Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Hannukah starts tomorrow at our house….

At our house, we will be celebrating Hannukah beginning at sunset on November 21, 2019. (Yes, I know we are a month ahead of everyone else, but as you know, Bill and I don’t do the rabbinic calendar. ) Regardless, if you’re new to Torah and wish to participate in the tradition of Hanukkah, the Season of Miracles (in whichever calendar you decide to follow), then simply read our articles of explanation about Hannukah, which include the words of the traditional blessing before lighting the candles on your Hannukiyah each night.

It is important to note that the Hannukiyah (Hannukah menorah) is different from the "daily" menorah in that it features a 9-branch menorah. The tradition is that we are to set our hanukkiah in a window where everyone can see it; and for consecutive eight days at sunset, we light the chamash (servant candle which is in the center of the hanukkiah) and use it to light the other candles.

In other words, on the first day we light the chamash with a match/lighter and then use that candle to light the first candle (beginning at the far RIGHT and working to the LEFT as the days go by). On the first day we have the chamash and one candle lit. On the second day, we take a new chamash and use it to light TWO candles (again beginning at the far right, meaning a total of three candles lit - the chamash and two candles)...repeating this for all 8 days when all the candles are lit. Each time we allow the candles to burn all the way down and replace them; each night we use a new chamash candle.

Hanukkah is a great witnessing tool, one of those wonderful holidays where we can show the world we are "different." When family members or neighbors see the Hannukiyah in our windows, they automatically think, "Hmm, Jewish." In some cases, it can lead them to question exactly what it means, and some will be curious enough to either ask us about it, or research it on their own - which might just lead them to wonder what else this "Jewish religion" contains. What they will find is that our Torah observant faith is not a “Jewish religion”; it is simply a wonderful belief system that follows God’s commands as outlined in His Torah (first five Books of the Bible that contains all of His do’s and don’ts).

By the way, Yeshua our Messiah - the "Light of the World" was conceived during "The Festival of Lights" and he participated in the feast of Dedication! (You can count exactly nine months from Hanukkah to Sukkot!)

John 10: 22 Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo's Colonnade. 24 So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, "How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!" 25 Yeshua answered them, "I have already told you, and you don't trust me. The works I do in my Father's name testify on my behalf, 26 but the reason you don't trust is that you are not included among my sheep.

27 My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father's hands. 30 I and the Father are one."

31 Once again the Judeans picked up rocks in order to stone him. 32 Yeshua answered them, "You have seen me do many good deeds that reflect the Father's power; for which one of these deeds are you stoning me?" 33 The Judeans replied, "We are not stoning you for any good deed, but for blasphemy -- because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God [Hebrew: Elohim]." 34 Yeshua answered them, "Isn't it written in your Torah, `I have said, "You people are Elohim?'"

35 If he called `elohim' the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed (and the Torah cannot be broken), 36 then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, `You are committing blasphemy,' just because I said, `I am a son of Elohim'? 37 "If I am not doing deeds that reflect my Father's power, don't trust me. 38 But if I am, then, even if you don't trust me, trust the deeds; so that you may understand once and for all that the Father is united with me, and I am united with the Father." (CJB)

(Our articles about Hannukah and the Menorah can be found at these links:  Hannukah and About the Menorah.)

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