More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. The Jews debated whether they should light the menorah knowing there was only enough oil to burn for one day or wait for the preparation of the ritually pure oil which took eight days to create as proscribed by the Torah. To the joy of the Jews, the one-day supply burned for the eight days of preparation.
The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and 300 years later in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Hebrew Bible, or Torah, states that God revealed the design for the menorah to Moses and describes the construction of the menorah in Exodus 25:31-40. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.
The Chanukiah menorah, a nine branched candelabrum (as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple) is lit during the eight-day holiday of Chanukah, which begins this year on December 24th. On each night of Chanukah a new branch is lit. The ninth holder, called the shamash (“helper” or “servant”), is usually located in the middle (like a traditional menorah) and is used to light all the other candles.
Starting on Saturday, December 24th, we will be live streaming a very special 8-night video presentation of the lighting of the menorah. Please join me during this sacred time as we celebrate the awesome miracle God performed that started a revival among the Jewish people 200 years before Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, declared Himself to be the Light of the World.
For those of you who wish to know more about this sacred tradition, we will also stream an introduction on Friday, December 23. As we get closer to this date, we will be sending instructions to our Kaleidoscope subscribers for how to access these short video clips. If you’re not a subscriber, make sure to sign up today.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.