Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Outside my window... beautiful sunshine, swaying palm trees, birds singing
I am thinking...about our Chanukkah party tonight
I am thankful...that my mom is nearby
From the learning rooms...(if this applies)
In the kitchen...Cream cheese ( I can't seem to buy enough .....) for the dip I just made, for the salmon sandwiches, and fresh-baked cookies and brownies
I am wearing...a sleeveless tank top and jeans, no shoes 'cause it is HOT (in the 80's)
I am creating...gift bags for the children for the party tonight
I am going...to decorate the hall in an hour
I am wondering... how many children will be there tonight
I am reading...decorating blogs to relax for a few minutes
I am hoping...Mama will be able to come here on Sunday for Christmas
I am looking forward to...attending a candle-light service on Christmas Eve
I am hearing...the strangest Christmas song I've ever heard "Take the Long Way Around the Sea..."
Around the house...many, many Chanukkah menorahs to celebrate Yeshua as the Light of the World!
I am pondering...that song I just mentioned...very deep
One of my favorite things...Latkes!
A few plans for the rest of the week: lots of business to take care of for Mama
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Sunday, December 18, 2011
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 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.
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