HANUKAH: TO CELEBRATE OR NOT?

Many have been inquiring as to whether or not we should celebrate Hanukah, and those who do feel led to, may have more questions regarding how, or when.

To make a long story short, I do not believe we are to view Hanukah in the same regard or esteem as the 7 feast days given to us in Leviticus 23. However, I do believe the stories found in 1st – 4th Maccabees are true, and demonstrate Yahuah’s amazing deliverance given to those who put their trust in him. If you were not aware, 1st-2nd Maccabees were included in the 1611 KJV, and Greek Septuagint, two of the most prominent and well known cannons.

Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in YHWH and was put to shame? Or who ever persevered in the fear of YHWH and was forsaken? Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked? For YHWH is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of affliction.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2:10-11 1611 KJV

This, is the theme of Hanukah, yet I do believe that this day of remembrance has been packed full of vain traditions of men, such as the 9 branched Hanukkiah — being in direct opposition to the 7 branched found in the Torah (I would advise against any candle rituals).

The oil lasting eight days is a myth, only found in the Talmud and in my opinion, not to be observed (via candle lighting ritual). Hanukah has turned into a christmas replacement for the Jews, calling it the ‘Festival of Lights’, yet this is just more tradition that has nothing to do with the original story.

I remember growing up, that many of my friends would have Hanukah bushes because they wanted to be like everyone around them.

You shall not worship YHWH your Elohim with such things

Deuteronomy 12:4

For more information on how Yah’s people have knowingly, and unknowingly participated in pagan ways, see this video:

I do believe this is a good time to get together with family, share a meal and retell the story of deliverance Yah provided. I do not believe it is to be treated as a Sabbath.

According to the calendar we observe, Hanukah will be from the evening (sundown) of 12/18/22, to the evening (sundown) of 12/19/22. This may be a day later than the standard Jewish calendar, as we begin the month via the sighted new moon sliver, which comes a day after the conjunction, or dark moon.

I do not expect to be doing a stand-alone study on Hanukah this year, but the video link I’ll be providing should still bless you if you want to go over the verses pertaining to this remembrance. This may help give you the right verses to share with your family or congregation during your gathering, if you have one.

And it was at Yerushalayim the Feast of Hanukah, and it was winter. And Yahusha walked in the Temple in Solomon’s Porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Messiah, tell us plainly. Yahusha answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

John 10:22-25

This passage does not establish that Yahusha participated in the feast, however he was there and did not rebuke them for it (which we know very well he had no problem doing so). As with all things, may Yahuah bless you and guide you in all matters.

Then the king (Antiochus) wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people (one world), and that each should give up his customs. All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and feasts, to defile the sanctuary and the priests, to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, so that they should forget the Torah (law) and change all the ordinances. “And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.” In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. And he appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the cities of Judah to offer sacrifice, city by city. Many of the people, every one who forsook the Torah, joined them, and they did evil in the land; they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had. Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding cities of Judah, and burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. The books of the Torah which they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. Where the book of the covenant was found in the possession of any one, or if any one adhered to the Torah, the decree of the king condemned him to death. They kept using violence against Israel, against those found month after month in the cities. And on the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar which was upon the altar of burnt offering. According to the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks. But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.

1st Maccabees 1:41-63

The rest of the story tells of the miraculous deliverance they were provided by the Most High; very encouraging! Stay strong in him, be watchful and strong in faith.

Shalom

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