Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Hanukkah!

Last night marked the start of the celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil following the Maccabean revolution.  After this, the sons of Israel went up to the Temple and rebuilt its gates and purified the Temple from the dead bodies and from the defilement. And they sought after pure olive oil to light the lamps therewith, but could not find any, except one bowl that was sealed with the signet ring of the High Priest from the days of Samuel the prophet and they knew that it was pure. There was in it enough oil to light the lamps for one day, but the God of heaven whose name dwells there put therein his blessing and they were able to light from it eight days.

Through this miracle we see God's provision to his people.  And for those of us who follow Christianity it shows us God's provision in the period between the testaments.  It reminds us that though our Bible is silent regarding that period, God was still at work.  He was still providing for His people and preparing the way for His ultimate light to come into the world.

To my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah!  May the Lord light up your soul and bless you with love and you, on Hanukkah and always!

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time.

We kindle these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that You made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through Your holy priests.  During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations.

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