Origin Of Hanukkah: Hanukkah vs Christmas | Aleph Beta

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Hanukkah vs Christmas (Part 1 of 4)

Is Hanukkah Like Christmas?

Does it make you feel uncomfortable when Hanukkah gets lumped together with all the other “winter holidays”? When people talk about Hanukkah almost as if it’s just the Jewish version of Christmas? Isn’t this kind of cultural melding exactly what the Maccabees were fighting against?

Well, we have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there’s no way that Hanukkah is based on Christmas. It was established a few hundred years before the very advent of Christianity, so no need to worry about a Hanukkah bush. But the picture is also a bit more complex. Because some historians want to claim that both of these winter holidays are actually rooted in a much earlier Pagan festival: the holiday of the winter solstice. And… are you ready for this?... The Rabbis of the Talmud seem to indicate that Hannukah indeed does have something to do with this earlier Pagan holiday!

Join Rabbi Fohrman as he confronts these disquieting questions, and some puzzling Talmudic passages, to uncover the true identity of the beloved holiday of Hanukkah and its deeply-rooted significance.

When you’re done here, check out other great Hanukkah content at Aleph Beta including What Is Hanukkah, Hanukkah Values & The True Meaning of Hanukkah.

Rabbi David Fohrman

Founder and Lead Scholar






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