Candles and Kashyes: An 8-week journey through the Halaxa of Xanuka

The lights are bright, the oil is sizzling and the dreidels spin on and on. The menorah is sitting on the table, and the family’s faces are dancing in its glow.

But wait - is the menorah supposed to be on the table? Or was it meant to be on the windowsill? Which way was I supposed to light this thing anyway, and why is there this extra candlething to light the other candlethings? Does everyone need their own menorah? And did someone say something about it having to be on the right side of the **mezuzah**? Or was it the left --- like wtf/??!? where the heck did Hashem “tell us” to do all this sh!t anyway…?!?!?!

If you are one of the thousands of diasporic weirdos who also can’t look at a bucolic Hannukah scene without it being ruined by a litany of ^nagging halaxic questions^, then this 8-week course is for YOU.

Candles and Kashyes (trans.: talmudic questions/difficulties) is a two month journey through the core source-texts for the observances of Xanuka, and the drashes the Rabbis laid on those texts to turn them into lived halaxa and practice. At the end of the course (which coincides with the holiday of Xanuka itself!) you’ll have a working ownership of the halaxa of Xanuka, including its post-biblical, Talmudic and medieval/rishonim sources, as well as experience applying your knowledge through guided ritual development with a class full of diasporic weirdos like yourself.

Come become a source of weird and specific halaxic knowledge for one of our most made-up holidays. Impress your friends with unprompted (and often undesired!) xumras and rabbinic citations. Dig your fingers in the deep, oily earth of this xag, and feel ownership over its many facets - so you can observe it in a way that is truly your own.

Since we will be looking at rabbinic sources as well as unvocalized Talmud, this class is recommended for people who’ve learned with Svara/Shel Maala before.

Structure of classes:

All classes include two 10-minute breaks

There are three class structures within this course:

Talmud study - 3:30-4:30 xevruta, 4:30-6 shiur

(This applies for the classes on Oct 17, 24, Nov 7, 28)

Halaxic learning + discussion - 3:30-6 shiur/study, with xevruta time in the middle

(This applies for the classes on Oct 31, Nov 14, 21)

Show & Tell/Final class - 3:30-6 discussion, party, show & tell, celebration

(This applies for the final class on Dec 5)


Payment is offered on a gradiated scale. Please pay what you can:

Pay for yourself + fully subsidize another's learning $36/class

Pay for yourself + half-subsidize another's learning $27/class

Pay for yourself $18/class

Attend on a half-scholarship $9/class


This class will be live captioned