Since it is close to the holidays, I chose to share an article on Judaism and its religious holiday, Hanukkah. We have learned many beliefs, cultural practices, and leaders of the Jewish religon so I thought this would be a great article to share more knowlege!
As you may know, most jewish people do not celebrate Christmas because they believe in the Torah rather than the Bible. Jews do not believe in the birth or death of Christ hence they do not celebrate it. However, they do look forward to other cultural holidays such as Hunukkah! This holiday is celebrated in the Orthodox and Catholic churches for eight days straight. Hanukkah is a significant holiday to the jewish faith because it celebrates the victory of winning back Jeruselum in a revolt against the Seleucid Empire. This empire is known for trying to take over the Second Temple in Jerusalem. On the brightside, this empire was defeated by the Maccabees. Although, that is not the whole reason it is celebrated… According to ancient jewish history, during the last days of the revolt, the Maccadees only had enough oil to last one day to rededicate the Second Temple. However, the oil that was supposed to only have a single use ended up lasting for eight days! The magic of those eight days is what makes this holiday so special to the jewish culture. There are many traditions during Hanukkah for instance, lighting candles while reminiscing the Exodus, Maccabean revolt, and other jewish moments. Since this holiday lasts for eight days, it is tradition you recieve one present each day. Futhermore, many jewish familes throw small parties, events, or even hold a festival of lights in honor of the brave soliders who fought for Jerusalem and won. During Hanukkah it is common to see Rabbis read small recitations of the Torah or the Pslams in these large social gatherings. As you know, Hanukkah is not a holiday that relates to to jews religon as it is more of a holiday of independence. With that being said, the jews do not pray using the Mussaf because those prayers are for more serious occasions. It is quite silly to see so many poeple try to compare Christmas and Hanukkah together, as the only thing they have in common are the presents.
All in all, after reading this article I think I was offered a lot of new information and perspective. This article also related to what we have learned in class by presenting the difference of the cultural and Biblical beliefs of Judaism. Instead of focusing the articlce on the religous knowlege of Judasim, I presented the auidence with an inside look of the jewish culture and what is familiar to them. This article also showed me how much Judasim values tradition and prayers no matter the holiness or importance of the holiday.
With that being said, I now leave you with these three questions…
1) Do you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah?
2) Before reading this article, did you know why Hanukkah was celebrated?
3) Would you celebrate Hanukkah if you had the opportunity?