Religions and Spirituality

Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Eve, 2017: All in Sync

11e57a0ddc0955646d4c_Christmas_Hannukah.jpg
Credits: Bing.com
11e57a0ddc0955646d4c_Christmas_Hannukah.jpg

CRANFORD, NJ - For the first time that we can remember, both Christmas and Chanukah begin on the twenty-fourth of December this year, with the first of eight Chanukah candle being lit, yes, on Christmas Eve. 

And eight days later, all eight Chanukah candles are lit together on New Year’s Eve, with the holiday ending at sunset on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017.  And New Year’s is a major secular holiday, celebrated by Jews, Christians, and other groups.

Thus, Jews and Christians can and are celebrating their holidays in sync with each other this year; so children and adults should understand and relate the meanings of the three  holidays of Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s, 2017.

Sign Up for E-News

Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days for historical and religious reasons.  In 586 BCE [Before the Common Era], the Babylonians destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the Hebrews. 

When the Temple was later restored by the Jews in 156 BCE, the Eternal Light in the Temple needed to be cleaned, restored, and relit.  But the five Maccabee brothers, led by the Judah the Hammer (the eldest of the five Maccabee brothers), could only find one bottle of oil -- enough for just a single night’s lighting. 

And the miracle of the holiday was and is, as the story goes in the Books of Maccabees, that the one bottle of oil lasted, yes, for eight days – a true, glowing, exciting eight-day miracle.

So Jews the world over light candles on their Menorah’s (candle-sticks) for eight consecutive days -- adding one new candle each day -- plus repeated use of a ninth shamas  (“helper”) candle, used for lighting the other candles, one through eight.

Thus, Jews light one new candle for each day of Chanukah, until all eight and the shamas (ninth candle) are burning on the final day of the holiday.   And children -- and adults – often eat food cooked with oil to remember the “miracle of the oil” -- such as donuts, or fried potato cakes called latkes -- sing Chanukah songs, and often exchange gifts, yes, for eight days.

So, this year, Chanukah will begin on Christmas Eve and end on New Year’s Day -- as the 2017 New Year begins.  What a perfect time to share and learn about different religious beliefs and practices.

The celebratory overlap of Chanukah and Christmas has only occurred four times during the last 100 years, with few if any times where the two holidays and New Year’s Day overlap so totally.  Wow, miracles occur all around us, and have great holidays all!

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

County of Union to Fly Rainbow Flag for the First Time on June 4

May 24, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - A rainbow flag will fly for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced they are holding a public Pride Flag Raising Ceremony for Monday, June 4 at 1 p.m. on the steps of the historic Union County Courthouse on Broad Street in Elizabeth.

“Raising the rainbow flag ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Union County Clerk Extends Office Hours, June 2nd for Primary Election Voters Using Mail-In Ballots

May 24, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi announced that her Main Office in Elizabeth will be open for special hours on Saturday, June 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for voters seeking last-minute mail-in ballots. Ms. Rajoppi’s Annex Office in Westfield will also be open for ballots on June 2 for its regular Saturday hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“Any voter can use a ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

May 22, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 05/17/2018 @ 2012 hrs.

North Avenue East and the Garden State Parkway 137 Exchange

Arrested: Charles McKoy, 19, North Plainfield

Arrested by: Ptl. James ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_1da61d9690df0a4b2374_264c0972082c640e3c33_20180411_093814

Fri, June 1, 5:00 PM

Cranford Elks, Cranford

Spaghetti Dinner and Tricky Tray to Benefit Relay ...

Food & Drink

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

I totally Support Garwood Mayor Lombardo and His Team

May 22, 2018

A lot of people call me the “Voice of Garwood” because I usually have a lot to say. Those who know me know I only say things that I mean and that are truthful. I totally support our current mayor, Charles Lombardo, and his running mates, Jennyfer and Vincent, because I believe in them, and they are truthful. I would appreciate the people of Garwood coming together to re-elect Mayor ...