

Brief yet thorough.

I recommend this video for anyone who wants to know the background of Chanukah a bit more. It got right to the point it was great.

(9) Jerry Lieberman, December 13, 2011 8:54 PM


Rabbi Goldhar has done it again. This time, in just over six minutes, he brings us a thoughtful yet concise lesson on the holiday of Channuka, a holiday that is often just taken for granted as an excuse to give presents but one that has an important message for us all.

(8) lewis Greenstein, December 13, 2011 7:36 PM

good but a little long

i am always interested in our history and this was light on the facts of our achievment and heavy on commentery

(7) kenneth, December 13, 2011 7:00 PM


learned a lot more about Chanukah

(6) nana soadwa, December 13, 2011 6:59 PM

I realy appriciate your concern and so also all the teachings that you have send it to me is very spiritual thank gyou and live long where you belonfg

(5) Laura, December 13, 2011 6:26 PM

I loved this overview.

In Sunday school, after learning about Chanukah & the letters on the dreidel I wanted to do something different with my young learners. We pressed olives. (not an easy job). Later we poured extra virgin Italian olive oil into 1 glass lamp floated a wick and lit it after saying prayers. Our room glowed and the fragrance had the children in a silence of awe.

Anonymous, December 15, 2011 3:14 PM

Beautiful idea to make it real to your students!

Hi Laura, Is there a trick or special method to pressing olives? I'd like to try this with my kids. Thanks for the idea. Happy Chanukah and to all of your students. Avraham

(4) Sue, December 13, 2011 4:59 PM

Hanukkah is a message to All

The two worldviews has blended in many ways, however, set apart in their own way. I see the rainbow color of candles, in celebration of the promise of God, he will never destroy the world with a flood again. Though the season is absent of the rainbow in the sky, we use the multi-color candles to remember what God said. The rainy and snowy season, his salvation story in saving Noah and his family, two by two pairs of the living. This ties in with Hanukkah, the mighty hand of God, in whatever battle he takes on, God is the victor. Whether we turn inward, the increase of holiness, showing the deliverance from the flood was God's love for the righteous, to save us from the power of evil in the world. Coming to the end of Kislev, we reflect on and bring all of God's salvation stories together with the main theme is God's salvation for us, to increase in holiness, by whatever supplies he gives us. Whether a whale, an Ark, a dream, or the oil, it spells out God's miracles of salvation for each and all to grow in his statues of his own righteousness and holiness, as he is, so we can be also, through his mighty power to save. To the Jew and Greek alike, the two worlds have blended to seek God's saving power and to enfold in his love for those who love him and want to be as he is, to be in right standing with the Almighty. God stands on the side of the righteous, and Hanukkah wraps threefold up on the message to All, whether Jew or Gentile, to those who seek righteousness, shall find God's love and protection in doing things God's way, he'll stand by us in battle, his own battle to save us comes through. The lighting of the Menorah, we are telling the world, of God's power to save and our thankfulness to God for his love for us. Hanukkah, sets us apart, to feel our Jewishness like no other time during the year. Then again, many can feel a little Jewish this time of the year, remembering God's power to save, whether a Jew or a Righteous Gentile, all the same.

(3) Do Lern Hwei, December 13, 2011 4:46 PM

Very Good Video

Really like the presentation. Hope to read more at Happy Chanukkah, everyone!

(2) Anonymous, December 13, 2011 4:09 PM

an excellent video. my only comment is that the speaker was talking too fast.

Avraham Goldhar, December 15, 2011 3:11 PM

I'm working on it.

Dear A, Thanks for the feedback. It's a bad habit. I'm working on it. Happy Chanuka, Avraham

(1) Michal, December 13, 2011 3:55 PM

I love his crash courses

it is such an effective way to remember. And also I know the important things of the holiday, alwas I hear something new, or my knowledge increases or it gets more internalized. May I say Thank you for this.


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