Chanukah – Day 2 Blessing

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in All Posts, Hanukkah | 0 comments

Second Candle: “For so the Lord has commanded us [body of Messiah]: ‘I have set you as a light to the Nations, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47) “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ (Acts 26:18 a word commissioned to the Apostle Paul but by inference to all of us).

 

To read all the blessings go to CHANUKAH BLESSINGS

Dedication…Light….Renewal

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Feast Days, Hanukkah | 10 comments

Originally written in 2016:

The season of Lights is approaching quickly…only one more week until we remember a true and heroic small family that changed the world. It is a time for us to reflect on not only what happened many, many years ago, but on what the future might hold in store for us.

No, this is not a commanded set apart appointment with the Holy One of Israel as he has instructed us to keep in Leviticus, but it is a day to remember, reflect and rededicate our lives.

It is a historical day, a special time in history when a family that had had enough and took a stand, determined to make a difference. And that is what I’d like to focus on … a family who took a stand. A family that was determined not to give up, not to give in, and not to run away.

So here is a little bit of background for this historical day of remembrance. A family, known as the Maccabees, were living in a time of subjugation under the heavy hand of the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s empire had been divided, Judea became part of what is known as the Greek Seleucid Empire. The ruler of this empire, Antiochus IV Epiphanes refused to allow the Jews to practice even the most basic of it’s customs and traditions, which eventually led to a revolt by the Jewish people against the empire. Antiochus refused to allow them to keep Sabbath, to circumcise their children or practice anything that would set them apart from those living under his rule.

The time period of what came to be known as the Maccabean revolt was from 175 to 134 BC – it was a lengthy, bloody and long drawn out battle begun under the leadership of a man named Matthathias ben Johanan ( מַתִּתְיָהוּ בֶּן יוֹחָנָן הַכֹּהֵן‎, Matityahu ben Yoḥanan HaKohen) who died in 165 BCE. Matthathias was a Kohen (Jewish priest) from Modi’in. He was a son of Yohannan, grandson of Simeon, the Hasmonean, and a great-grandson of Asmon or Hasmonaeus, a Levite of the lineage of Joarib for being the fifth grandson of Idaiah, son of Joarib and grandson of Jachin, in turn a descendant of Phinehas, the third High Priest of Israel (Maccabees 1). So…quite a lineage to live up to!

What happened to bring all this about was that Matthathias returned to his home town of Modi’in to escape from the pollution of what was happening to the Temple after the Seleucid persecutions began.  In 167 BCE an official under Antiochus IV Ephiphanes demanded he offer a sacrifice to the Greek gods – yeah – he refused. What else could a man of his reputation do? Succumb to pressure like many of his friends and family had done due to the persecutions? He could have – but he didn’t. He stood up in the face of death and said … “NO“. In fact, not only did he refuse the demand, but he killed the Jew who stepped forward to sacrifice to the Greek gods and he finished it off by then killing the official! OY VEY – he was definitely going to pay for this one! But his integrity and his faith in his God was so deep, so pure that he never wavered, in fact it is noted that he said:

Let everyone who has zeal for the Law and who stands by the covenant follow me!

Septuagint, 1st Maccabees 2:27.
 

Upon his return to Moi’dim, his five sons (five- interesting number isn’t it?) Judas Maccabeus, Eleazar Avaran, Simon Thassi, John Gaddi, and Jonathan Apphus joined him and carried on the revolt after his death which would eventually free the Jews from the 400 year old oppression of the Greeks and became the basis for the holiday we know as Hanukkah. Many Jews followed them in this revolt in defeating the odds that were against them. After they defeated the Greeks, they set about cleansing the temple of the idols placed there by the Greeks and rededicating the altar to the One God. It is said that they found one flask of pure anointing oil – enough for one day to relight the Menorah in the Temple. However, the legend has it that the one flask of oil supplied all the oil that they needed and lasted eight days – enough to cleanse the temple and rededicate it to the Holy One of Israel! What a miracle happened there!

On the Hebrew calendar it is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev and it usually corresponds to mid-November to late December on t he Gregorian calendar. This year, it falls on December 24th. In all my years of celebrating this holiday and recalling to mind the good fight of this long since gone family, I don’t remember it ever falling on Christmas Eve. It never ceases to amaze me to see how the Father works in our lives.  You can do a search and read the rest of this miraculous story and all the details, or you can pick up one of the many versions of the bible that do carry the book of the Maccabees, however, I’d like to return to our focus. A Family.

When looking back on this scene in history, a scene shrouded in mystery, excitement and intrigue, one can not help but close one’s eyes and ‘see‘ the Maccabees. See this family, see the men and women and children afire with indignation!  The emotions didn’t stop there, the myriad of emotions they endured must have felt like a roller coaster ride! They new that their family might be brutally murdered at any moment by the well equipped and trained legions of the Greek empire. They  feared the worst yet believed in the salvation (Yeshua) of their God. They were determined to face the fact that no matter what happened, they were willing to stand in the gap and be the clarion call. Others would follow. And that is how it always happens.

Our family has incorporated this time of remembrance, this Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication for almost 25 years now. At first it was very difficult because many thought we were becoming too “Jewish” … or that we were ‘leaving the faith and losing our salvation‘ … but truth be told, we were simply trying to understand and follow what our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) had done during his lifetime on earth and follow Him. Definitely not a main stream thing to do and certainly considered fringe element mentality by most of our friends and family.

Everyone knows by now though that He didn’t celebrate Christmas…and He wasn’t born on Christmas day. That is pretty much a given and everyone acknowledges that. But what do you do when you know that there has to be more to the story? Where do you go for answers when your heart cries out for TRUTH? Who do you consult when fairy tales and bedtime stories just don’t cut it any longer? Do you just hang your head, shut your mouth, close your eyes and press on with the status quo – just so you won’t be called weird? Well, this family couldn’t do that any longer…and believe me, we tried.  One year the boys even built a sukkah scene instead of a tree…we sang Chanukah songs instead of Jingle Bells, we tried…..we tried to be ‘normal’. We gave up! We are now part of that fringe element that said…enough is enough. The TRUTH just sometimes slaps you in the face. It came one Christmas Day when we stood in front of that pretty green tree (the best one in the lot!) with all the glitter and gold wrapped around it with such care and presents that set you back several hundred dollars…. well, it hit us full force. Standing there, staring at your handiwork and realizing that He would never approve and had never asked to be honored in such a way as this. Now what?

What do you do with the decades of tradition and culture and ornaments that are stockpiled in the closets and basement?  Well, when honoring Him becomes more about Him than you, you simply have to make a decision in your life. Right turn or left? We turned right and headed down the road of ‘bible’.  And we’re still on that road – it wasn’t an instant, spontaneous all or nothing decision. For some, I’ve heard, it is – for us it wasn’t, and it continues to be a journey. It took time to sort through all the emotions, the discouragement of knowing you hadn’t been taught the truth, that the Catholic Church didn’t have all the answers and that well, this isn’t what the One you say you serve even approves of! That last one, well, that was the deciding fact. Like I said, it’s a journey. One we are still traveling. Bottom line, we simply wanted to do what the bible said – to the best of our ability.

That one family, so long, so very long ago  … made a decision to not fall in line, to not continue the status quo (even in the face of losing all they had) to fight for what was right and they made a difference! Against all odds – they made a difference. They stood in the gap for their people and refused to follow the crowd, the traditions, the culture of the time and stood tall as they returned and dedicated their lives to doing what the God of All told them to do.   They lit a candle in the midst of the darkness, and overcame the terror of the night.

We can do that too.

So as we enter into this time before us where the world seems to be glowing with multi-colored lights, let this time be a time of REFLECTION, EXAMINATION and DEDICATION of our lives, our traditions, and hold them up to the ONLY light that matters. His. Let us examine our hearts, cleanse our temples, and rededicate our whole lives to what pleases Him. And yes, if we do that, then there will be peace on earth and good will towards men.

In closing, remember, even when the darkness seems to surround you, even when the odds seem stacked against you, even when the numbers far outweigh your small family, the God of the Heavens stands ready to support you. All you have to do is light that one candle, and others will come to stand by your side, light their candle and together the darkness will flee!

It is time beloved, to be a light and stand together!

 

Chanukah – Star Challah

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Feast Days, Recipes | 0 comments

Allrecipes.com
Hanukkah Star Challah  star-chahlah

PREP 1 hr
COOK 35 mins
READY IN 2 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients:
Original recipe makes 1 loaf
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 2/3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, or more if desired
Directions:
Place 1 cup of water, eggs, salt, sugar, bread flour, and yeast into the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough setting, and start the machine.
When cycle is completed, remove dough from the machine, and set onto a floured work surface for 15 minutes to rest. Cover dough with a towel or large bowl to prevent drying out.
Knead the dough several times, and cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a rope about 10 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay 3 ropes of bread onto the prepared baking sheet, and pinch ropes together firmly at the ends to form a pointed triangle. Weave 3 more ropes over and underneath each point of the first triangle to make a second, interwoven triangle. Pinch it closed tightly at the edges to make a 6-pointed star. Set the baking sheet in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Whisk egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush the mixture over the loaf; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in the preheated oven until the challah is shiny, golden brown, and sounds hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes.

Chanukah – Potato Latkes

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Feast Days, Hanukkah, Recipes | 0 comments

Potato Latkes

Recipe by Rachel

Ingredients:
Original recipe makes 10 to 12 latkes
2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
1 tablespoon grated onion
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup peanut oil for frying
Directions:
Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!
Suggested Toppings: Applesauce or Sour Cream are popular options.

Allrecipes.com
A Jewish Grandma’s Best Beef Brisket

Seeing through time

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Hanukkah, Resources | 0 comments

As I was searching YouTube for Hanukkah songs to entertain the kids when they come up for Shabbat dinner, one particular video kept popping up in the feed. Finally clicking on it I re-watched it and the flood of remembrance crept slowly through my heart…it was our oldest son, Jim, sharing with everyone how his family celebrated Hanukkah.  It was hard to actually watch it – bittersweet if you will because of the range of emotion that swept over me. What you can’t see in the video is that my husband and I were there when it was filmed. As the film rolled on we were sitting in the other room – silently watching. In hindsight, I wish we would have had the boldness to just get up and walk over and stand on either side of our family – making it complete and whole. But, like they say, hindsight is always 20-20. Maybe someday in the near future it will be so.

This is a difficult season…in fact all the Feast Days of the LORD are difficult for us now. It is a time of riding out the ebb and flow of emotions that side-swipe my resolve of trusting whole-heartedly that there is a greater plan and a real purpose for all the grief and pain that we have endured. With my youngest son Jason now missing from this time realm, my heart is still filled with raw emotion that overwhelms me without warning and brings me to my knees. Piled on top of that trauma of life is the daily, on-going and mind-numbing acknowledgement that our oldest son, Jim, has also been removed from ‘our’ time realm. Again.

However, here we are….in the season of Hanukkah, a season of renewal, a time of cleansing and rededication of our own temples. And just as the battle of the few conquered the many that came against them in ancient times, our small family continues overcoming the skirmishes that want to remove us from the front lines. Yes, we are battle-torn and worn….but we are still standing. We hold tight to the Sword of Truth gripped in our hands and have witnessed the legion of angels that the King of the Kingdom has surrounded us with on all sides. We have had to ‘see’ beyond what we think we know and feel and believe to be true and step into an unknown realm of time. As we lift our gaze and focus on what’s ahead, the LIGHT of the Messiah soothes our soul and chases away the darkness as we move forward.

Many others are going through their own life’s trials and bear heartaches they never thought they would have to deal with as they try to serve their King. Many are struggling with continuously trying to get up and go forward. But there really is no other option. Life has been a battle since we left the Garden of Paradise, and it will always be so until we collect our ‘winnings’ on the other side of time. We must keep standing…we must keep going forward. So please, please stand with us, let us all go forward together during these eight days and renew and rededicate our lives, as we will do with ours. Take the time to light the flame within your soul with a determination to finish the race as you stay enveloped in the Light of the Messiah – and never, ever let go of that Sword of Truth!

Enjoy the following teaching from our son.

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Chanukkah-blessings.pdf

Hanukkah musings…..

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, All Things Biblical, Our Family | 2 comments

It’s true – Hanukkah or Chanukah or however you want to spell it, is simply, in the Hebrew mindset, a FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS! It is not a commandment or appointed gathering, but it is a celebration of freedom over tyranny and oppression. And, it surely is a great excuse to get the family and friends together, eat fried food (love those latkes!), play dreidel and enjoy holiday traditions. Time for you to tell the story of how a few rag-tag believers had victory over the strongest of enemies – and make it personal!

When researching the traditions of Hanukkah, many have been around for centuries, bu that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own! Of course, the story of the victory of Hanukkah is always retold and it is quite fun to have the young ones put on a skit about the ancient battle. Weaving the Messiah and how to shine your own light into the story of the Maccabees brings it up close and personal. Lighting the candles and saying prayers begin the festivities and then the fun begins! Dreidels (square tops) are spun and then fun trumps the night.

Today, Hanukkah seems to rival Christmas, and many believers in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) have fallen prey to that trap as well. Many feel ‘guilty’ not celebrating Christmas with their children when they themselves hold such warm memories of that season themselves. And so they go overboard trying to compensate for what they feel is a ‘loss’ for their child. And then of course, who doesn’t have the family and friends in their life that insists that you are ‘under the law’ and you are not celebrating the birthday of Jesus. It could, most assuredly, be labeled the most traumatic time period in the year for any new ‘Hebrew’ (one who has crossed over).

However, take heart dear one! This is a great time to renew friendships, bring your family together and share the Light of the Messiah with so many within the context of a biblical and historical event!  Below are some great ideas that may help you over that first year hump of switching to days approved by the Holy One … and man’s traditions…so let’s look at a few.

First, and foremost, we recommend that if you are one of those that write that typical Christmas or End of Year update letter to your friends, this is a great time to let everyone know your findings in scripture! Explain in love that after much prayer and research, your family is now being led to study out the ancient ways. Don’t come off as ‘more righteous’ then thou or that you are being ‘more obedient’ or that Father ‘loves you best’. Simply share that you would like your family to experience what the Savior and his disciples and all those in the first and second century celebrated. Read, reread and then wait a day and read that letter out loud again. This is a very good time to measure your words, check your heart and allow the love-words of the Messiah to come forth. It isn’t about ‘being right’ it’s about His love. Let your ‘light shine’ in your actions more than your words.

Now, for some family fun! And this would be a GREAT TIME to invite those that do not understand why the switch – to join in with you. What could be more fun than friends and family getting together for an evening of fun, fellowship and food? And what a great opportunity it will be to share the why’s and wherefores 🙂

Gifts are great, right? But just as many Christians worry about the consumerism of Christmas, many Jewish families want to prevent the meaning of Hanukkah from drowning in a sea of presents.

For those looking to give Hanukkah gifts in a more meaningful way, here’s a suggestion for a memory-rich, family-centered approach, combining the fun of presents with the warmth of togetherness.

Here are 8 sample nights of naches (Yiddish) for “DELIGHT”

Night 1: Family Activity Night. Simply said, this is for YOUR family – make it a movie night or a camp out int he living room with popcorn or tickets to a new movie, or maybe a brand-new board game? Welcome in the first night of Hanukkah with family fun for the closest people in your life.

Night 2: Games and Puzzles. How about a fun-filled game or puzzle night? Bring in your favorite games and make it a marathon! A perfect evening for those tasty Latkes!!! (I make mine out of spaghetti squash mmmmmm!)

Night 3: Handmade Gift Night. This is when you can get really creative! All kinds of ‘gifts’ are welcome – freshly baked cookies and breads, knitted scarves – how about a handmade gift card or a massage or anything that would be from the heart (rather than the checkbook!)

Night 4: Party Time. Maybe on this evening you’d like to invite friends and family over for just schmoozing and enjoying each others company? A great evening for having everyone bring a nosh!

Night 5: Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for “repairing the world”). A great evening to teach giving back to someone else. Know of someone in the nursing home, or an elderly neighbor that could use some help? What about helping at the local food bank or soup kitchen? Know a homeless shelter that might need some help with coats or warm clothes? Do something good for someone else and help ‘repair the world’.

Night 6: Book Night. Light that 6th candle and share about the story of Messiah….most probably conceived during this season – after all He is the Light of the World! Talk about all the scriptures that talk about ‘light’ and let the stories begin!

Night 7: Music Night. How about a music night? Have a few in your family that love to play an instrument or sing or even just bang on the pots? Have your friends and extended family come over for an evening of worship, fellowship, and a fun time of karaoke. Lots of belly laughter sure to follow!

Night 8: Surprise Night. And the last night – make it special. Make up clues, or treasure maps for hidden gifts – any kind of gift – because the fun is in the finding! At the end of the treasure hunt, join hands, pray over each one there – allow each one to offer a praise of thanks to the Holy One who has given us this special time of fun and laughter and remembrance over having the victory over our struggles!

The suggestions above are just that – suggestions. Maybe you have some other great ideas, and I’m sure you do! Make your ‘traditions’ meaningful, fun and full of warm fuzzies. However you celebrate this holiday, make it yours with new traditions, and honor a few old ones. This is the season of LIGHT!

The Light of Chanukah

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Hanukkah | 0 comments

A candle is a brief flare of light. A wick dipped in oil burns and then goes out again. The light of Chanukah appears to follow the same narrative. Briefly there is light and warmth and then darkness again.

Out of the exile of Babylon, the handful that returned to resettle and rebuild the land faced the might of new empires. The Jews who returned from the exile of one evil empire some twenty-six hundred years ago were forced to decide whether they would be a people with their own faith and history, or the colony of another empire, with its history and beliefs.

Jerusalem’s wealthy elites threw in their lot with the empire and its ways. But out in the rural heartland where the old ways where still kept, a spark flared to life. Modi’in. Maccabee.

And so war came between the handfuls of Jewish Maccabee partisans and the armies of Antiochus IV’s Selecuid empire. A war that had its echoes in the past and would have it again in the future as lightly armed and untrained armies of Jewish soldiers would go on to fight in those same hills and valleys against the Romans and eventually the armies of six Arab nations.

The Syrian Greek armies were among the best of their day. The Maccabees were living in the backwaters of Israel, a nation that had not been independently ruled since the armies of Babylon had flooded across the land, destroying everything in their path.

In the wilderness of Judea a band of brothers vowed that they would bow to no man and let no foreigners rule over their land. Apollonius brought his Samaritan forces against the brothers, and Judah, first among the Macabees, killed him, took his sword and wore it for his own.

Seron, General of the army of Coele-Syria, brought together his soldiers, along with renegade Jewish mercenaries, and was broken at Beit Haran. The Governor of Syria dispatched two generals, Nicanor, and Gorgias, with forty thousand soldiers and seven thousand horsemen to conquer Judea, destroy Jerusalem and abolish the whole Jewish nation forever. So certain were they of victory that they brought with them merchant caravans to fill with the Hebrew slaves of a destroyed nation.

Judah walked among his brothers and fellow rebels and spoke to them of the thing for which they fought; “O my fellow soldiers, no other time remains more opportune than the present for courage and contempt of dangers; for if you now fight manfully, you may recover your liberty, which, as it is a thing of itself agreeable to all men, so it proves to be to us much more desirable, by its affording us the liberty of worshiping God.

“Since therefore you are in such circumstances at present, you must either recover that liberty, and so regain a happy and blessed way of living, which is that according to our laws, and the customs of our country, or to submit to the most opprobrious sufferings; nor will any seed of your nation remain if you be beat in this battle. Fight therefore manfully; and suppose that you must die, though you do not fight; but believe, that besides such glorious rewards as those of the liberty of your country, of your laws, of your religion, you shall then obtain everlasting glory.

“Prepare yourselves, therefore, and put yourselves into such an agreeable posture, that you may be ready to fight with the enemy as soon as it is day tomorrow morning.”

Though the Macabees were but three thousand, starving and dressed in bare rags, the God for whom they fought and their native wits and courage, gave them victory over thousands and tens of thousands. Worn from battle, the Macabees did not flee back into their Judean wilderness, instead they went on to Jerusalem and its Temple, to reclaim their land and their God, only to find the Temple and the capital in ruins.

The Macabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn and thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces and the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation and intervened in the affairs of men. And so on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. And then having done all they could, the priests and sons of priests who had fought through entire armies to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could and left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty.

If they had won by the strength of their hands alone, then the lamps would burn for a day and then flicker out. But if it had been more than mere force of arms that had brought them here, if it had been more than mere happenstance that a small band of ragged and starving rebels had shattered the armies of an empire, then the flames of the Menorah would burn on.

The sun rose and set again. The day came to its end and the men watched the lights of the Menorah to see if they would burn or die out. And if the flame in their hearts could have kindled the lamps, they would have burst into bright flame then and there. Darkness fell that night and still the lamps burned on.

For eight days and nights the Menorah burned on that single lonely pure flask of oil, until more could be found, and the men who for a time had been soldiers and had once again become priests, saw that while it may be men who kindle lamps and hearts, it is the Almighty who provides them with the fuel of the spirit through which they burn.

120 years after the Maccabees drove out the foreign invaders and their collaborators, another foreign invader, Herod, the son of Rome’s Arab governor, was placed on the throne by the Roman Empire, disposing of the last of the Maccabean kings and ending the brief revival of the Jewish kingdom.

The revived kingdom had been a plaything in the game of empires. Exiled by Babylon, restored by Persia, conquered by the Greeks, ground under the heel of the remnants of Alexander’s empire, briefly liberated by the Parthians, tricked into servitude and destroyed by Rome. The victory of the Maccabean brothers in reclaiming Jerusalem was a brief flare of light in the dark centuries and even that light was shadowed by the growing darkness.

The fall of the Roman Republic and the civil wars of the new empire, its uncontrollable spending and greed made it hopelessly corrupt. Caesar repaid Jewish loyalty by rewarding the Arab-Idumean murderers of Jewish kings, and his successors saw the Jewish state as a way to bring in some quick money. Out went the Jewish kings, in came the son of Rome’s tax collector, Herod.

The promises made by Senate to the Maccabees ceased to matter. Imperial greed collided with Jewish nationalism in a war that for a brief shining moment seemed as if it might end in another Chanukah, but ended instead in massacre and atrocity. The exiles went forth once again, some on foot and some in slave ships. Israel became Palestine. Jerusalem was renamed and resettled. The long night had begun.

But no darkness lasts forever.

Two thousand years after the Jews had come to believe that wars were for other people and miracles meant escaping alive, Jewish armies stood and held the line against an empire and the would be empires of the region.

And now the flame still burns, though it is flickering. Sixty-eight years is a long time for oil to burn, especially when the black oil next door seems so much more useful to the empires and republics across the sea. And the children of many of those who first lit the flame no longer see the point in that hoary old light.

But that old light is still the light of possibilities. It burns to remind us of the extraordinary things that our ancestors did and of the extraordinary assistance that they received. We cannot always expect oil to burn for eight days, just as we cannot always expect the bullet to miss or the rocket to fall short. And yet even in those moments of darkness the reminder of the flame is with us for no darkness lasts forever and no exile, whether of the body of the spirit, endures. Sooner or later the spark flares to life again and the oil burns again. Sooner or later the light returns.

It is the miracle that we commemorate because it is a reminder of possibilities. Each time we light a candle or dip a wick in oil, we release a flare of light from the darkness comes to remind us of what was, is and can still be.

 

thanks to:
Daniel Greenfield’s article: The Light of Chanukah

Chanukah – Day 1 Blessing

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, Hanukkah | 0 comments

 

First Candle: But you/we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you/we may proclaim the praises of Him who called you/us out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but now the people of Elohim, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1Peter 2:9-10).

 

To read all the blessings go to CHANUKAH BLESSINGS

Chanukah Inspiration

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in All Posts, All Things Biblical, Feast Days, Hanukkah | 0 comments

Chanukah Inspiration

First night: Is 51:1-4; Prov 6:23; Matt 25:1-4; Prov 13:9; Lam 2:9; Prov 29:18
Discuss: The importance of the new understanding of what Torah really means.
Question: What was the light Messiah brought to the nations?
Prayer: That God would bring His light into any dark areas in our own lives

Second night: Ps 119:1-24
Discuss: How living out the Torah makes us light in this dark world.
Question: What does Ps 119:18 mean to you?
Prayer: That God would open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Torah!

Third night: Ps 119:25-48
Discuss: Having borders or fences to protect us is a good principle not bad.
Question: What is the significance of Ps 119:44,45?
Prayer: That we may see Torah is what God has given to protect us.

Fourth Night: Ps 119:49-72
Discuss: What should we value more: riches or Torah
Question: What does Ps 119:53 mean to you?
Prayer: That we may learn to put a higher value on what God says.

Fifth Night: Ps 119:73-96
Discuss: The faithfulness and longevity of God’s Word.
Question: What does Ps 119:89-91 mean to you?
Prayer: That God would settle His Word in each of our lives.

Sixth Night: Ps 119:97-120
Discuss: How God’s Word is what lights our path so we won’t fall.
Question: What does Ps 119:103-105 mean to you?
Prayer: That the Messiah would use us to help others.

Seventh Night: Ps 119:121-144
Discuss: Why the servant of God wants God to get working.
Question: What does Ps 119:125,126,135,136 mean to you?
Prayer: That we can comprehend our new identity and respond to the call of being lights to the world.

Eighth Night: Ps 119:145-176
Discuss: How great Peace comes from following Torah
Question: What does Ps 119:165-167 mean to you?
Prayer: That we may fall in love with God’s laws and not be led astray.

Chanukkah-blessings.pdf

November 7, 2017

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in All Posts, Our Family | 0 comments

Well, today is my youngest son’s 42nd birthday.

He is not here. At least not in this time realm.

But he is still ‘with us’ – everything we hear, see and feel somehow touches the essence of who he really was … how the God we serve ‘sees’ him.

That is how I see him now… perfected … waiting to be crowned for his tender and loving spirit … acknowledged for his desire to rise above the tribulations of his short life … and most of all for his heart after the ways of his King. Like all of us still in this time realm, he fell, he faltered, but he always trusted that God was in control.
Now he knows it’s true.

Happy Birthday baby….til our ‘time’ is ‘one’ again.