Postcard: Hanukkah observances at Jerusalem’s Western Wall
MSS 0016 – Sister Rose Thering Papers
Courtesy of The Department of Archives and Special Collections
“Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah)
Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, the holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE. This historical event memorializes when a small army of Jews, known as the Maccabees, rebelled against the Seleucid Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes who had outlawed the Jewish religion and defiled the holy temple by installing an altar to Zeus Olympios and sacrificing pigs within the sacred space, an affront to Jewish law. The king’s soldiers massacred thousands during the uprising. When the Maccabees regained control of the temple, they built a new altar to again offer sacrifices in accordance with, halakha, the collective body of Jewish laws that addresses civil, criminal and religious codes.
The postcard image accompanying this post is from the University’s Archives and Special Collections’ Sister Rose Thering Papers, an archive of correspondence, speeches and travel information dating mostly to her time in New Jersey working for the Institute of Judaeo-Christian studies, as well as documents relating to her teaching and scholarly activities. Sister Rose Thering belonged to the Dominican Order which was founded in 1206 in France. She advocated tirelessly in favor of legislation for the teaching of the Holocaust and was an international activist against anti-Semitism. The Sister Rose Thering Fund at Seton Hall University continues her work by fostering understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions through advocacy and education. Sister Rose Thering founded the fund in 1993 and worked there until her retirement in 2005. Sister Rose said, “To be a better Christian you need to find out where you are rooted. Take a good look at Judaism. Our roots are in Judaism. Jewish people have much to teach us. We must learn from our elder brothers and sisters.”
The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476.
 https://theconversation.com/the-story-of-hanukkah-how-a-minor-jewish-holiday-was-remade-in-the-image-of-christmas-127620#:~:text=Hanukkah%20commemorates%20a%20historical%20event,Zeus%20Olympios%20and%20sacrificing%20pigs, accessed 12/1/2020.
 https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/halakhah-the-laws-of-jewish-life/, accessed 12/1/2020.
 https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/hanukkah/history-hanukkah-story, accessed 12/1/2020.
 https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/184, accessed 12/2/2020.