Skip to main content



We don't count down; we count up

With Rosh Chodesh Kislev arriving on Sunday, it's beginning to look a lot like Chanukah -- or not.

This week I was in Bed Bath and Beyond and saw this

You could actually count down over 100 day if you wish, but really-- who does that? Obviously, this is a copy of the Advent calendar concept. In other words, it is completely alien to Jewish cultural traditions. Sure, we start thinking about the number of weeks until Pesach, but that is not our official way of counting. We count up: as we do for the days and weeks between Pesach and Shavuoth.

We also count up for Chanukah. That is why we pasken like Hillel that we start with one candle and add on each night rather than adopting Shamai's view of starting with 8 and going down each night to reflect the level of potential that was left for the original miracle.


For this week's parsha: see…

Latest Posts

Eshel: What's the question?

Terach's 3 sons

Subverting the standard take on Ezer Kenegdo

The sun, the moon, and the stars

Shana tova umetuka: roundup of posts

Beyond a lifetime

Compassion that kills

Divrei Chaim: T"u b'Av -- a feminist holiday

Roundup of posts on Shabbos Chazon and Tisha B'Av

What do you see? Shabbos Chazon