Two holidays this week: one that is mistakenly thought of as “Jewish Christmas” and another holiday that is not thought of much.
Ted Falcon lays out the basics in this chapter from Judaism For Dummies. A few of the pages are included in the handout below.
The history of Hanukkah is made complicated by the fact that it was a Jewish civil war. Some Jews like the “modernity” that came with giving up folk religion and culture in favor of something more universal, more cosmopolitan — sound familiar?
The incorporation of earlier holidays into normative Jewish practice is a long, winding, and at times complicated road. As A Provocative People shows us:
And of course, the Hanukkah song.
The birthday of the trees! And one of those holidays that can be understood from a variety of different perspectives, each finding its home in the holiday’s practices…from Zionism to ecology, kabbalah and more. So in that spirit, here are links of various movements of Judaism that may inspire.
And then there’s the Tu Bishvat Seder. Not exactly as involved as the Passover seder, Tu Bishvat seders are rooted in Eastern European Jewish mysticism. Today, people make their own seders and seder booklets (haggadot) to interpret the holiday in the many, varied and unusual ways you see above.
You can find a wide range of Tu Bishvat seder haggadot on Haggadot.com
- Read the Ted Falcon piece on Chanukkah
- Browse the sites for the various meanings/interpretations of Tu Bishvat