According to the Hebrew Bible (Torah), winter celebrations actually began with the first human. If you have ever read the Bible then you've probably heard of Adam and Eve. The Torah explains that Adam and his family were the first to experience many things, including the first winter. Have you ever wondered what Adam may have thought when he experienced his first winter? Here is a story which is found in the Hebrew Torah about the first winter. The story is called, "The Midrash of Adam And The First Winter". It goes like this: As the first winter approached, Adam noticed that days seemed to be getting shorter, and the nights seemed to be getting longer and colder. Since he had never experienced a winter season, he was afraid that the world was ending. He was more fearful as the nights grew longer and darker, but soon he realized that daylight was getting longer again. Hooray! He realized that winter was just a season that would pass, and that it was just a part of the Creator's design for the world. He was so happy to know that it was just an order in the world, so he created a winter festival each and every year to celebrate and thank the Creator.
Do you remember some of your first experiences? Do you remember the first time you got sick? Were you afraid? Were you happy when you started to feel better? How about your first wiggly tooth? Do you remember losing it? Did you think all of your teeth were going to fall out at once? One lesson we can learn from the story of Adam, is that as you grow up, you will experience a lot of firsts. If you ever feel afraid of something new, just remember that it may just be a part of the order of the world, and eventually everything will be okay.
TORAH SOURCE: The Midrash on Adam’s first winter is found in the Hebrew Talmud Yerushalmi - "...When Adam HaRishon (primordial Adam) saw the day getting gradually shorter, he said, ‘Woe is me, perhaps because I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!’ So he began keeping an eight days’ fast. But as he observed the winter solstice and noted the day getting increasingly longer, he said, ‘This is the world’s course’, and he set forth to keep an eight days’ festivity. In the following year he appointed both as festivals. Now, he fixed them for the sake of Heaven, but the [unenlightened] appointed them for the sake of star worship...."