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Nov 30, 2010

Chanukah Lighting Statistics And Thoughts

According to a new study just published, 93% of Israelis light a Chanukah menora during the holiday. 86% of them light it every day of the holiday, while some light it on the first night only, and others light it any night they have family getting together.

Of those who do not light a menora, 85% say the reason is because of their poor financial situation, as they cannot afford the menora, the candles and the need for hosting guests with refreshments.

I see it as very positive that such a high percentage of Jews in Israel are lighting menora. I wonder if a law was established making menora lighting mandatory, if the percentage of lighters would drop.

Another point, I find it interesting that those who don't light say that cannot afford to light because of the costs involved, including the cost of refreshments for guests. They don't seem to even consider the option of spending about 40 NIS on a cheap menora with candles and simply not have over guests they would have to feed. The pirsumei nissa aspect is so ingrained in the mitzva that these people would prefer to not light at all rather than lighting with no guests.

5 comments:

  1. Even cheaper, if they would use the box of colored candles, I believe they are selling them for about a shekel in Best, and you don't even need a menorah, just a piece of foil to catch the wax.

    Chanukah in and of itself is a cheap holiday, it's the "extras" that people feel are necessary are what makes it expensive.

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  2. Interesting that Chanukah is one of the most widly celebrated holidays both in Israel and in the US, although for very different reasons.

    The early Zionists loved Chanukah - military victory against foreigners in Eretz Yisrael spoke to them, which is why it's regarded as a very modern-Nationalistic holiday.

    In the US, it's almost a different holiday, Jews there don't talk about the military aspects of the Holiday, but rather the miricle of the Oil, as this type of spiritual miricle is a good counterpart to Holidays celebrated by the surrounding culture.

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  3. I am assuming that the study is based on Jewish Israelis, not all Israelis as it was written up.

    Heck, you can stick candles in clay and do menorah lighting for the price of candles.

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  4. Chanukah is also "easy". There are hardly any religious obligations.

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  5. before you go to Best to get your 1 shekel boxes, note you have to spend 150 nis first (presumably for the food you're buying for the guests....)

    but it's true at 4 nis the full price is also cheap

    ReplyDelete

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