Friday, December 09, 2005
Really, I DON'T do Christmas
|This time of year is always interesting, I guess that's a good word. I don't "do" Christmas. I'm Jewish. And no, Hanukkah is not the Jewish Christmas. It is not a major Jewish holiday because it is not in the Jewish Bible. Put in the absolute simplest terms it is a celebration of religious freedom. |
This is a simple "history" of the holiday. The oldest source of the celebraton is the winter solstice celebrations held by all ancient peoples. It is marked more recently as a military victory in 164 BCE by the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes. The story can be found in the Christian Bible in the book of Maccabees. After the military victory came re-consecration of the temple altar. Here there is a story of one jar of oil, which should have lasted for one day, burning for eight days. It is a celebration of returning light and returning freedom to be Jewish.