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A Great Miracle Happened There

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.