Biblical Gifts From The Holy Land

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  • Why Is Hanukkah So Closely Associated With Christmas?

    Christianity was cradled in Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people. Despite their differences, Judaism and Christianity have much in common. The celebration of the birth of Jesus, Christmas, is related to Hanukkah. Both feasts originated in Jerusalem. Both feasts occur in the month of December. On both holidays, it is customary exchange gifts. Both feasts commemorate actual events in history.

    Many people think of Hanukkah as the “Jewish Christmas,” but any Jewish person ... will tell you that isn’t true. Hanukkah, of course, has nothing to do with Christmas, other than the 25th day of Kislev [the month on the Jewish calendar in which Hanukkah occurs] usually runs closer to Christmas than it does Thanksgiving.

    Both religions celebrate the victory of light over darkness. At Hanukkah, there is a special nine-branch menorah. Eight of the candles on it represent the eight nights of Hanukkah. The ninth candle called, called the shamash, is used to light the other candles. Just as the shamash gives light to the other candles on it, Christians believe that Christmas marks the birth of Jesus, who gives spiritual light to those who believe in him.

     

    nofalon nofalon
  • History Of Christmas Trees

    Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

    In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.

     

     

    nofalon nofalon
  • Christmas In Israel

    Christmas in Israel is unlike anywhere else in the world. Christmas in the Holy Land offers a unique opportunity to focus on the spiritual meaning of the holiday.

    Perhaps because it comes three times a year here, this is a peak tourism time, when tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to the Holy Land. Many of them may be in for a surprise though, for despite the influx of pilgrims from abroad, the material and outwardly seasonal displays found in the rest of the world are conspicuously absent. People sometimes complain that they feel a lack of holiday spirit – no trees, no strings of lights, no carols on the radio. 

    This is understandable, since it is probably the first time many of these visitors find themselves at Christmas in a country where Christians are a distinct minority. For much of the rest of Israel, this is a day like any other, unless it happens to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Chanukah or the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

     

     

     

    nofalon nofalon
  • Hoshen 12 tribes of Israel

    Hoshen represents the 12 tribes of Israel. The Jewish High Priest's breastplate from the days of Jerusalem's Holy Temple.-Exodus 28:15-29. The Hoshen stones are the 12 stones found in the sacred breastplate, known as the Hoshen that is worn by the Israelite High Priests. The Hoshen functioned as a mediator between God and the twelve tribes of Israel. The stones symbolized the connection between the ambitions of man and nature's perfection. The Twelve Hoshen Stones are listed below: Carnelian/Ruby - Reuven -  Topaz - Shimon -  Emerald - Levi -  Garnet - Yehuda -  Sapphire - Yissachar - Diamond- Zevulun - Citrine - Dan -  Agate - Naphtali -  Amethyst - Gad -  Aquamarine - Asher -  Onyx - Yosef -  Jasper - Binyamin 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ancient Galilee Boat