Hanukkah Joy

Shalom, brethren and sisters in Messiah.

We hope that you will have a wonderful Hanukkah. This will be our first year keeping it, and we are certainlylooking forward to it. You can read the Hanukkah account in 1 Maccabees chapters 1-4. You can also ordera free book on the subject from Hebrew Roots (www.hebrewroots.net) - P.O. Box 400 - Lakewood, WI 54138 or call 1-715-757-2775.

Following is an excerpt from an email that a friend of our's sent us regarding Hanukkah. "We do have a Chanukiah..... We first light the Chumash candle, which is the servant candle used to light all the others. With the chumash candle on the 1st night we light 1 candle starting from the left. We then let both candles burn themselves out. On the second night we light the Chumash and then light 2 candles from left to right, and let them burn out also, and so on so forth until on the eighth night we light all 8 candles with the Chumash. We also sing and pray each night and do some Chanukah praise dances that we know."

We do not have a Hanukiah. We will probably just line up nine candles, with the center one being the tallest.

We ought to remember that our Messiah Yahshua is a form of a Chumash (servant) candle. Yea, He is King of all kings, and much higher than us, similar to the way the Chumash candle is higher than the other candles, and yet He is a servant. How profound!

During Hanukkah we are going to be reading Scripture each day. The Hanukkah book from Hebrew Roots is largely Scripture readings for each day of Hanukkah, plus instructions on lighting the candles, some traditional Hebrew prayers (in English), the part of 1 Maccabees that has to do with Hanukkah, and an introduction to Hanukkah. Part of the introduction, or forward, is as follows: "The story of Hanukkah (which means 'Dedication' in Hebrew) began in 167 BCE when Antiochus Epiphanies (king of the Selucid Empire) defiled the Temple in Jerusalem by killing a pig and having its blood sprinkled on the Alter of [Slaughtering]. He then set up an image of Zeus in the [Set-apart] Place. Some say this image actually carried the face of Antiochus himself, and that the statutes of Zeus which exist today carry those same facial features.

According to tradition, three years after this event, on the very same day (Chislev 25), the Maccabees (a Jewish family of the priestly line of Aaron) began what is now called Hanukkah, an annual eight day celebration of the rededication of the Temple. After the city of Jerusalem had been liberated of its oppressors, the Temple was cleansed and repaired. All the preparations had been made to begin the dedication ceremony when they discovered there was only enough consecrated Menorah oil to burn for one day. It would have taken another eight days to properly prepare a new batch of oil. However, they decided not to postpone the Hanukkah (dedication) ceremony because they desired to begin Temple service on the very same day of the year in which it had been defiled. So, they proceeded to light the lamps of the Menorah in complete faith that [Yahweh] would provide the light (just as He had provided them victory over the Syrian army by their ragtag guerrilla warriors), and the one day supply of oil micaculously lasted for the full eight days.

Because of this 'miracle of the lights,' Jewish people around the world continue to celebrate the festival of Hanukkah each year beginning on Chivlev 25. While it is not a 'commanded' festival like Passover, Shavu'ot, and Sukkot, it is a festival that Yeshua celebrated (John 10:22), and it brims over with meaning and symbolism."

Have a wonderful Hanukkah everyone! Remember, we are the temple of the Set-apart Spirit. May we let His zeal and fire burn in our thoughts, hearts, and lives for evermore. "I will bless Yahweh at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)

In Messiah,
Sister Rivqah (Rebekah Coover)




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