Hanukkah, Christmas, Miracles and Song

Hanukkah 2017 arrives at sunset, Tuesday, December 12, 2017, extending through the lighting of the last candles at sunset, Tuesday, December 19, 2017.

To enhance this year’s holiday experience, The Harold M. Schulweis Institute offers food for thought in the revelations of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis (z;l) on the significance of Hanukkah, historical and theological, as well as a musical treat: a Hanukkah concert featuring the Jewish Community Children’s Chorus, founded by a grant by HMSI.

Before lighting the hanukkiah and before spinning that special dreidel, take a moment to revisit the timeless words of Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis’ (z”l). In a sermon delivered at Valley Beth Shalom, he speaks of the historical and theological significance to Jews  of Hanukkah (“Hanukkah and Christmas”)

Hanukkah and Christmas
Temple Valley Beth Shalom  Encino, CA December 14, 1979

… and hear his thoughts on the proper definition of the Hebrew word נס, often rendered into English as “miracle” (“Miracles and Hanukkah”).

Miracles and Hanukkah
Temple Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, CA December  10, 1982


Known as a master of theological insight and powerful oratory, Rabbi Schulweis also delighted in music. Part of his legacy was the founding in 2011 of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Children’s Choir, Dr. Michelle Green Willner, conductor, through a grant from The Harold M. Schulweis Institute. Capturing the spirit of the holiday, here are Hanukkah melodies from the choir’s repertoire:

Hanukkah Blessings-Sinai Temple Hanukkah Concert, December 2016

A Hanukkah Sing! The American Jewish University & the Jewish Community Children’s Choir, December 2014


Hanukkah Song in a Major Key, December 2015

A Feast of Lights-December 2015

Wishing all “Chag Hanukkah Sameach,” a holiday full of light and rededication,

The Harold M. Schulweis Institute