The Feast of Hanukkah (transliterada into English as Chanukah) called the feast of dedication, lights or luminaries, is a festival that for eight days from the 25th day of kislev on the Hebrew calendar, commemorates the recovery of Jewish independence at the hands of the Maccabees over the Greeks and also speaks of the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem in the year 165 BC. This celebration takes place between November and December of the Gregorian calendar.
The story of the miracle of Hanukkah and the celebration is preserved in the books of First and Second of Maccabees that today are not in the Hebrew Text or Protestant Bibles; but it was in the Septuagint (AT) and in those writings that Yeshua,the Messiah of Israel, read.
The idea of making party with the dedication or rededication of a temple is referred in:
Bamidbar (Num) 7:11 “And YHWH said to Mosheh, “Let them bring their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar“.
2 Divrei HaYamim (Chro) 7:9 “And on the eighth day they held an assembly, for they performed the dedication of the altar seven days, and the festival seven days“.
Ezra 6:16 “Then the children of Israel, the priests and the Lĕvites and the rest of the sons of the exile, did the dedication of this House of Elah with joy,“.
Yacob (Jam) 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of turning.”.
Up to the year 200 to. C., Judea was part of Egypt. Then King Antíoco III the Great of Syria defeated Ptolomeo V Epifanes and annex Judea as part of the Syrian Empire. The King guaranteed the right of the Jewish people to practice their religion in the Temple in Jerusalem. In the year 175 A C., Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus III, invaded Judea. In addition to plunder the city, it defiled the temple, and put an end to the constant practice of offering a sacrifice of Atonement every day for three years and six months. In the year 167 to. C., Antiochus Epiphanes ordered the construction of an altar to Zeus in the temple, forbade the circumcision and ordered to sacrifice pigs in the altar of the temple. His mandates resulted in a full-scale revolt among the Jews.
There begins the story of what later would be “the miracle of Chanukah”. Mattathias, a priest Jew along with their five children led the rebellion against Antiochus. In the year 166 to. C. Mattathias dies, and Judah, one of their sons, takes his place as leader of the rebellion. In the year 165 BC the rebellion against the Seleucid King triumphs, and the temple is liberated and rededicated.
The temple need to be cleaned, and to build a new altar. According to the Talmud, is needed oil of olive to light the Menorah of the temple, that should remain lit all the night, each night. But only enough oil found to turn ona single day, and – miraculously – this oil reached for eight days, the time needed to prepare new oil for the Menorah. A feast of eight days was established to commemorate this miracle each year.
The history in Maccabees I, indicates that it was proclaimed a celebration of eight days with chants and sacrifices to the re-dedicate is the altar, without make mention to the miracle of the oil. The miracle of Hanukkah is described in the Talmud and in the gemara, in the Section of Shabbat.
During this festival Jews light up a hanukiyah or chandelier with eight arms plus one more (so-called “shamash”). On the first night only only light up the shamash and a candle, and each night increases one more candle, until the last day in which all the candlestick is light on full. This commemorates the miracle of the oil at the time of Maccabees when it lasted eight days.The hanukiyah or nine candelabrum is placed in or near the windows so that all remember the celebration.
According to the Halakha (Jewish Law), Hanukkah is not a feast like Shabbat, in the sense of that not there is prohibition of make them types of tasks prohibited in Shabbat.
They usually meet with family or friends each day of the hanukiyah and exchange presents each night as games or dreidels. Is traditional to eat sweets, pancakes of potato latkes, doughnuts of jellies or Sephardic Bimuelos.
¿DID YESHUA, THE MESSIAH , PARTICIPATE IN THE FESTIVITY OF HANUKKAH ?
Yohanan (John) 10:22-23 “At that time the Ḥanukkah came to be in Yerushalayim, and it was winter. And Yeshua was walking in the Set-apart Place, in the porch of Shelomoh“.
His expression “I am the light of the world” refers to it:
Yohanan (John) 8:12 “Therefore Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life..”
HIS DISCIPLES WERE JEWS AND ALL PRACTICED THE FESTIVITIES AND THE LAW OF MOSES
The disciples of Yeshua, Apostles, were all Jews as he, born of Jewish mother and practitioners of the observance of the Torah. They observed the laws and Hebrew traditions.
Lukas (Luc) 2:39 “And when they had accomplished all matters according to the Torah of YHWH, they returned to Galil, to their city Natsareth”.
Yohanan (John) 2:13-14 “And the Passover of the Yehudim was near, and went up to Yerushalayim. And He found in the Set-apart Place those selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers sitting”.
Yohanan (John) 5:1-2 “After this there was a festival of the Yehudim, and went up to Yerushalayim. And in Yerushalayim at the Sheep Gate there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bĕyth Zatha, having five porches”.
Yohanan (John) 7:1-3, 10 “And after these things Yeshua was walking in Galilee; for He did not desire to walk in Judea, because the Jews were lusting to kill Him. And the Feast of Sukkot in Judea was near. Then His brothers said to Him, Move away from here and go to Judea, that Your disciples will also see Your works which You do.. But when His brothers went up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as in secret.”.
Lukas (Luk) 22:14-15 “And when the hour came, He reclined, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, I have greatly desired that I eat this Passover with you before I suffer”.
In the future we all will celebrate al the Festivities of YHWH inJerusalem as it says in:
Revelation 21:23-24 “And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it, for the esteem of Elohim lightened it, and the Lamb is its lamp. And the gentiles, of those who are saved, shall walk in its light, and the sovereigns of the earth bring their esteem into it”.
Happy Hanukkah to all.
Rabino Yosef Ben Marques © 2016