My Rule for Life

I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hanukkah

Good evening friends, followers and fellow bloggers.  This evening we have a guest post by Spitfire of  lovelettersfrompapa.blogspot.com/   


Thank you for writing it  Spitfire. I hope you all enjoy a little educational story outside our normal relm of discussion.  
Pops


Hi Everyone! Today at sundown is the beginning of Hanukkah. I realize lots of folks don't know much about Hanukkah and Pops asked me to try to explain a little about it. So let's see if I can 'shed some light' on the subject. (Sorry for the pun, couldn't help myself.) OK, Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights (hence the pun...) or the Festival of Dedication. The story begins long, long ago in a distant land...the land of Ancient Israel. This will require quite a bit of century skipping to keep this short, so please forgive me.

Around 200 BC, which would be during the 'silent' period in Christian Bibles, between the 'old' and 'new' testaments, the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes  took over control of Judea and Samaria. He began slowly to outlaw the practice of Judaism and took over the Jewish Temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). This was not received well by the Jewish people. But when he insisted on slaughtering pigs on the Temple Altar to honor Zeus, according to his Hellenistic faith, things reached a boiling point. There was a Jewish priest (yes they were called priests way back in Exodus!) named Mattithius with 5 sons who said "That's enough!" (Paraphrased) He and his sons led a revolt against Antiochus who called in the whole Greek army. Mattithius was killed and his son Judah the Macabbee (meaning hammer) takes over. This begins the Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom. The fight takes 2 years, but this rough and tumble bunch of Jews defeats the Greek army! They immediately set out to clean and resanctify the Temple (this would be Solomon's Temple I believe). When they are ready to relight the Menorah (candelabra), they only find one small jar of sanctified oil. Oops. Now what will they do? Well, they'll gather some olives to make more oil and have it sanctified of course. But that process takes 8 days. Oy vey! Well, they decide they'll have to relight the Menorah to signify that the Temple is ready for YHWH to return and dwell there...and just have to get the fresh olive oil done as quickly as possible....knowing it will take 8 days. When they return to the Temple, they were dumbfounded!! The Menorah was still lit!!! There was oil for one day, but now 8 full days later, the Menorah is still lit!! Oh, what a miracle happened there!!! Quick! A celebration is in order!

Now, jump forward a couple hundred years...it's now the time of Yeshua. He's a grown man ministering around the countryside. In John 10:22, it says He was in Yerushaliyam (Jerusalem) in winter for the Feast of Dedication...ahah! He's there for Hanukkah! SInce Yeshua and His followers were practicing Jews, of course they'd celebrate Hanukkah! Now, if you keep reading He tells folks He's there to do the work His Father had sent Him to do. If you have a Bible with the Apocrypha, the whole battle is found in 1 and 2 Macabees. It's a great story of valor, drama and faith. If you don't have a copy, check out Hebrew4Christians, they have a great sight to find out more about Christianity's Jewish roots.

Ok, so what do we do to celebrate this now??? Well, this is where it gets fun! We light a special Menorah, called a Hanukiah, that has 9 branches. We light a candle adding another one each night till all 8 candles are lit. The ninth candle is the Shamesh, the helper candle. (Psst, see a correlation to the Father in that? The Helper Candle? Lights the other candles to shed their light into the darkness....sounding slightly familar? Kinda like Yeshua??? Hmmm, I thought so.) Anyway, we light the candles, say special prayers that thank Papa for providing for us, protecting us and bringing us to this time of year. Then we eat....and eat.....and eat. In fact, I think we eat more at Hanukkah than any other holiday except Pesach (Passover). We eat sufganiyot (jelly donuts), latkes (potato pancakes) in all different styles, chocolate gelt (coins), cookies and most anything you can fry or bake in oil. Then we play games..,.things like the Dreidel game and family type games that all can participate in. And we sing songs and dance. You've never sung until you've sung "Bubbe had a latke cake!" (It's sung to the tune of Mammy's little darling makes Shortnin Bread...) We spend lots of time together as a family and with friends having fun. Celebrating! It's tons of fun, lasts for 8 days and gives us reasons to truly enjoy the gluminess of winter.

So as all we who observe the Biblical fFeasts prepare for Hanukkah to start, we pray peace, joy and laughter into the lives of all. May your days be filled with His light, as our homes will be filled with the light of our candles that remind us of His light. May your hearts be filled with joy, peace and sounds that remind you how much Papa loves you. And may YHWH, (G-d), our Elohim (the Divine) bless each and everyone of you each of your days and draw you closer to Him with each breathe you take. Shalom and Mozel Tov! Spitfire

16 comments:

Anders Branderud said...

You quoted: “Hebrew4Christians, they have a great sight to find out more about Christianity's Jewish roots. ”

In the Christian “NT” it is written about “salvation in faith in Jesus”. So let’s examine if that is compatible with Torah, which the term “Christianity’s [le-havdil] Jewish roots” indicate.

How to live in order to enable the Creator in His loving kindness to provide His foregivness is outlined in the Jewish Bible ; and was also taught by the first century Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth (the Mashiakh; the Messiah).

The Jewish Bible – for example Yekhëzqeil (Hezekiel) 18 – promises foregivness to those and only those who do their sincerest to keep Torah. The Creator cannot lie and He does not change (Malakhi 3:6)! According to Tehilim (“Psalms”) 103 the Creator gives his foregivness to those who do their sincerest to keep His berit (“covenant”; the pre-conditions to be included in the berit is according to the Jewish Bible to do ones sincerest to keep Torah).

That is the Torah-view of foregiveness.

You will find Ribi Yehoshuas teachings here: Netzarim

Anders Branderud

ABNPOPPA said...

Anders,

Thank you for your comments. All who worship G-d and those who don't are welcome at Conservative Outrage. Perhaps you will consider becoming a follower and give us another viewpoint to examine on the variety of subjects we discuss.

I will let the author of the post, Spitfire, comment regarding yours.

Shalom,

Pops

MightyMom said...

To Spitfire:

A good week
A week of Peace
May Happiness
And Joy Increase!!!


thanks for the insight.

MightyMom said...

Anders,
you confuse me....are you trying to say that Christianity doesn't have Jewish roots??

Cuz, last I checked....Jesus was a devout Jew.

Spitfire said...

Jungle Mom, thanks for the kind wishes. Praying your holiday is blessed also with peace, joy and greater understanding of our Abba (Father.)

Anders, I will not take up all of Pop's post here to argue with you. I went to your link, and you state you don't even recognize the B'rit Hadashah (New Testament)...so it appears you are of a more Pharisaical leaning than I am. (It appears from the website at your link you believe in being able to follow all 613 mitzvot to gain tzedakah.) I disagree with you. And that's my right to do. Just as you have the right to disagree with me. Toda for your response, even if we do agree to disagree. Shalom, and Hag Sameck.

Spitfire said...

OOps, Sorry Mighty Mom....got the wrong name. I'm so sorry....but thank you anyway for the kind wishes. (I'm red faced now.....)

Elizabeth said...

Judaism is full of colorful holidays. They do mostly seem to focus on how the plucky Jews defeated their more numerous enemies however. I think I would find it tiring to dwell on battles from thousands of years ago; who cares anymore? However I do like potato latkes. Although some may find it hard to believe, I spent one Hannukah in Israel, where someone fed me a potato latke.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Pops,

Since I haven't heard anything, I was wondering if you received my email on HannukaH?

ABNPOPPA said...

Elizabeth,

I find your comment disturbing and unflattering from a person as learned as yourself. It is not my policy to remove comments unless they are truly offensive or the language is obscene to the point editing would destroy the meaning of the commenter. You would be only the second comment I would have deleted since starting this post. After much consideration I have decided, as I do with all who comment here to let it stand. Conservative Outrage is for "open discussion" and your comment no matter how crude is "your" opinion.

I will say on a personal note from me to you I find it beneath your dignity and would have expected better of you.

Having said that, Shalom and my G-d Bless and keep you.

Pops

Harry said...

Elizabeth,
Of course we Jews celebrate defeating our more numerous enemies. One of the things we are celebrating is our survival, which in my book is certainly worth celebrating. We are also passing down our history to our children, one of the more important obligations parents have toward their children.

In addition to the knowledge gained, there are great lessons to be learned from the study of history, the most important being that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that is happening today has happened numerous times in the past in many guises. How should we react to today's events? Let history be a guide.

This next part may sound like an insult, but it really isn't.

Ready?

Here goes -

If you studied more history and acquainted yourself with the facts behind today's events, you might not hold the views that you currently hold. And you wouldn't be a such a sucker for the "Palestinian cause" and every ridiculous anti-Israel charge that you believe.

Subvet said...

Spitfire, thanks for the edifying post.

Elizabeth, you comments are so condescending and patronizing they defy description.

Elizabeth said...

Harry, remember the saying "generals are always fighting the last war."

I made a personal remark on why I'm not a Jew. To each his (or her) own. Christianity was based on forgiveness and mercy. Islam was based on discipline and obedience to God. Judaism was based on a belief in the specialness of the Jewish people as an elite, a belief which ensures minority status and tends to lead to conflict with others.

I am intrigued by the fascination with Judaism on this supposedly Christian blog. I think that Judaism may appeal psychologically to the extreme right-wing and to fundamentalist Christians because these groups are the minority (like Jews) and therefore feel oppressed (like Jews). The far right and fundamentalist Christians feel embattled. They don't feel like they belong to one of the world's largest religions, because their beliefs are out of the mainstream even though most Americans identify as Christian. Thus the appeal of Judaism and the identification with the Jewish people.

Harry said...

Elizabeth,
"generals are always fighting the last war." is a rather cryptic comment. It leads me to believe that you didn't understand a word I said.

Elizabeth said...

Harry, "Generals are always fighting the last war" is an old saying among people who study HISTORY. I thought that was one of your favorite subjects! I believe the origin is from the World Wars, after the French built the Maginot Line after WWI to protect themselves from the Germans, and the Germans just rolled over the Maginot Line with their tanks during WWII. The Maginot Line was based on what would have worked in WWI.

Harry said...

The problem is that your comment has nothing to do with why Jews celebrate the holidays we celebrate, which is what I thought we were discussing. And it has nothing to do with any of the comments I've made on this thread. Your comment is a non sequitur.

Elizabeth said...

Harry, here is what you said:

" How should we react to today's events? Let history be a guide."

That's what I was responding to.

Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.

Read more about this famous Lutheran Pastor at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer