December 14, 2006
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I received a newsletter from an organization called “Jews for Jesus” and in this newsletter they gave a wonderful explaination and definition of the celebration of Hanukkah. I thought you would enjoy reading this article and so I am posting this on my blog. The article states the following……
• Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of the Syrio-Greek tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes IV, around 165 B.C. At that time, the armies of Judah Maccabee recaptured Jerusalem, cleansed the Temple, and reinstated the sacrifices that had ceased. And that’s why this holiday is called “Hag Hanukkah” – the Feast of the Dedication.
• According to tradition, when the menorah – the seven-armed candelabrum in the Temple – was rekindled, there was only enough consecrated oil to keep the light burning for one day. But by a miracle, the light burned for eight days, providing enough time to bring fresh oil for the lamp. And that’s why Hanukkah lasts for eight days.
• Unlike the seven-branched menorah that stood in the Temple, the Hanukkah menorah (or hanukkiah) that we light during this holiday has nine arms. The center arm is called the shammas, and it’s used to light all the other lights on the menorah, one for each night. By the eighth night, our homes are aglow with the brightness of the fully-lit menorahs. And that’s why Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights.
• There is only one place in the entire Bible where we find a reference to Hanukkah: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch” (John 10:22-23).
• It was at Hanukkah that Y’shua, the Light of the World, stood in the Temple area and declared, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).