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Celebrating Hanukkah Through Time and Across Cultures

Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 20.

Susan Braunstein of the Jewish Museum in New York explains the origin of Hanukkah and recounts the history of its celebration with examples of Hanukkah lamps used over time and across the world in a 3 1/2-minute news video prepared for Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a source for cutting-edge news reporting and analysis. Braunstein further elucidates the traditions and practices surrounding the Festival of Lights in a series of brief vignettes collected in a second, 2-minute video. 

 

How To Celebrate Hanukkah

Alternatively known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians in the second century B.C. Often celebrated in multifaith contexts with Christmas, Hanukkah is observed by some Christian communities in honor of the Jewish origins of Jesus. Rabbi Mendy Bukiet explores the meaning of Hanukkah, including its universal appeal and message, in a brief video presentation archived on the website of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, a program that provides cutting-edge reporting and analysis of religion news. Also see the program’s 2 1/2-minute video news story, “Hanukkah’s Light,” in which scholar and author Erica Brown of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington explains the meanings contained in lighting menorah candles and introduces some of the accompanying celebrations. For more about the celebration, see several articles prepared by the Religion Newswriters Association, an organization that seeks to support and improve religion reporting. RNA's ReligionLink provides a journalist's guide to reporting on Judaism.

 

Finding Light In The Darkness Across Faith Traditions

In a featured reflection on Isaiah 2:1-5, Bryan Bibb suggests that the answer to Rabbi Visotzky's question, "am I adding light to the world?" may be found in "hopeful living" that recognizes that the new community, Isaiah's kingdom of God on earth, is "the subject of faith" that only God can bring about; but that people can contribute to it by striving to follow Paul's admonition to "lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." For fresh ideas on how to celebrate the Christian high holy days, and find ways that emphasize bringing God's light into our dark world at any time of the year, see our feature article, "Ideas and Tips for Advent, Christmas Worship Planning.”

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