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Re: orion Hanukkah civil holiday?; Etc.

     In light of Martin Jaffee's insightful comments, perhaps the following
analysis will prove generally agreeable.
     We may properly distinguish between holidays with a sacred mandate
(Torah, 11QT) and those with a civil; mandate (e.g. those inaugurated by the
Hasmoneans).  Having a civil mandate does not necessarily exclude a holiday
from the sphere of the religious.  By the same token, holidays that are
religious (in whole or in part) do not necessarily thereby fall into the
sphere of the sacred.  Hanukkah, originally possessing a civil mandate, and
later a rabbinic mandate, had both religious and nationalist overtones (in
various mixture through time).  However, Hanukkah never possessed the status
of a sacred holiday alongside those of the Troah or 11QT.  That being the
case, Hanukkah's absence in the Qumran calendar texts is only to be expected,
and is not useful in determining the attitude of the scrolls authors toward
the Hasmoneans.

    Russell Gmirkin
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