The True Meaning of Hanukkah

When my brother was in kindergarten, where he was the only Jewish student, a parent organizing enrichment activities asked my mother to tell the class the story of Hanukkah. My mother obligingly brought in a picture book and began to read about foreign conquerors who were not letting Jews in ancient Israel worship freely, even defiling their temple, until a scrappy group led by the Maccabee family overthrew one of the most powerful armies in the world and won their liberty.

The woman was horrified.

The Hanukkah story, she interrupted, was not about war. It was about the miracle of an oil lamp that burned for eight days without replenishing. She urged my mother to close the book. My mother refused.

The woman wasn’t alone. Many Americans, Jews as well as Christians, think that the legend of the long-lasting oil is the root of Hanukkah’s commemoration. And perhaps that mistake is no surprise, given that for many the holiday has morphed into “Christmas for Jews,” echoing the message of peace on earth accompanied by gift giving. In doing so, the holiday’s own message of Jewish survival and faith has been diluted.

The article goes on to note that Hanukkah, until relatively recently, was a minor holiday, barely mentioned in the Talmud and with few cultural traditions. However, its proximity to Christmas (and the ballooning of Christmas as a holiday) led to it being promoted as an act of cultural self-defense. But while turning Hanukkah into “Jewish Christmas” is good for kids, it misses out of the actual meaning of the holiday… and that is a real loss.

Happy Hanukkah :thumbsup:

Our sermon covered Hanukkah today. Though I am sorry to say when I’m serving I don’t hear the priest as well as when I am in the choir. He knows and whever I have asked he has said he would forward the sermon on to me, but never has done so. So I’ve stopped asking rather than to look like that grumbling pest. He did say things about how in one place the candle is always lit… but like I say my hearing aint great and missed a lot of it and he did admit to not knowing what Hanukkah meant. I was off on my own track:blush: mixing it up with the Festival of Light the Dwali, Whatever it is called because he did say something last week in the sermon was about creation and am sure he said this week about light… :blush::blush: Good job he doesn’t give us servers a question an answer session on it each week. He would then have to give me an alternative format because he wouldn’t be allowed to exclude me based on being half deaf :smiley: I get on well with him and I can understand him not forwarding his sermons. I would probably ask too much.:thumbsup:
Happy Hanukkah to you


Nice graphic!!!

Happy Hannukah to you too!:):slight_smile:


At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.

(John 10:22-23)

Jesus was there in the temple for Hanukkuh, otherwise known as the Feast of Dedication of the Temple for eight days… (The Temple had been defiled with idol sacrifices by Antiochus Ephinanes, a type of the anti-christ.)

I like the woodcut graphic, too.

From the article:

"But it’s a story with darker chapters as well…

If we’re going to magnify Hanukkah, we should do so because it offers the deeper meaning and opportunity for introspection that the major Jewish holidays provide."

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