Friday, December 8, 2023

8 Gifts of Chanukkah - Day 2


8 Gifts of Chanukkah - Day 2

This post is part of the series 8 Gifts of Chanukah.

(this is a re-post from 2015 - very timely with the rise of anti-semitism since the attack on Israel by Hamas)
The actions of the Maccabees left us an example of great COURAGE in action. When the officials came to Modein, the home of the Maccabee family, and demanded worship of, as well as a sacrifice to, the pagan gods, everyone around them bowed their knees in submission. Not the Maccabees!

Mattathias was an old man with five sons.  This tzaddik (righteous man) had reared his sons to obey the Torah, and they all stood together in agreement with their father's bold statement: "My family and I will always keep the promises our ancestors made to G-d.  We will never give up our faith or disobey even one of G-d's laws.  We will not obey Antiochus." (1 Maccabees 2:19-20)

A fellow Jew stepped forward and said he would offer the required sacrifice.  Mattathias immediately killed that man and the spokesman for Antiochus, and then destroyed the sacrificial alter.  He and his sons left their home and all of their possessions to hide in the hills in preparation for war.  This family of brave men fought many battles against their enemy and eventually won complete victory over the pagans.  Jerusalem was re-captured by the Jews, and temple worship to ADONAI was restored. 

What an example these men of COURAGE are for us today.  Instead of giving in to fear, they kept their belief in Hashem and continued to obey Him.  Yes, it cost them a great deal, but they were willing to pay that price.  Victory was not easy, but it came.

I've heard my husband say many times, "There is a very fine line between being a coward and standing up against evil.  COURAGE is a decision."

I pray for myself, my family, and all believers to have the COURAGE of the Maccabees to stand up against all efforts to turn us away from worship and obedience to ADONAI.

You can learn more about Chanukah in this series from last year:  8 Days of Chanukah
This is how we combine Chanukah with a celebration of Yeshua's birth:  Christmas Unplugged

8 Gifs of Chanukkah - Day 1

8 Gifts of Chanukah - Day 1

As we lit the first night of Chanukah, I thought how much life in America has changed since this time last year.  Over the last twelve months, we have seen Christians and Jews attacked, tortured and beheaded by I-SIS over and over again.  Just this past week, we had another terrorist attack in our country.  ( **Please note this is a re-post from 2015.  We are still seeing more attacks on Jews  - and the Hamas attack, and  on Israel.)

Each year at Chanukah, we remember how the Maccabees stood up against an ungodly tyrant and turned people back to ADONAI.  They refused to comply with the demands of Antiochus Epiphanes to worship the pagan gods of Greece.

Mattathias shouted, "My family and I will always keep the promises our ancestors made to G-d.  We will never give up our faith or disobey even one of G-d's laws. We will not obey Antiochus!"  (1 Maccabees 2:19-20)

The bravery of the Maccabee family inspired others to fight, and victory was eventually won.  Jerusalem and the temple were once again consecrated to ADONAI.


Like Israel in the days of the Maccabees, America has become more and more pagan.  We've seen a Christian woman put in jail because she refused to marry a homosexual couple.  Pastors are being persecuted for preaching the truth of the Bible.  Abortionists (murderers) are held up as good people, while those who speak out against the murders are called haters.

We have reached the days of strong delusion.  We live in the time of "what's right is wrong, and what's wrong is right."  We will soon have to choose whether we will obey G-d or man.

Therefore, let's use the first gift of Chanukah.  Let's REMEMBER the story of the Maccabees.  Let's REMEMBER their courage and strength.  Let's REMEMBER their faith and follow their example of obedience to ADONAI.

These are dangerous times, but we must not give in to fear.  I pray for myself, my family, and for all believers, to stand strong on the side of ADONAI and to continue to obey HIM.  He is our SHIELD, and our EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Psalm 91is my go-to Psalm in times like these.  I held on to those words while going through four hurricanes in the summer of 2004.  I cling to them now, as I REMEMBER ADONAI'S protection.

You can learn more about Chanukah in this series from last year:  8 Days of Chanukah
and see how we celebrate the birth of Yeshua combined with Chanukah: Christmas Unplugged

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Remembering Those Who Died


Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the day when over 3000 men died during Japan's attack on our country.  That day is called, "a day that will live in infamy."  It was the day that America entered World War 2.  I pray we will always remember the day and the ones who lost their lives. 

In Judaism, we say a beautiful prayer on the anniversary of the death of our loved ones . This prayer is called  The Kaddish or The Mourner's Prayer.  It's a prayer of praise and rejoicing and never mentions death. I am blessed and comforted every time I read it out loud. 

Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.

May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.

It's interesting that instead of mourning, we turn our hearts to God in praise. We lift our eyes and hearts up to Him and pray for ourselves and others.   This is the way we deal with grief and pain.  Praise is powerful.