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(CNN) — Hanukkah — it’s more than a 14-day celebration. In fact, it’s the longest continuous Jewish holiday in history, running 14 days longer than Passover.
It’s not only longer, but also more chaotic. There are 10 dreidels, four hanukkah menorahs, eight rounds of holiday food and (of course) the ancient red candles of the menorah.
Unlike Passover, there is no matzo. Nor is there any mixing of animal and vegetable products. And once you ask for a ham and aren’t served one, what’s the alternative?
Passover — at seven days — is shorter.
Passover is the default. Hanukkah is an alternative.
Passover and Hanukkah are not the same thing. Hanukkah is not the liturgical counterpart to the high holy days of Easter or Valentines Day.
Passover and Hanukkah are not the same thing. Hanukkah is a religious holiday with a religious time-frame.
Go ahead. Make some jokes about the Temple. I think you can figure out why.
Image Credit: The Meitiv Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Passover on a business card
The Maccabees thought their holiday was so important that a high-ranking temple official attached a pass-marker to the temple offering.
All Passover gifts must be marked for a specific day — and every holiday must be marked. Citing religious texts, the Maccabees confined mitzvot to Passover, no exceptions.
On the rest of the calendar, however, Jews could celebrate if they wanted. Hanukkah falls in the 10-week window between the recurrence of three biblical texts.
Have a Passover without the Maccabees? Hanukkah falls in the 10-week window between the recurrence of three biblical texts.
And then, last year, Hanukkah was shifted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5 — almost a month after Passover ended.
In an effort to maximize Jews’ ability to celebrate both holidays, the Modern Orthodox synagogue across the street from Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is offering a Passover card exclusively for Hanukkah.
The certificate shows the original Passover document. According to Israel’s law of return, after 25 years, the copyright is transferred to the state of Israel, so unlike a mitzvah certificate, this has no legal value.
Photo courtesy Moishe Kochebin
Still, that didn’t prevent residents from filling the Knesset lobby with friends and family, celebrating both holidays.
This Passover, there may not be a Menorah in sight.
But that won’t be a problem for most Temple District residents — most Temple District residents like fried food.