Even though the miracle of the oil wasn’t an original part of the Hanukkah story, it has become one of the most enduring narratives in modern Judaism. Even when things seem dark, during Hanukkah we provide a growing light that goes out into the world, overcoming darkness and giving us direction. In this week’s episode of On the Other Hand, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, discusses the story of Hanukkah, and why it’s fitting that it falls during this week of Parashat Mikeitz.
Parashat Vayeishev is the first of four parashiyot that outline the story of Joseph. Perhaps more interesting than Joseph in this story, however, is the unnamed character who points Joseph in the direction that ends up defining the story of the Jewish people. Listen to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, question what it means to really be in somebody’s life, and the kind of impact that we all can have without even realizing it.
Have you ever dreaded seeing a friend or family member that you don’t get along with, only to end up having a positive experience? After twenty years away from home, Jacob dreads his reunion with Esau, but our text teaches the two end up embracing and healing their tumultuous relationship. What can we learn from the story of Jacob and Esau? Find out from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, on this week’s On the Other Hand. (Read the transcript.)
Rabbi Israel Salanter wrote that it’s easier to learn the entire Talmud than to change one character trait in ourselves. Even Jacob, when he dreams of the ladder that connects heaven and Earth, is still on his path of growth and awakening. Listen to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, discuss how we can see ourselves in Jacob, and how we, like him, can become our best selves.