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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.

                                                                                                                                 Steve Oren
                                                                                                                                 Chicago, IL

>     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)?

>     Cordially,
>     Russell Gmirkin