Tess Kelly: The Hidden History of Hanukkah

Hanukkah is one of the only Bible stories that is supported by actual historical evidence and history, unlike stories, can be ambiguous about right and wrong. Historically, the Maccabees fought not only the Romans but also their own people—those who chose assimilation. The story is thus one of anti-assimilation as well as of religious freedom.

Rachel Adelman: Dinah

The story of Dinah contains gaps and ambiguities, which feed confusion over her silence, and the divide between Jacob and her brothers. The text suggests that the outcome of the event could have been different if not for the vengeance taken by Simeon and Levi.

Rabbi Joel Oseran:  Parashat Vayeishev

Joseph encounters a nameless man, who directs him to find his brother.  How is this significant?  Earlier in our text, Jacob also meets a nameless man and wrestles with him.  Jacob is of course known for experiencing divine encounters.  Rabbi Oseran ponders the. Issue of encounters with unknown people and their potential impact on our future.