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By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz –

Everything has a season. There’s a basketball season, football season, baseball season, hockey season, the “holiday” season, my High Holy Days season; even a spring season, summer season…you get the idea.

So, the writer of Ecclesiastes – Kohelet, in Hebrew – was correct when he identified “a time for every experience under heaven.” Everything according to its proper season.

He also wrote there is “a time to grieve and a time to dance.” After victory in a two-year battle between the Syrian-Greeks and the Jewish Macabees, we found another opportunity for celebration.

Chanukah – the Festival of Lights, lots of lights.

There are usually nine candles on the menorah; one each for the days of the festival and one to light the others. And Chanukah is usually portrayed as a winter festival, wrongly compared to Christmas. Remember: Chanukah is nearly 200 years older than Christmas, and some say without the victory of the Jews in 165 BCE, there would be no Christmas.

So how wonderful it is THIS year that Chanukah is separated from Christmas by several weeks, as if to emphasize that each has its own season.

Chanukah – which always begins on the Hebrew date of 25 Kislev – will coincide this year only with the secular calendar date of 28 November. Right! The first day of Chanukah falls on the American Thanksgiving Day.

I’ll enjoy my celebrations; you enjoy yours. There is truly a time for everything under heaven.

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