FEAST OF DEDICATION & LIGHTS (in Hebrew: CHANUKAH/HANUKKAH)…

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SHALOM!

This is a time to time to:

 

QUESTIONS TO PONDER UPON:

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  • Is the Feast mentioned anywhere in the Holy Biblical Scriptures?
  • Did YAHUSHUA ever observe the Chanukah Feast while HE was on earth in the human form?
  • Would YAHUSHUA want us to keep observing the Feast?
  • What is the Feast of Chanukah (also spelt as Hanukkah) all about?
  • When is it to be observed?
  • How do the Jews observe it?
  • Why do we have to observe and celebrate the Feast?
  • Is there any historical connection to the Feast?
  • During the time of Chanukah, we see dreidels, gold coins, latkes becoming increasing popular, why is this the case?
  • Is there any future prophesied connection to the Feast?
  • Is Hanukkah the Jewish Christmas since they are both observed around the same time?
  • We see 9 branch lamps called MENORAH being lit by the Jews around this time of year, why is it the case? According to Exodus, YAHUVEH GOD only instructed Moses to make a 6 branch one?
  • Are there any High Holy Days within the Feast?

Facts about Chanukah?

  • Is an 8 Day Feast of Victory over the enemies of YAH (a.k.a GOD) commemorating the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been desecrated by the Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 4:52-592 Maccabees 10:5).
  • Remember the 8 is the Number that signifies NEW BEGINNINGS!
  • Has no High Holy Days within it.
  • Begins on 24th of the Hebrew Month called “Kislev” and finishes on 2nd of the Hebrew Month called “Tevet”.
  • Is a time to commemorate the Miracle of OIL and LIGHT. The Victory in itself was considered a miracle, but Jewish legend gives an additional explanation for Hanukkah rituals, explained below. Once the Temple Mount in Jerusalem had been reclaimed, the Temple had to be rededicated. According to legend, only one jar of sacramental oil was found, enough for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, thus the eight days of Hanukkah.
  • YAHUSHUA was conceived around this time of the year. Remember that YAHUSHUA is the ETERNAL LIGHT OF THE WORD as per John 8.
  • Prophesies about what will happen in the future Great Tribulation/Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
  • Reveals more information about the Abomination that causes Desolation.
  • Reveals more about what the Anti-Messiah/Anti-Christ will be like.

LIST OF MIRACLES CELEBRATED DURING THIS FEAST:

  • Miracle of VICTORY OVER THE Greek-Syrians who had come to take over the Holy Land Israel with their paganism

 

  • Miracle of THE OIL supplied supernaturally by YAH

 

  • Miracle of THE LIGHT OF YAH a.k.a YAHUSHUA THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

 

 

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CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY OF THE MACCABEES, JUDITH and other related stories, such as Hannah and her seven sons, etc (Hanukkah Story).

 

 

 

 

 

Chanukah/Hanukkah Traditions?

(Reference: http://www.amightywind.com/hanukkah/hanukkah.htm)

  • The most important Hanukkah ritual is the candle lighting. Jews light candles in a special candle-holder called a “menorah” or a “hanukkiah”. Each night, one more candle is added. The middle candle, called the “shamash”, is used to light each of the other candles and it is lit every night. Therefore, on the first night of Hanukkah, two candles are lit (the shamash and the candle for the first night) and on the last night, there are nine lit candles.

 

  • Another tradition is to play the “dreidel” game. A dreidel (or “sivivon”) is a four-sided top. On each side is a different Hebrew letter: nun (nun), gimel (gimel), heh (heh) and peh (peh), corresponding to the words in the sentence “nes gadol haya po” (“A great miracle happened here”). Of course, the miracle happened in Israel, so outside of Israel, the letter peh (peh) is replaced by shin (shin) for “nes gadol haya sham” (“A great miracle happened there”). The dreidel is used for a gambling game in which each letter represents a different amount of money (or whatever…) won or lost.

 

  • Another common Hanukkah practice is giving gifts or “gelt” (money) to children. In Hebrew, “gelt” is called “d’mei Hanukkah”

 

  • In Israel, Hanukkah is a very festive time. Schools are out for a week and there are lots of parties and special events around the country. We sing Hanukkah songs (like the one playing in the background), eat lots of food and have lots of fun! 

 

 Symbols

Symbols of Chanukah/Hanukkah include:

  • Candle sticks with space for the nine candles or oil lamps that are lit during the eight days of Hanukkah known as hanukiah.

 

  • Square spinning tops known as dreidels. There is a letter on each of the faces. These letters have symbolic meanings and are used in seasonal games.

 

  • Donuts, potato cakes and other foods cooked in oil.

 

  • Chocolate money.

Children in some families receive small gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah or a single larger gift.

Why is the Chanukiah/Hanukkiah got 9 branches rather than 6?

This is because the Miracle of Oil occurred for 7 days altogether in addition to the 1 day of oil provision that the Jews had at the time… The 9 branch is called the SHAMASH/Head Branch usually higher than the rest.

On the 7 branch Menorah, the SHAMASH is the 7th and usually higher than the rest.

YAH provided OIL for 7 days in the Temple Menorah which kept the Menorah lit constantly for those days. In the meantime, the Jews made OIL. it takes 7 days to press the olives in order to obtain oil from them.

The 9 branch Menorah therefore commemorates the MIRACLE OF OIL provided by YAHUVEH/YAHWEH GOD!

 

 

Brief History of what happened that led to the yearly observation of the Feast of Chanukah?

(Reference: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/encyclopedia-of-the-bible/Feast-Dedication)

  • The restoration of the worship of YAH was effected by the Hasmonean, Judas Maccabaeus about 165 b.c., three years after its defilement.

 

  • The Greco-Syrian Antiochus, in his excessive zeal to Hellenize his realm, persecuted the Jews, proscribed their religious observances, and erected an idolatrous altar on the altar of burnt offering in Jerusalem, where heathen sacrifices were then offered (1 Maccabees 1:41-642 Maccabees 6:1-11; Jos. Antiq. xii. 5, 4).

 

  • The Hasmoneans raised the cry of revolt at Modin and ultimately overthrew the forces of Antiochus. Josephus gives a vivid account (Jos. Antiq. xii. 5, 4; 7, 4). The feast falls on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev, which tallies with December (but not always).

 

  • Josephus designated it “The Feast of Lights.” The Apostle John called it “The Feast of Dedication” (John 10:22, only here in the NT). He correctly states the season of the year, showing his familiarity with Jewish customs.

 

  • The Jews have named it “The Feast of the Maccabees,” and the Talmud designated it “The Feast of Illumination.” Christ, present in Jerusalem during this festival, addressed the multitude. The festival was characterized by the illumination of synagogues and homes.

 

  • It was a time of joy and merriment, and no public mourning was permitted on this feast. Jewish tradition claims that Judas Maccabaeus found a cruse of oil, which was sufficient for a day, but lasted for eight. The feast is celebrated among the Jews today.

 

  • The system of lighting is one light for the first day, and an additional one for each succeeding day of the festival. 2 Maccabees 10:67 indicated the feast was observed like the Feast of Tabernacles, with palms, branches, and the singing of psalms. On this occasion Psalm 30 (see title) was read in the ritual of the day (1 Maccabees 1:41-642 Maccabees 6:1011).

 

  • In the celebration today, although work is allowed on these days, there is a prescribed, festive ritual. The family solemnly gathers around the father as he lights the candles with a prayer of thanksgiving to YAH for the liberation of HIS people from the persecution of the oppressor.

 

  • Presents and money gifts are distributed to the children. During the evening games are played with the posing of riddles and exchange of jokes. In Europe the special table dish for the occasion was pancakes.

 

Holy Biblical Scriptures that mention the Feast of Hanukkah/Chanukah?

2 Chronicles 7:8-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Feast of Dedication

So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel.

 

John 10:22-23 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Some Despise the Light and Harden

22 Then came Hanukkah;[a] it was winter in Jerusalem. 23 Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.

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John 10:22-23 Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Jews Reject Jesus

22 The Festival of the Dedication of the Temple took place in Jerusalem during the winter. 23 Yeshua was walking on Solomon’s porch in the temple courtyard.

 

Also the First Book of the Maccabees and the Second Book of the Maccabees. These are some of the vital Lost Books of the Bible.

 

John 1:4-5 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.

 

John 8:12 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

The Light of the World

12 Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

Matthew 5:16 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

16 In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

 

Public Life/Is Hanukkah a national holiday in Israel and elsewhere?

  • The first and days of Hanukkah is not bank holidays. There may be some congestion near synagogues.
  • Jewish businesses may be closed or have different opening hours.
  • Jewish children at state schools in other countries (apart from Israel) can obtain permission to have time off school to celebrate this holiday but do not necessarily have to take time off.
Only the first and last days of Passover and Sukkot are national holidays, but there may be some disruption on intermediate dates; many shops and businesses may open but close early. The festival of Chanukah is a holiday period, but it is not a national holiday – businesses remain open.

 

What Do People Tend To Do?

  • Many Jewish people light one candle or oil lamp on the first day of Hanukkah. They also light one extra candle or oil lamp in case they need a flame or light for some other purpose. The candle or oil lamp is placed in a candle stick known as a hanukiah. This has space for eight candles or oil lamps and an extra one. The hanukiah may be lit in a private home, synagogue or a public place, such as Trafalgar Square in London, etc.

 

  • Many Jewish people light two candles or oil lamps and one additional one on the second day of Hanukkah. This process continues until the eighth, or last, day of Hanukkah. Then they light eight candles or oil lamps and one additional one.

It is also common practice for people of Jewish faith:

  • to recite special prayers
  • sing or recite traditional hymns at Hanukkah.
  • Jewish choirs perform songs and hymns.
  • Families and groups of friends play Hanukkah games together.
  • Children may receive real or chocolate money and gifts.
  • Many Jewish people eat foods fried in oil, such as potato cakes and donuts, and dairy products.

CHANUKAH Foods

Since it is the Festival of Lights, traditional foods include:

  • those that are fried in oil, representing the holy oil in the temple. Potato latkes and doughnuts (sufganiyot) are requirements.
  • brisket is a traditional Main Course.
  • Victory Vegetable Soup as a Starter.

 

Oil played a significant role in the Chanukah story—the small jug of oil that miraculously provided fuel for the Temple Menorah for eight days. It is a Jewish tradition to eat foods that reflect the significance of a holiday – such as matzah on Passover, and apple dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah – and Chanukah is no exception. For at least the last thousand years, Jews have traditionally eaten oily foods on Chanukah.

Among the most popular Chanukah dishes are potato latkes(pancakes) and sufganiot (deep-fried doughnuts).

Actually, oil is also symbolic of the spiritual war waged by the Maccabees. See The War Is All About The Oil for more on this topic.

It is also customary to eat dairy foods on Chanukah, in commemoration of the bravery of YehuditClick here to read the story of this brave woman whose daring courage led to a great Maccabee victory.

For RECIPES, click here.

 

CHANUKKAH Games

The main Chanukah Game played is with a wooden cone shaped piece called DREIDEL/DREYDEL. This Dreidel has great significance as already written above.

It is said that one of the origins of the dreidel is that the dreidel comes from the book of Esther. It is shaped similarly to the die or the “pur” Haman used as a way to ascertain the most auspicious day of the week to kill the Jews. As the scripture of Esther progresses, Esther and Mordecai (her uncle, but also her father figure) save the Jews from their horrible fate. They turn the thirteenth day of Adar, the day that Haman planned to kill all the Jews, into a day where the Jews overcome, and take revenge over those who were planning to annihilate them. The die or the “pur” represents the good day that the Jews gained from Esther and Mordecai. It is a joyous day, that is written as a Decree in the Persian empire, that Jews celebrate this day of saving.

Note the words on the Dreidel/Dreydel that we use to play games during the Feast of CHANUKAH/HANUKKAH bears by the Hebrew Letters “Gimmel, Nun, Hey/Pey and Shin” mean: “A GREAT MIRACLE HAPPENED HERE”

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“HERE” refers to JERUSALEM, Israel. particularly in the YAH’S Temple.

These letters were originally a mnemonic for the rules of a gambling game played with a dreidel:

  • Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht (“nothing”),
  • Hey stands for halb (“half”),
  • Gimel for gants (“all”),

and

  • Shin for shtel ayn (“put in”).

 

In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is inscribed with the letter פ‎ (Pei) instead, rendering the acronym, נס גדול היה פה‎, Nes Gadol Hayah Poh—”A great miracle happened here”, referring to the miracle occurring in the Land of Israel. Some stores in Haredi neighborhoods sell the ש dreidels.

Depending on which player side is facing up when it stops spinning, they give or take game pieces from the pot:
  1. a) If נ‎ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing.
  2. b) If ג‎ (gimel) is facing up, the player gets everything in the pot.
  3. c) If ה‎ (he) is facing up, the player gets half of the pieces in the pot
  4. d) If ש‎ (shin) or פ‎ (pe) is facing up, the player adds a game piece to the pot (often accompanied with the chant “Shin, Shin, put one in”). In some game versions a Shin results in adding three game pieces to the pot (one for each stem of the Shin).
  5. e) If the player is out of pieces, they are either “out” or may ask another player for a “loan”.
  6. These rules are comparable to the rules for a classic four-sided teetotum, where the letters A, D, N and T form a mnemonic for the rules of the game, aufer (take), depone (put), nihil(nothing), and totum (all). Similarly, the Hebrew letters on a dreidel may be taken as a mnemonic for the game rules in Yiddish. Occasionally, in the United States, the Hebrew letters on the dreidel form an English-language mnemonic about the rules: Hay, or “H” standing for “half;” Gimel, or “G” standing for “get all;” Nun or “N” standing for “nothing;” and Shin or “S” standing for “share”.

 

 

For Biblical Text and information on:

 

 

 

 

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HOW TO LIGHT THE MENORAH LAMP DURING THE FEAST OF HANUKAH:

 

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF HANUKKAH:

 

TEACHING ON THE FEAST OF HANUKKAH: