Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas And Happy Hanukkah

This year, in a rare coincidence, Christmas and the first full day of Hanukkah both occur today.  (According to the Jewish calendar, Hanukkah started yesterday at sundown.)  While these two holy days commemorate different events, and are celebrated by two different religions, they are still linked.  From the Gospel of John, Chapter 10 (NIV):
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.
The footnote [b] is in the original.  To learn what it refers to, click the link and scroll to the bottom.

The baby whose birth is celebrated at Christmas grew up to observe Hanukkah, which recalls the burning of candles for eight nights, when there was only enough oil for one night.  This came after the Jewish Temple had been desecrated by pagan soldiers under the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV, and was later cleaned out and re-dedicated by the Jews.

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