Happy Hanukkah- just a question:)


I haven’t posted in a while.

For about 2 to 3 years I secretly have celebrated Hanukkah (I live alone now, but lived with my parents). I am not ashamed of the festival of lights since it is in Maccabees; however it is not really a thing Catholics ‘do’. I don’t know if I really should be ashamed, but on this board you never know :wink: I love you all :slight_smile:

Anyway, my question really is. Where does Judaism find Hanukkah since it is not in the Torah? If my memory serves me correctly Maccabees is not in the sacred Jewish writings

Hanukkah is the story of a great victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. In 165 BCE, led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias the High Priest and his youngest son, Judah, the Jews succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restored the Temple.

According to the Talmud, after the Temple had been cleaned and the Priests were ready to light the Temple menorah, they could find only one jug of oil that was fit to use. This was only enough for one day, but it lasted for eight. This is why Hanukah is eight days long.

Josephus the Historian also records this historical event.

The event preceded The Book of Maccabees which simply records that event. It is also referred to as the Maccabean revolt.

Mel Gibson is making a movie of this story.

If celebrating Hanukkah has always been a part of your family’s tradition–if you’re a convert from Judaism–I can see nothing wrong with celebrating it. Since it often coincides with the Christmas Season, though, Christmas would take precedence over it since in Christ all the OT celebrations/festivals have been fulfilled. It may also be confusing to others who might think you are trying to hedge your bets, so to speak. I may venture to say that some of our Jewish friends might think it a bit excessiveinappropriate if you are not Jewish. But, in the end, it’s up to you to decide. I’m only explaining how it might interfer with your own Catholic faith/be seen by those whose heritage is to celebrate Hanukkah if you don’t share that heritage. :slight_smile:

On one hand we are Christian so it doesn’t really concern us. But on the other hand. It is an event that celebrates God. It also celebrates an event which was needed to bring forth Jesus. Remember no Jews, no Jesus. I would think it is ok. As you’re celebrating the actions of God. Or a miracle of God. Just because that miracle happened to ppl of another religion does not make it anyless of a miracle.

I agree with this response. :slight_smile: Judaism and Catholicism go hand in hand and if you wish to celebrate a miracle of God, I wouldn’t think you are forbidden, as you are not celebrating it as if you were obliged to as a Jew, but rather celebrating God’s miracles in another religion that goes so closely with your own. I suggest reading this response from Michelle Arnold in Ask an Apologist.

Yes, I have heard that some Jewish persons are not comfortable with the Christian appropriation of their religious holidays.

Michelle Arnold, a staff apologist for Catholic Answers, addressed a similar question last year.


This past spring, after a series of unpleasant stories in the news, Warner Brothers announced that it was shelving the project. Part of the controversy had to do with Mel Gibson’s history of bad behavior and the objection of Jewish groups to his taking on their history. WB got a lot of negative attention for that. But really sealed the deal was Gibson’s falling out with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who made some very serious allegations about Gibson.

Its a shame that the movie won’t be made, because the historical events are dramatic and could make for an exciting film, particularly with a big budget.

That’s a pity. As much as I disagree with some of his views I do enjoy the movies that Mel produces and directs.

Mel may fund it on his own, he has been working on this project for a decade, I don’t think he will lie down or go away. He did Passion without major studio backing.

I’m not sure the Jews in particular were “necessary” for Jesus. I’m not sure if the Greeks had overwhelmed the Jews that that would mean no Jesus.

Anyway, to answer Patty’s question -

I don’t see anything wrong in celebrating Hanukkah, but I don’t see the point in doing so unless you are Jewish - either in religion, or ethnicity. The early Christians clearly did not see celebrating Hanukkah as something necessary or religiously relevant, which is why it is excluded.

That, and the fact that Hanukkah is more of an American Jewish holiday than anything. It is not a big affair in the State of Israel. It is more emphasized in the United States to give Jews a sense of community while the majority of the nation is celebrating Christmas.

Understanding Hannukah:



The miracle of the oil is found in the Talmud

Hannukah is a holiday for all Jews and not just an “American” Jewish holiday. Here in Israel, the kids are off from school and there are all sorts of Hannukah events (in that respect, the Israeli version probably is even more of a parallel to Christmas celebrations in the States).

If you believed that the Christian leader was the Messiah ben David than he had to be Jewish. The whole point of the Maccabean revolt was for the survival of Jewish religious practice.

I find nothing disconcerting with a Christian lighting Hannukah candles.

Those were good videos–thanks for posting them.

Personally I have a deep respect for my Jewish brothers and sisters as I do respecting their the religious celebration of Hannukah.

The worst saddest part regarding both the religious observance of the Jewish celebration of Hannukah and Christian celebration of Christmas is that both suffer the great burden of secularism.

I see no huge problem in a faith grounded Christian Catholic being invited to join, respect and/or celebrate Hannukah.

Every year in my Catholic parish at Christmas Eve Mass and Christmas Day you’ll see Jewish families with Jewish men wearing their “kippa” skull caps joining in the Christmas celebration.

The Jewish Synagogue is less than a quarter of a kilometer from the sanctuary of my parish directly to the east in direct line.

I liked this article Coping with the December Dilemma cjstudies.org/

Saying there still would have been Jesus without the Jews, Is like saying there still would have been a Bruce Lee without the chinese

Bruce Lee is not the Son of God, and therefore, is not independent of the culture in which he was raised.




Of course Jews were ‘necessary’ for Jesus, they are the Chosen People, he had to be a religious and ethnic Jew which was **vital **to fulfilling the Messianic prophecies.

If Jesus was not Jewish he could not be the Messiah. He had to come from an observant Jewish family. To fulfil prophecy Jesus had to be descended from the House of David, from the tribe of Judah, from the people of Abraham.

Jesus was Jewish in a religious and ethnic sense thus completing the Jewish religion as the Messiah whom the Prophets had foretold.

Seriously? Why do you think that Christians refer to the Judeo-Christian ethics and values?

If we read the Christian scriptures, we see that the Christian leader made a couple of egregious misquotes of the Jewish scriptures. None the less, he did say a few really worthwhile things. However, it turns out that these things were lifted from the Jewish scriptures and presented as if original to Jesus in the Christian scriptures.

Here are just a few of many concrete examples:
Psalms 37;11
'but the humble shall inherit the earth, and delight in abundant peace"

becomes in Matthew 5:5 (the sermon on the mount)
‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’

Psalms 24:3-4
“Who may ascend the mountain of Hashem and who may stand in the place of sanctity?One with clean hand and pure heart;”

becomes in Matthew 5:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”

Lamentations 3:30
“Let one offer his cheek to the smiter, let him be filled with disgrace”

becomes in Matthew 5;39

“…but if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also…”

Well, the intention wasn’t to make it appear that Jesus was being original but rather to show that Jesus had a full grasp of the holy writings and taught them with power and authority. :slight_smile:

The Catholic Church bases its moral law on the 10 Commandments, so indeed, we are indebited to our Jewish brethren and to the prophets and patriarchs. :tiphat: We see Christ and Christianity as the fulfillment of the law and prophets not a negation or overshadowing of them.

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