Sat, December 24, 2016

Chanukah or Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights

The word means dedication in Hebrew and is a celebration of God's faithfulness and deliverance. Chanukah celebrates one of many deliverances of the Jewish people from those who would try, again and again, to destroy God's Covenant people. There was only enough of the special burned oil in the temple menorah to last one day, and it would take eight days more. They lit the menorah anyway and the oil miraculously burned for eight days while more was being prepared. Thus began the the Feast of Dedication to celebrate this miracle, their great deliverance from oppressors and the dedication of the newly cleansed temple. Today, Chanukah is celebrated with a nine-branched candelabra. Eight of them recall the eight days the oil miraculously burned, while the ninth is the "Servant candle used to light the others. Each evening during the eight day feast more of the eight candles are lit-one each night until the they are all burning brightly in the homes of all Jews and some even exchange gifts.