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Connected Celebrations

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This year, the ancient Jewish calendar and the modern secular calendar fall into rare alignment: the first night of Hanukah falls on Christmas Eve. It’s a good time to note similarities between the messages of the Christian and Jewish holidays that begin on the same evening. Both festivals celebrate light—and recognize the miraculous nature of illumination in the darkest, shortest days of winter. And both emphasize themes of redemption: Hanukah means “dedication” and marks the re-dedication and purification of the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been desecrated by practitioners of Greek paganism, while Christmas hails the redemptive, purifying power of a new-born Messiah.

Both holidays also stress the ability of everyone to draw closer to God and goodness, with special emphasis on joy and celebration that will encourage children to do so.

Wishes for a Merry Christmas AND Happy Hanukah to all those who embrace the connected messages of these beloved holidays.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Papa  •  Dec 21, 2016 at 2:32 am

    What I find troubling about Medved, is not that he takes religion too seriously, but rather that he trivializes it. Most all evangelicals, among other sects, do. It believe in the dual covenant theology. Haggie and Falwell said they didn't. So followed to the logical conclusion, hell awaits Jews. They believe this. So why do a minority of American Jews slobber all over christians? Because they see them as useful idiots for the State of Israel.

  2. Papa  •  Dec 21, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Revised

    What I find troubling about Medved, is not that he takes religion too seriously, but rather that he trivializes it. Most all evangelicals, among other sects, do not believe in the dual covenant theology. Haggie and Falwell said they didn't. So followed to the logical conclusion, hell awaits Jews. They believe this. So why do a minority of American Jews slobber all over christians? Because they see them as useful idiots for the State of Israel.

    • Henry  •  Dec 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Papa, you could be a poster child for the modern left. First propagandize: Some evangelicals do not believe in the dual covenant theology, … therefore they believe all Jews are going to hell! Then find some divisive element: Some Jews see Christians as useful idiots for the State of Israel. And, of course, the whole paragraph is enshrouded in anger and hatred. … Has the left ever had a forward leaning thought since Saul Alinsky wrote Rules for Radicals?

  3. Wiley Jones  •  Dec 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Jews and Christians share a common history. Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah and the Jews will worship Jesus as the Messiah when He returns. We worship the same God and we are all children of the same God.

  4. Nils Leksen  •  Dec 22, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you Michael for your sensitive comparison between Jewish and Christian celebrations, truly we are a Judeo Christian world. Nils Leksen

  5. Susan  •  Dec 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I think "Papa" needs to study his scripture more. God's covenant with Israel is an EVERLASTING covenant. To me, that means that God's covenant with Israel is EVERLASTING.

  6. Alexandra Cloney  •  Dec 22, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Once upon a time, when it was "fashionable" to favor recently persecuted Jews, the Left was on board. But with the determination of Israel, the friendship and support of the US and the love and support of Christians and Jews all over the world, it became "fashionable" to support the enemies of Israel, who had been sold out by fanatical imans and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who made the supremely evil choice of siding with Adolph Hitler against the Jews. God does not lie. He loves His Chosen People NOT because He dislikes the rest of us; He loves them because He is all love …. And the Jews chose not to forsake the One True God.

    I am Catholic with Jewish children and other Jewish relatives … I am richly blessed!
    Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!!

  7. Sally  •  Dec 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you, Michael, for noting the similarities between Christmas and Hanukah. Light, redemption and the opportunity to draw closer to the Living God. Happy Hanukah to you and your family. Always appreciate your writings.

  8. Katrina  •  Dec 23, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I go along with the response Henry gave to Papa's comments and I also appreciate those in support Michael's article, Connected Celebrations. It is terribly sad how those on the left do whatever they can to drain the joy out of life and out of the privilege Americans have of living in this greatest nation on God's green earth!

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