Making It Better and Better

Successive generations of Jews have created different ways of enhancing the observance of the Hanukkah lights.

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"And in this there is an innovation in practice in that the Sephardim behave according to Tosafot and the Ashkenazim behave according to Maimonides, and this we have not found in other places."

Perhaps Caro and Isserles present yet another model for enhancement. By reclaiming the customs of different Jewish communities and integrating them into their current practice, Caro and Isserles enhanced their own communities' observance of Hanukkah.

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Jeffrey Spitzer is Chair of the Department of Talmud and Rabbinics at Gann Academy, The New Jewish High School, Waltham, Mass., and a member of the Institute's Tichon Fellows Program.