Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!


This is the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish celebration of lights. This is when Jews across the world commemorate their victory of Antiochus IV Epiphanes who outlawed Jewish worship and desecrated the temple. The earliest source we have for the holiday is Josephus' Antiquities 12.


Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city, and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.


You can learn more about the holiday here.

Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers!

10 comments:

  1. Christ has destroyed Hanukkah for his glory.

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    1. Mr Mcgranor,

      I am not sure what you mean. Why would Christ destroy Hanukkah and for what reason? His glory, meaning what? I am not even sure we know if Jesus celebrated the holiday.

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    2. I think you need to accept the fact that Jesus is a JEW. He knew the Torah like the back of his hand and he loved the Torah. Jesus didn't destroy Hannakah. Jesus was and still is a JEW JEW JEW. So he probably loved Hannakah. Deal with it. What are u going to do when, u face Jesus and you hate his ethnicity.

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  2. Christ fulfilled the law. And as a consequence so went Jewish law and custom. When fulfilled Jews came to Christ eventually they left their baggage. Hanukkah is Calvary.

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    1. But it is a holiday and has nothing to do with the law. It's not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. I am afraid you are being a bit anti-judaic. I suggest you brush up on your knowledge of both the Bible and Jewish history.

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  3. Sheesh, Mr. Magranor. Bah! Humbug! to you too.

    Anyway, John, it's interesting that Josephus doesn't even nod to the miracle of the oil and the menorah in his etiology. He must have known 1 and 2 Maccabees because he uses them as sources elsewhere. Another instance where Josephus is telling less than he knows. Probably as in most cases, it's due to his wanting to avoid informing his readers of the strong exclusivist and messianic components of popular Jewish religion. Instead it's all about regaining their freedom of worship and how important that is. nudge, nudge.

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  4. John, it's likely Jesus observed Hanukkah according to John 10:22. The feast Is called "dedication". -- Tony Costa

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    1. Tony,

      Yes, you are correct. I had forgotten about that. I was a bit flabbergasted by Mr Magranor that I failed to remember John 10:22. Thanks!

      JB

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    2. Observed it ? He was a Jew who mastered the Torah. After all his father, wrote the Torah. Why would he just observe it?

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  5. Of course i am anti-Judaic; i am a Protestant.

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