Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hanukkah: 83% say they will light menorah daily

Vast majority of Jewish public say they plan to light Hanukkah candles daily, seculars associate holiday more with sufganiyot than triumph of Jewish people and why is television a symbol of 'modern Hellenization'?

Koby Nahshoni
Published: 12.04.07, 10:19 / Israel Jewish Scene

Hanukkah remains one of the most celebrated holidays in Israel, but for what reasons?

According to a joint poll conducted by Ynet and the Gesher Institute, 83% of the Jewish public in Israel will gather daily around variously styled menorahs and light the holiday candles accompanied by traditional prayers while 15% said they would make an effort to do so at least once over the course of the holiday. Only 2% said they would not celebrate Hanukkah at all.

A breakdown of the figures reveals that 68% of respondents who identified as secular planned to light the candles daily compared with 91% of religious respondents.

As for what the holiday symbolizes – 40% of the public said Hanukkah is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish victory over the Greeks, 35% said the holiday was about family, 11% identified the holiday's unique culinary dishes as its most important attribute and 7% said Hanukkah revolved around the numerous commercial performance extravaganzas put on for vacationing children during the holiday.

When asked which of the following most symbolized modern Hellenization for them, 23% of respondents said spending an excessive amount of hours staring at the computer screen and surfing the internet, 18% said television and specifically talk-shows and another 18% said Americanization was the new Hellinism.

10% said the justice and democracy systems were symbols of Hellinism, 9% said consumerism and 8% said society's obsession with body image.

The study polled 503 respondents, who constitute a representative sample of Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis.

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