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Re: orion 1st BCE generation
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I suppose it's possible that everyone else understands the point at issue below but can we back up a step? What is the distinction between a "religious" and "civic" holiday not in our 20th century post-Christian world but in the world of 1st century (either BCE or CE) antiquity? Do you mean that holiday a is thought of as having been ordered by a DIvine Being and holiday b is not? True but possibly trivial as Hanukah keeps status b (well, most of the time) in the Jewish tradition. Surely, you do not mean that holiday b was observed regardless of religious affiliation.
> Hanukkah clearly was not a religious festival on a par with those in the
> HB. Hanukkah acquired increasing religious significance after the destruction
> of the Jewish temple and nation in 68-72 CE. Can you cite any evidence of the
> alleged religious character of Hanukkah that is not anachronistic for the
> period we are considering (i.e. second or first century BCE)?
> Russell Gmirkin