President of Jersey's Jewish Community, Stephen Regal, reflects on how those of other faiths share in the joy and spirit of Christmas, and the community's own festival of light, Chanukah...
As a faith leader of a Non-Christian Faith, at this beautiful time of the year when my Christian friends and neighbours are celebrating Christmas, a beautiful festival of light commemorating the birth of Jesus.
We are all of us given an insight into one of the basic tenets of the Christian Society in which we live. That of the foundation of the Christian Faith. The celebration of Christmas and all that this brings.
Christmas coming as it does at this time of reduced daylight the shortest days of the year, a light is brought into all of our lives, Christian and Non-Christian alike and we can thus in many ways, celebrate together.
Pictured: "Chanukah celebrates the freedom, just over two thousand two hundred years ago of the Jews who had been enslaved by the Seleucids and they fought for and gained their freedom."
That is one of just many of the delights of Christmas, there is no prohibition upon sharing.
We of our non-Christian Faiths can also share in the joy and spirit of this delightful Festival, a Festival of harmony and sharing, a time when houses shops and streets are brightly it with the symbols of Christmas, a light that we can all share together.
We of the Jewish Faith have just completed the celebration of our Festival of Chanukah, in many ways the principles of Chanukah are not dissimilar to those of Christmas.
Chanukah celebrates the freedom, just over 2,200 ago of the Jews who had been enslaved by the Seleucids and they fought for and gained their freedom.
Pictured: "So, on behalf of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, I would like to wish all of my friends and acquaintances, Jew and non-Jew alike, a very merry and indeed happy Christmas."
At the time of rededicating the Temple in Jerusalem, a miracle occurred when the holy oil needed for the dedication ceremony lasted for eight days rather than one day for which the supply was stored. Consequently we light eight candles on our menorah our eight branched candelabrum.
Accordingly, we too celebrate a Festival of light and happiness during the bleak midwinter times, Chanukah like Christmas, is a time of joy and festivity. In this way we can share the goodwill that our festivals bring to us all, in a form of brother and sisterhood.
So, on behalf of the Jersey Jewish Congregation, I would like to wish all of my friends and acquaintances, Jew and non-Jew alike, a very merry and indeed happy Christmas. Most particularly thank you all for sharing your very special and beautiful Festival with us. A Festival of comfort and joy, indeed bringing good tidings for all this following what has undoubtedly been a very frustrating and wearisome couple of years for the whole of mankind.
Seasonal Greetings from...
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