Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Light of Hanukkah

Glowing candles light my grandson's face and dance in his eyes as we light the Hanukkah menorah.   He won't remember his first mennorah lighting, but I will.  We're making memories that will connect him to his family and to Hashem.  

I love the symbols of Judaism because they are  powerfully sensory and serve to help us understand spiritual concepts.  I've read that children most effectively when they use all of their senses.  Chanukkah (and all of the Feasts and Festivals really) are rich in sensory learning:

Placing and lighting the candles - the sense of touch
The burning lights - the sense of sight and smell
The prayers and songs - the sense of sound
The chocolate gelt - the sense of taste
And last, playing dreidyl - teaches Hebrew!!!

Hanukkah teaches several spiritual lessons other than the history of the rededication of the Holy Temple by the Maccabees. My post Yeshua is the Light of Chanukkah gives that history and my post Christmas - Unplugged  tells how I celebrate the holidays together.

The term Hanukkah is from the Hebrew root word hanakh, which means "to initiate, to dedicate, to narrow, to educate".  When one dedicates, he narrows the use of something and restricts it within specific parameters.  He also gives it limited use.   The Hanukkah menorah is only used once a year during the eight-day period of the holiday celebration.  It has eight branches, as compared to  the usual seven-branched menorah.  It is different and it is special.  The candles are different also, because they are multi-colored as compared to the normal white candles.

The symbolism of the Hanukkah celebration reminds us to yearly rededicate ourselves to be vessals for the holy oil of the Spirit.  We are reminded to be set apart from the world, unique, different so as to be remarkable to others.  The bright and shining light of the candles reminds us to bring light (truth) to the world.

The holy oil required for the Hanukkah menorah reminds us that we are to be holy.  G-d really, really does want us to obey Him.  Love and obedience are hallmarks of the believer.  We are to love G-d and others.   are to obey G-d,  and share His teachings with others.  The scriptures say:

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.  

G-d is not all about love; He is about truth, too.  Yeshua said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments".  What commandments was He talking about?  The ones in the Old Testament.  Yes, our Savior Jesus, is the same G-d of the Old Testament.  He also said, "I have not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it." 

Hashem required that the oil in the menorah be holy.  There was only enough oil for the light to burn for one day. It would take seven days to purify more oil.   Hashem performed a miracle by making that small amount of oil last for seven more days.  This miracle teaches us that depending on His power, we can meet the requirements of his commandments for purity and holiness.  His power can accomplish what He requires.  The Maccabees committed what they had to Hashem, and He did the rest.

The lessons and the joy of Hanukkah are for our good and for our blessings.  It is a holiday and a celebration that teaches us about, and draws us closer to G-d.  A much better lesson than Santa Claus (a lie told to children), don't you think? Holiness and dedication to Hashem and His ways are the way to happiness and blessings.  That truth is symbolized by the Tree of Life, another spiritual lesson of Judaism.  But that is a lesson for another day.

I hope you will take the time to be still and listen to this song about Yeshua - the Light Of The World and worship Him. 

Learn how we combine Chanukah wtih a celebration of Yeshua's birth: Christmas Unplugged

I'm sharing over at Spiritual Sundays   
and over at


  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I know there are many names for God in the Bible. Can you tell me the name of God as our judge?

  2. You are doing a good and wise thing to teach your grandson these truths. Thank you for sharing them with us as well.

  3. Happy Hanukkah, Gail. What a beautiful tradition.

  4. nice post! thanks for sharing...happy holidays...blessings soraya