Professor Alan Lurie writes about his beliefs on What God is. He is from a Jewish faith and this could be useful when asked in an exam or assignment about beliefs about God.
As a rabbi, I am often asked to define the word “God.” And as a person whose life is centred on knowing God, I’ve attempted to give thoughtful responses. But I’ve discovered that my attempts, which are given with the intention of reducing misunderstandings, usually produce the opposite results, and create more misunderstandings. This is because whatever one’s position — from atheistic to fundamentalist and all points in between — we all, as products of a culture steeped in religion, necessarily carry ideas about God, and many of these ideas can be held so stubbornly that any meaningful conversation is immediately derailed.
For many people, the word “God” just seems to ring badly. It feels stuffy, old-fashioned and self-righteousness — a relic from a less enlightened age. For others, the answer has already been given by the doctrine of their religion, and so the issue is closed. For others, the very notion of God is absurd, and so the issue is also closed.
December is not just the month of Christmas, in years gone by there have been many festivals that have been at this time. In fact, Jesus’ birth was most likely not in December, but there were so many festivals at this time that Christians chose this time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Pagan’s celebrate the Winter Solstice every year, which is the shortest day of the year. There is normally a big celebration at Stonehenge.
In 2016, Hannukkah starts at dusk on the 24th December and lasts for 8 days. This is a Jewish festival of light. It celebrates the time when Jews won a battle against the greeks. They lit an oil lamp in their temple that only had enough oil to burn for 1 day but the oil lasted 8 days. This is why the festival lasts for 8 days. See the Video below to see how Jewish people celebrate Hannukkah.
There are many similarities between Christmas and Hanukkah as well as some differences.
This week in class we have been looking at the similarities and differences between Christmas and Hanukkah- creating a Venn Diagram to compare the two. Here’s a blank copy of the Venn Diagram if you want a shot at comparing the two festivals.