December 21, 2004

"The Holidays"

In the age of Chrismukkah, Jewish Christmas, and Festivus, 2004 may be the most contentious year ever in terms of the pro-Christmas vs. anti-Christmas conflict. But the blog GetReligion has perhaps the best point I've seen made yet on the subject:

Once upon a time, Hanukkah was a smaller Jewish holiday reminding Jews not to compromise their faith when facing pressures to assimilate into a dominant culture. Today, Hanukkah is a giant, major holiday because it is close to the holiday previously known as Christmas. Religious history doesn't get any more ironic than that.
Via Andrew Sullivan's wacky group-blogging substitutes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 21, 2004 07:00 AM

Maybe I missed your point alittle but I have a number of Jewish friends even a few I work with. And never has Hannachah been a major holiday. Any non jewish person educated enough to understand Judiasm realizes that.

Posted by: A at December 21, 2004 02:29 PM

I know many Jews who as children received presents and even at times put up a Hanukkah bush all because their parents were afraid they would feel left out. Thus making Hannukah a more important holiday than it really is for Jews.

Posted by: Funnya at December 21, 2004 02:41 PM

The quote is nonsense, of course. I love Hanukkah, but it came about because Jews saw that everyone else was having a celebration during the winter solstice. Sure, there was a real Maccabee rebellion, but that's a pretext for an occasion to celebrate and light candles during the middle of winter.
Same with Christmas, for that matter - as I understand, Jesus was most likely born in the summer.

That's why I'm not worried about the Hanukkah assimilation issue - the way I see it, we've all been celebrating basically the same thing since day one.

Posted by: Yaron at December 22, 2004 10:52 PM

Another reason that we celebrate Hanukkah is that Yeshua was conceived during this time. He is the reason for the light(hope) in this world. Think about the timing of his birth. He's six months behind John. John was born, when? Making Jesus's birth around the feast of Tabernacles in October. Hanukkah has much to celebrate with the oil being continued for eight days making us aware of how they were given a miracle, but also for our Savior that came so that through his(life)& death, we might choose the Light. This is why I celebrate Hanukkah.

Posted by: Sherry at November 15, 2005 03:43 PM
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