As a Jewish Christian, I celebrate Hanukah and Christmas.
Hanukah occurs in December. I think that Hanukah has become a modern Jewish substitute for Christmas (presents are given). Originally this festival celebrates the Maccabees’ defeat of the Greeks in 165 BC. The Greeks had stopped the sacrifices at the Temple. They were oppressing God’s people and trying to bring an end to God’s one true religion. But the Maccabees trusted in God and defeated their enemies. It was just like the time of the Judges and other Old Testament events when God defeated the enemies of his people.
After 100 years or so of independence the Jews were then dominated by the Romans. During this time Jesus came and died for his people’s sins. Later, the Jews were defeated by the Romans in 70 AD, and the Temple was destroyed. The Zealots had seen themselves as modern-day Maccabees. If they trusted in God, God would defeat the Romans, they thought, and save his people. But having rejected their Messiah, they were not trusting in God, and they were defeated. Continue reading Hanukah and Christmas