I have decided to combined all the nights in one post rather than do a new post each night. I will update this each evening. Scroll down to read the Scripture for the new candle.
JJ and I have been celebrating the eight nights of Hanukkah by saying the blessings and lighting the candles. Each evening we light an additional candle as JJ reads the blessings in Hebrew and either he or I repeat them in English. We read the same blessings and Scripture each day, adding the Scripture for the new candle.
EJ was able to join us on Day 5. He read the blessings and scripture in English and JJ read the blessings in Hebrew. It felt particularly special to have EJ celebrate Hanukkah with us. I made latkes and we ate them with applesauce, which is traditional Jewish Hanukkah food. Latkes are a potato pancake. My friend gave me her Jewish grandmother’s recipe. You can find the recipe at my other blog: http://wp.me/s1HoGH-latkes. See pictures of tonight’s Hanukkah celebration here: http://wp.me/P22QEm-oV
Messianic Candle Lighting Blessing:
This blessing is recited first.
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, asher natan lanu cha-gim, min-ha-gim, oo-mo-ah-dim l’sim-cha, l’hag-deel et da-at Adonai, v’liv-not oh-tah-nu b’emunah ki-do-shah v’na-ah-lah.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us holidays, customs, and times of happiness, to increase the knowledge of God and to build us up in our most holy faith.
She’asah Nissim Blessing
This blessing is recited to recall the miracle of Hanukkah season. She’asah nissim means “who makes miracles for our fathers.”
Baruch Ata Adonai Elohaynu Melech ha-olam, she-ah-sah niseem la- ah-vo-tay-nu ba-ya-meem ha-hem baz-man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this season.
After one candle has been lit, the Hanerot Hallelu may be recited while lighting the other candles.
Hanerot halalu anachnu madlikin
Al hanissim ve’al haniflaot
Al hatshu-ot ve’al hamilchamot
Bayamim hahem, bazman hazeh
Al yedey kohanecha hakdoshim.
Vechol shmonat yemey Chanukah
Hanerot halalu kodesh hem,
Ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtamesh bahem
Ela lirotam bilvad
Kedai lehodot leshimcha
Al nissecha veal nifleotecha ve-al yeshuotecha.
We light 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 Chanukah
These lights are sacred
And we are not permitted to make
Ordinary use of them,
But only to look at them;
In order to express thanks
And praise to Your great Name
For your miracles, Your wonders
And your salvations
Shamash (servant) Candle
The Shamash Candle, which represents Yeshua, is lit first and then used to light the other candles. As JJ lit the candle, I read the following:
Messiah Yeshua stated in Mark 10:44-15:
“Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
JJ lit the first candle with the Shamash candle while I read the following:
Genesis 1:3-4 describes the creation of the first light:
God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Exodus 13:21-22 reveals that God is the course of Israel’s light.
And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
King David reminds us that God Himself is the source of our own individual light:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? (Psalms 27:1)? For You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness (Psalms 18:28)
Psalm 119:105 and Psalm 119:130 describe light that comes from God’s Word:
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
Messiah Yeshua is the greatest light of all:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:4-5).
As Messiah Yeshua was in the Temple in Jerusalem watching the illuminating lights, He declared: “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Aged Simeon was promised by the Lord that he would not die until he saw Israel’s Messiah. When he saw Yeshua as an infant in the Temple, he knew that this One was the light of Israel and the Nations. Simeon declared: “My eye has seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah (2 Corinthians 4:6).
After we come to know Messiah, we are to be a source of light for the world. King Messiah tells us in Matthew 5:14-16:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good words, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the future glory of a restored Israel in Isaiah 60:1-3:
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you…And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Revelation 21:22-27 give us a description of our eternal dwelling place in the New Jerusalem:
And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it. And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed, and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
And so we end Hanukkah. Shalom B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiach. Peace in the Name of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.