Why Hanukah? Hanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev, which is at nightfall Wednesday December 1st of 2010, for 8 consecutive evenings, ending December 9th 2010. What is Hanukah? Rabbinic tradition is to light a 9 branch menorah for 8 nights. The center branch is the servant lighting the 8 others. This is done to commemorate the 8 day miracle of the oil attested to in the Babylonian Talmud (not mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud). This is said to have occurred during the cleansing of the Temple from the abomination after the Maccabbees fought to regain control back from Antiochus Epiphanes and the Syrian Greeks during the intertestamental period (2nd c. BC) prior to Messiah’s birth. Why should a Christian care about Hanukah? Hanukah is not even in the Old Testament, though an ‘abomination of desolation’ in the Temple like Daniel speaks of occurred during this time. However, interestingly, Hanukah is spoken of in the Gospel of John.
John 10:22 It was the Feast of Hanukkah at Yerushalayim.
23 It was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple, in Shlomo’s porch.
It was at Hanukah the Jews asked Y’shua point blank to tell them plainly if he was the Messiah or not and when he did they wanted to stone him. Why at Hanukah? Hanukah was a time commemorative of fighting back oppressors and winning. Could these have been zealots who were not happy that Y’shua was not going to overthrow the Romans with them?So why do Jews observe Hanukah and most Christians do not?Roman Catholicism shaped the traditional Christian holidays and persecuted things that they deemed Jewish and the Jews were already observing Hanukah before Messiah’s time. The Pharisees decided the traditions for the Jews who follow the Talmudic teachings. There is a sect of Jews called Karaite (scripture only Jews) who do not celebrate Hanukah at all, yet are thankful to YHWH at this time of year for preserving the scriptures during this period of horrifying persecution. There are some Christians who celebrate alongside the Jews and their traditions. Other Christians chose to use this time to reflect on how God not only preserved the scriptures but prepared the Temple for the yet to come Messiah Y’shua to be presented as a baby in the Temple as witnessed by Hannah and Simeon and to teach on the Temple steps.Hebrew 4 Christians has a wonderful article (see below) on this from the Christian perspective and why we should be aware of Hanukah from a historical and scriptural perspective in order to understand Y’shua’s words and the prophecy about the ‘abomination of desolation’ with a well informed view.
Shalom Aleichem,Dee Stover
Kol Kevuda Bat Melech PenimaAll the honor of the daughter of the King resides within