Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Purim Question


Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Purim Question

As we give thought to Purim, we might also be thinking, if only in a fleeting manner, about Chanukah. It's natural, since that's the last major holiday we celebrated and both have the status of "rabbinical" holidays - as opposed to the next major holiday, not far away at all, Pesach.

Yet, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik asks an interesting question. There's one fundamental difference between Purim and Chanukah - and it has nothing to do with the observances. It's something more significant, that touches on Jewish history and the development of Jewish law, moral lessons derived from our faith and personal responsibility.

In "Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Purim Question," Judah S. Harris offers a summary of a 1969 lecture by Rav Soloveitchik where he challenges his audience to consider the Purim-Chanukah difference and the ramifications for all generations.

As a "bonus," Judah offers four related discussion points that will appeal to classroom educators, youth groups, and many others. A link to download an audio recording of Rabbi Soloveitchik's 1969 lecture is also provided at the end of the article.


Judah S. Harris is a photographer and filmmaker and writes about real people, his travels, marketing and communications, human relationships, Jewish themes, and visual art. Follow him to read more: medium.com/@judahsharris


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