Christmas and Chanukah: The Questions You’ve Always Had

It’s “the most wonderful time of year,” and both Christians and Jewish people enjoy the winter holiday season. This episode of A Jew and A Gentile Discuss is informative, personal and oh-so relevant. And we can almost guarantee that you’ll be surprised at some of the things you’ll learn.

Carly and Ezra ask each other about their holiday impressions, understandings and traditions growing up and how things changed after coming to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Then, Carly digs deeper to understand the Jewish holiday of Chanukah and how Jewish people view Christmas, including:

  • Jewish thought about when Jesus was born
  • If Chanukah is in the Bible
  • Why some Messianic Jews don’t celebrate Christmas now
  • If Christians should celebrate Chanukah
  • What about Christmas caroling at a Jewish person’s home?

Along the Way

In the course of the discussion, you’ll also hear what Chanukah is all about and how Christmas and Chanukah “have everything to do with each other.” You’ll learn some famous Christmas songs written by Jewish people. (You read that right.) Ezra reveals some perspectives, perhaps commonly but secretly held by Jewish people, about this “most wonderful time of year” and their quasi-inclusion in it.

You’ll hear how, while sensitivity is essential, apologizing for sharing the Gospel with Jewish people reaffirms a critical misunderstanding among them. Ezra and Carly also cover some questions Christians might have about the season and engaging across the divide between Jewish people and Christians, including:

  • What’s the best way to engage with my Jewish neighbor during Chanukah?
  • Would inviting a Jewish person to a Christmas play be offensive?
  • Do Jewish people invite non-Jews over for Chanukah celebrations?

Words You Might Learn in This Episode

Chanukiah, Maccabees, the town of Modiin, shlep/shlepped, latkes, Ashkenazi, Sephardic, sufganiyot, moedim/moed

Scriptures Referenced in This Episode

John 10:22, Genesis 12:3, Matthew 25:40