Hanukkah Begins

chanukah_menorah

Hanukkah has begun…. Chanukiah in Hebrew – observing the miracle of the Maccabees’ victory with the oil that burned in the Temple for 8 days.

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The festival of Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) was established to commemorate the Jewish Maccabees’ military victory over the Greek-Syrians and the re-dedication of the Second Temple, which had been desecrated by the Greek-Syrians, to the worship of God. Thus, Hanukkah is a celebration of Jewish national survival and religious freedom.

Christmas in three more days, Kwanzaa in four, AND just 29 more freakin’ days until the Boot-out takes place.

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One Response

  1. I have a unique theory about this festival. In ancient times one of the functions of temples was in the regulation of the calendar, which was still done through direct astronomical observation rather than by a formula (as initiated by the Romans with the Julian calendar.)

    Imagine that two groups or tribes of Jews had become isolated during the Diaspora following captivity in Babylon, then came into contact with one another after some decades or even centuries. Their respective leaders find no major doctrinal differences and see benefits in uniting under a single authority. The sticking point is that in the time they’ve been apart their calendars have somehow drifted apart by a day.

    One of the groups can reconcile with the other by having an extra long week inserted into their year. But how to explain it to the masses, who are not supposed to know about the mysterious practices of their high priesthood? From such a situation came this aetiological myth.

    This still doesn’t explain why the Hanukkah menorah has NINE, not eight branches. The regular menorrah has seven of course.

    See Luke 4, 14-21, the only time that Jesus is explicitly shown to be reading the Torah. From Isaiah 61, “I proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” There are a number of theological explanations of what this is supposed to mean, most having to do with the Jubilee, but I find them unconvincing.

    For comparative purposes it’s useful to consider the confusion following the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in the Catholic countries, while the Protestants continued using the Julian. The Russian Orthodox church still uses Julian reckoning, and celebrate Christmas on what to us is Jan. 7.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar#Adoption

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