Religion & Beliefs

“Hanukkah lights”: last post mentioning the holiday season… I swear!

The other day, a friend asked me about the new tradition Jews are adopting of putting up “Hanukkah lights”.   “I mean, is it okay if you only use blue and white lights” she asked me.  “Since blue and white are … Read More

By / December 29, 2006

The other day, a friend asked me about the new tradition Jews are adopting of putting up “Hanukkah lights”.   “I mean, is it okay if you only use blue and white lights” she asked me.  “Since blue and white are the Jewish colors?”

I scratched my head at this.  Because while I often see Jewish cards/ posters, random crap in blue-and-white, I can’t remember ever being taught we had an official color scheme.  Or a mascot for that matter.  I mentioned this,  and she asked me, “Well, why do you think we do everything in blue and white then?”

To this I responded that, today, in honest terms, I thought it was a Zionist thing.  Whether or not it began that way, that’s certainly what I assume when I see those colors all over anything.

I said I imagined it all originated with the colors on a tallit, but that today, more people recognized the Israeli flag then a tallit.  (Incidentally, that blue dye in a tallit is supposed to be made from snail goo. Ick!) 

Then I looked it up.  Indeed, the Israeli flag is made to look like a tallit.  And “the idea that the blue and white colors were the national color of the Jewish people was voiced by early on Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894), an Austrian Jewish poet.”  Not a very good poet either.  So that’s the ancient history of your “Hanukkah lights”.

But now that we know…  I’m curious to find out  what other people think of blue and white twinkle lights.  Can we pretend that it’s okay, since it’s the “festival of lights” and we’re using “our colors”  Or is this just another dumb consumer way we’ve gotten suckered into playing “secular Christmas”?

Hmmmm?