Is there a scriptual reason Jewish give gifts on Chanukah.?
The custom of giving Christmas gifts does not come from the Bible story of the wise men. That's absurd. Gift-giving at the Winter Solstice and New Year feasts was customary in both Republican and Imperial Rome and long pre-dated any Christmas celebrations. No doubt, since the Wise Men story is there, and a good story, it offers religious encouragement and justification for gift-giving ... but we give gifts to one another because we gain pleasure from doing it, and because it adds to the seasonal merriment ... and that is sufficient reason.
Hanukkah begins on December 16th, this coming Saturday, with the first candle being lighted Friday evening evening at sundown; the Jewish day goes from sunset to sunset, rather than from midnight to midnight.
Happy Holidays, whatever yours may be!
A Messianic Jewish family puts a Menorah in their window at Chanukah - is this wrong?
No. From a Christian viewpoint, Jews practicing Jewish Customs and following the Jewish Messiah is what God desires. Messianic Jews continue traditional practices and celebrate Christ in the Passover next week. Please bear with some background:
Israel as a nation rejects Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah prophesied by Moses, Prophets and the Writings. But there are many individual Jews who believe the Prophet Isaiah who said that the Messiah must suffer and die and would return as a glorious King - (Isaiah 53) (King David in Psalms 22:1 suffering Messiah) Zechariah 11:1 Two Shepherds....there are hundreds. This was actually taught by the Midrash Cohen in the Talmudic Period but later dropped as Christianity threatened Judaism. All the first century followers of Jesus were Jewish and continued in the Jewish customs and laws.
Is Chanukah as big a holiday for the Jews as Christmas is for the Christians? ?
No, Channukah is actually a minor holiday for us, though still important. Our major holidays, what we call the High Holy Days, are Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Passover/Pesach (the holiday remembering our exodus from Egypt).
Channukah occurs on the 25th of Kislev (a month on the Jewish calendar). The Jewish calendar is lunar based, so there are 12-13 months due to the 12.4 month solar cycle...when putting Channukah on the Christian calendar the date changes each year since there are only 12 months on that calendar. But Kislev is always around December, so Channukah can fall on the end of November through around Christmas. Hope that wasn't too confusing lol...it's hard to explain :) Here is a wikipedia article explaining it more thoroughly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar
Hope that helps :)
What is the difference between Chanukah and Hanukkah?
Two different spellings, that's all. They are the same thing: an eight night long holiday that honors the rededication of the Temple. The reason for the two different spellings:
It is originally Chanukah, or Chanukkah. Hanukah or Hanukkah is the Americanized version. In Hebrew, "ch" makes a kind of and "h"- ish sound, like saying the h sound and trying to scrape a piece of popcorn along your thorught at the same time.
Hope this cleared up some of the confusion that Americans have about the Chanukah/Hanukah thing!
What is the difference between Hanukkah and Chanukah?
Same day...different spellings. That's all.
"Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights or Festival of Rededication, is an eight day Jewish holiday that starts on the 25th day of Kislev, which may be in December, late November, or, while very rare in occasion, early January (as was the case for the Hannukkah of 2005–2006). The festival is observed in Jewish homes by the kindling of lights on each of the festival's eight nights, one on the first night, two on the second night and so on.
In Hebrew script, the word Hanukkah is written חנכה or חנוכה. It is most commonly transliterated to English as Hanukkah or Chanukah. " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanukah