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

KENILWORTH, 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

Kenilworth

Tee times, Pairings Announced for Start of Next Week’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Baltusrol GC in Springfield

July 13, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The USGA U.S. Junior Amateur Championship starts Monday.  The pairings for the first two rounds of the 71st edition were recently announced.

Monday (July 16) and Tuesday (July 17) tee times will be played on the 7,280-yard, par-71 Upper Course and at the 7,313-yard, par-70 Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Monday, Tuesday tee times & pairings

The ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other

Carousel_image_1eb83a6fad4b6893940e_17ee96028d17dc070892_a_new_design

Thu, August 9, 7:00 PM

Union Elks Lodge #1583 , Union

Donna Summer Tribute Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Prisoner Re-Entry Program Thriving In Union County

July 17, 2018

In the movement to reform national policies on incarceration, Union County is providing a valuable model for success. The local Reconnections prisoner re-entry program, funded in part by the Freeholder Board, has helped hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals adjust back to life in the community.

Reconnections provides guidance and resources to help clients navigate housing, job ...

Crowdfunding Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Source: Many small start-up businesses and tech ventures in search of capital turn to popular online platforms for crowd fundraising of financial resources to get their concept off the ground and launched into market. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, to name a few, offer solutions in generating cash to fund new ideas. How do you get people to contribute to your cause?  Sam Burlum ...