Christmas – A festival of Jewish Origin? by the Rev Dr. Alfred Edersheim

Originally published in The Leisure Hour, London, England, No. 1147, December 20, 1873, pp. 810-812. CHRISTMAS–A FESTIVAL OF JEWISH ORIGIN? WHY DO WE KEEP IT ON THE 25TH DECEMBER, AND WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ITS OBSERVANCE? Of the various questions debated in church history, scarcely one has been discussed with more partisan keenness, or […]

The Jewish Festive Calendar

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Eccles. 3:9-11). The story of Israel’s redemption is represented […]

Purim – a parody in misplaced confidence

“And the king said to him, ‘What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honour?’ And Haman thought in his heart, ‘To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?’ And Haman answered the king, ‘For the man whom the king delights to honour, let the royal […]

PURIM – a lesson in misplaced confidence

Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was […]

Keeping the Feasts?

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are […]

The Lesson of Chanukah

Dies auch in Deutsch erhaeltlich Chanukah is a celebration of the miracle that was reported to have occurred following the Maccabean revolt against Syria when the temple was rededicated after it had been defiled by Antiochus. The priests had only one cruse of oil, sufficient to keep the lamps burning for one day, but, it […]

Reflections on birthday and Christmas celebrations

Christians will often say, in defence of celebrating the birth of Christ, that we must put “Christ” back into “X-mas” and that we should redeem the day from what has become a commercialized celebration filled with pagan revelry, feasting and excessive spending. Others argue that it is well known that the 25th December was celebrated […]

Jesus at the Feast of Dedication

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. (John 10:22) The Feast of Dedication commenced on the 25th of Kislev and lasted for eight days. Celebrating, as it does, the victory of a small band of Jewish […]