January 1, 2009

One household, two faiths

Mercer County is filled with faith of many religions. Communities are filled with churches representing these faiths. Little is known about the other religions in the area, but while much of the county and the world were celebrating Christmas these past days, others have been celebrating Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday.

Also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is held to remember the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem going back to the second century. While Christmas is always the same date every year, Hanukkah is observed for eight nights according to the Hebrew calendar and may occur anytime from late November to late December.

Among those in the county who remember Hanukkah each year are two women, one of the Jewish faith, and another of the Catholic faith.

Janet Cresswell has lived in Hazen for many years, but she was raised back east in the Jewish faith with parents who were from New York City.

Janet, a quiet soft-spoken woman will proclaim her Jewish heritage, but said while she is Jewish and practices, it wasn’t something she speaks of often unless asked.

"I am Jewish and I practice it, but when I grew up we didn’t go to Temple. And we didn’t keep a Kosher home, but my grandparents did," Janet said.

Janet said her home was, however, filled with the faith of their religion. She remembers each year when her mother lit the lights of Hanukkah.

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