A Great Miracle Happened There

Airs Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 7am on AM820 and 7pm on 93.9FM

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A conversation between Rabbi Ismar Schorsch and host Larry Josephson about the history, rituals, foods and meaning of Hanukkah--and its importance to American Jews in our time. Cantors David Lefkowitz and Elisheva Dienstfrey sing the music of Hanukkah.

Rabbi Ismar Schorsch explains that Hanukkah is really about a Jewish civil war, a war between assimilated, Hellenized Jews and a pious band of zealots, the Maccabees. The well-known "miracle of the oil," occurs at the end of the story--after the Temple has been retaken by the Maccabees, and rededicated and cleansed.

Rabbi Schorsch also talks about Hanukkah as "the Jewish Christmas."

Larry Josephson is a veteran public radio host and interviewer, whose programs have been heard in New York, and nationwide for over 35 years.

Glorious music of Hanukkah is sung by Cantor David Lefkowitz of The Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, and by Cantor Elisheva Dienstfrey, now of Congregation Agudas Achim in Alexandria, Virginia. Both are graduates of the Seminary. Additional music from "Voice of the Turtle" and the Zamir Chorale of Boston.

Funding from Edwin A. Goodman, the Louis Finkelstein Fund of the JTS, and Zabar's, a family business. For 67 years Zabar's has been supplying bagels and lox and other ethnic delicacies to New Yorkers and nationwide.

The Hanukkah Special was developed and produced by Larry Josephson for the Radio Foundation. The program was edited by Sarah Kaufman, recorded and mixed by Peter Zanger. Associate Producer and Music Consultant for the series: Cantor Marcia Tilchin.


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Comments [7]

Isaac from Bergenfield

I am completely appalled with Mr. Josephson for playing into the old anti Semitic notion that Jews have large/misshaped noses. Mr Josephson had said something to the effect that after the 2nd world war Jews tried to hide their identity by having their noses changed. What an imbecile! Is this based on any factual data? Mr . Josephson himself being a Jew should know better than spewing forth his noxious nonsense.

Dec. 01 2013 10:28 PM
Robert Zantay from NYC

I am amazed at the lack of knowledge this Rabbi has shown in this interview. To refer to Israel or Canaan as Philistine (the name that the Romans gave to Jerusalem after their slaughter of every living thing in the holocaust of 70CE. Also the word Hasidim was not used until almost one thousand years after the time of the Maccabees.
The problem with letting the Greeks enter Jerusalem was that God had commanded his people to sanctify themselves (stay separate). Any time that they co-mingled with pagans, disaster resulted. The victory that the Maccabees had was short lived and in the end without any value. Israel was put under pagan rule, first by the Greeks and later by the Romans.
But Channaka is fun for the kids, especially the chocolate gelt.

Dec. 01 2013 07:51 PM
Evan from Brooklyn

Where is the audio for this program?! I always share it this time of year.

Dec. 10 2012 12:08 PM
Darrell from 10001

Middle-aged African-American pantheist here. Love this show. Just great. Thank you.

Dec. 09 2012 08:00 PM
WNYC Programming

Oren Neiman,

Unfortunately, we do not have a listing of the musical pieces played during this program. You may be able to find additional information on the producer's website:

Thanks for listening!

Dec. 28 2011 10:49 AM
Oren Neiman from Yonkers

What was the first piece of music that was played in the show?

Dec. 18 2011 06:30 PM
Sue from Forest Hills, NY

What a wonderful, delightful, and informative show. I learned a lot, and was rapt the whole time!

Thank you!!

Dec. 18 2011 04:51 PM

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