Hanukkah starts tonight! Time to run hot water over your menorahs to melt the colored wax from last year. Time to get ready for the smell of onions and potatoes frying in oil. Time to save up calories for jelly donuts and chocolate, oy! Time to buy a gift for a loved one and to put together a special something for a family in need. Time to plug in those electric menorahs and put them in the window so the neighbors will know there is a Jewish house on their street.
There are so many people who do not know how to properly celebrate Hanukkah. I will include a few links here to help you.
But more than a bissel of instructions, we also need to know how to find the messages of Hanukkah. There are many messages that spring from Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is a call to resist assimilation away from the Jewish and Torah lifestyle and to just blend in. If the Israelites in the days of the Maccabees had been as slack as our generation, there would be no Jews in the world anymore!
Hanukkah is a call to rededication, purifying the defiled areas of our lives and making our personal and household temples pure again for God.
Hanukkah is a wake up call about future events (see Monday and Tuesday’s posts about Daniel and Hanukkah). Antiochuses will rise again. Will we be Mattathiases?
Hanukkah is also abut Messiah. You won’t hear this on mainstream Jewish sites. Yeshua had a message at Hanukkah about being the Good Shepherd.
Messiah asks us at Hanukkah, “What shepherds are we following?” The message is holiday-appropriate. In days of yore the Israelites allowed their leaders to be compromisers, like Jason and Menelaus who shepherded the people away from Judaism and into assimilation with the Greek ways of the world. But that generation cast out the false shepherds and followed the Hasidim and Maccabeans.
Yeshua asked his generation (in John 10), what shepherds are you following? Do you know the difference between the thief and the Good Shepherd?
So, below I will post a few how-to links for Hanukkah as well as an outline for reading John 10. Check back later today and I may put a few notes with the John 10 outline as well.
Above all, may your Hanukkah be blessed in the love of God and people!
A Few Links to Help You Celebrate
How to light the Menorah and say the Blessings:
A video on how to light the Menorah:
The Hanukkah Story Messianic Jewish Style:
The Hanukkah Story:
In-depth article on history and meaning of Hanukkah:
How to play dreidl (hint: we play with M&M’s or Hershey’s Kisses):
How to make Latkes (hint: we prefer the Manischewitz box mix, Latkes/Potato Pancakes):
Reading About Messiah and Hanukkah
John 10:1-6 The Shepherd and the Thief
John 10:7-10 The Door to Life
John 10:11-13 The Good Shepherd
John 10:14-18 One Flock
John 10:19-21 Possessed or Prophet?
John 10:22-30 Hanukkah, Miracles, Messiah
John 10:31-39 God, Man, Miracles