Our Hanukkah (Days 1 – 8)

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

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The Servant Candle

The Chanukiah (the Hanukkah menorah) has very special instructions for how it is lit. The lamp stand itself has eight candles, with one extra candle set apart or placed higher than the other candles. This special candle is the shamash, or servant candle.  All the main candles on the menorah receive their light from the shamash. In the same manner, we receive our light from the Messiah, the Suffering Servant of The Almighty of whom it was written:

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JJ lighting Hanukkah candles, 2009

Tuesday, December 20, begins one of my favorite holidays: Hanukkah. We celebrated it for the first time two years ago, and I cannot tell you how deep and meaningful we found it. I can’t wait to celebrate it again.

Hanukkah is not listed among the Feasts God commanded the Israelites to celebrate in Leviticus 23. However, John 10:22 mentions Jesus celebrating this Feast while He lived on earth.

Hanukkah is about standing against the culture, not letting the darkness overcome our light. It is very relevant for the times in which we live.

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Christmas Celebration

Lately I have been reading or listening to discussions about the pagan roots and traditions of Christmas, and about whether, in light of this, Christmas ought to be celebrated or not. Some people love Christmas because “Jesus is the reason for the season” and others hate it because of it’s pagan-ness.
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L’Shanah Tovah – Happy New Year!

Today begins the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets).

Speak to the children of Yisra’el, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of shofars, a holy convocation. (Lev. 23:24)

As Gentile believers, we are not commanded to keep this feast or any other. We are not effecting any sort of spiritual merit by performing rituals of acts of tradition, since the Lord Jesus is our righteousness before the Father. We are not made right with God through anything other than the shed blood of Jesus on the cross for our sins! However, there are many things the Christian can learn from the Jewish observances. They can deepen our understanding and walk as talmidim (disciples) of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Celebrating the Feast of Trumpets can help us in the following ways: