Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Miracle of the Toys

I am pondering...the miracle of the toys.
Ma'gen Da'vid Synagogue had purchased Christmas toys this week for a family with three children.   Their mom and dad recently lost their jobs and couldn't afford much this Christmas.
Friday night at the Shabbat service a stranger came in and asked if there were any children we knew of who needed toys for Christmas.  Rabbi Jem said, "We sure do!"
The man was the manager of Walgreens. They had collected toys for children and deliveries had already been made, when someone dropped off another big bag of toys. He drove by our building, saw the cars, and just decided to ask if we knew of a need. 
What a blessing the children received.  It reminded me of the miracle of the holy oil for the first Hanukkah menorah, and also of the miracle of the loaves and fishes blessed by Yeshua.  G-d multiplied what we had, and those little children received huge bags full of toys on Christmas morning.
I am continually amazed by The Father's ability to do above what we can ask or think, and of His miracle-working power at work today.
Blessings to you all, dear readers, and I pray you have joy this Christmas.  
I'm linking up with Charlotte's Spiritual Sundays

Friday, December 23, 2011

Daybook for Hanukkah

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 bags for the children for the party tonight

I am 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

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