The First Lights at Creation "ET HA ORR" (Hebrew for 'THE Light")
IN GENESIS 1;4 WE READ "AND GOD SAW THE LIGHT, THAT IT WAS GOOD." (IN HEBREW IT READS "VA'YAR ELOHIM ET HA ORR KI TOV.")
THERE WERE APPARENTLY 2 KINDS OF LIGHT CREATED IN THE BEGINNING - ONE WAS THE SECOND LIGHT IN VERSE 16 OF GENESIS, CREATED IN THE 4TH DAY. BUT WAS THIS THE LIGHT CREATED IN DAY ONE??
IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE SUNLIGHT OF THE 4TH DAY, BECAUSE THE SUN HAD NOT YET BEEN CREATED YET. IT WAS A LIGHT OF UNFATHOMABLE INTENSITY, WHICH ACCORDING TO JEWISH SAGES, WAS SET ASIDE FOR THE FUTURE OF MESSIANIC FULFILLMENT. IT WAS NOT DEFINED IN TERMS OF ATOMS, MOLECULES, GENES, OR CHROMOSOMES - BUT INSTEAD, THE LETTER NUMBERS!! WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THAT??
IN HEBREW, EVERY LETTER HAS A NUMBER. AND IF ONE ADDS UP THE NUMBERS OF EACH LETTER IN THE WORDS "THE LIGHT", (HEBREW "ET HA ORR") FROM THE VERSE WE QUOTED: "VAYAR ELOHIM ET HA ORR KI TOV" ("AND GOD SAW THAT THE LIGHT WAS GOOD"). IF WE ADD THESES NUMBERS WHICH MAKE UP THAT WORD FOR "THE LIGHT", WE COME OUT WITH SOMETHING REALLY QUITE AWESOME! (SHOW "ET HA ORR") IF YOU ADD UP THE NUMBERS, WHAT DO YOU COME TO?? 613!!! HOW MANY LAWS WERE THERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?? 613! NO WONDER JOHN WROTE IN HIS GOSPEL "IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD AND THE WORD WAS GOD" YESHUA WAS THE LIVING TORAH - THE LIVING WORD OF GOD - INDEED, THE VERY LIGHT OF THE WORLD!!
LIGHT ENABLES US TO SEE WITH OUR EYESIGHT. THE LIGHT OF THE 613 COMMANDMENTS AFFORDS US THE VISION OF INSIGHT AND THE CLARITY OF REALITY AS PERCEIVED THROUGH THE PRISM OF THE TORAH. THE PSALMIST DAVID SAID, "THE ENTRANCE OF THY WORDS GIVETH LIGHT!" (PSA 119:130) THEREFORE, THE WORD FOR MESSIANIC "LIGHT" IS IN DIRECT DEPENDENCY UPON THE WORD FOR THE WORD OF GOD - THE TORAH!! THIS WORD, "TORAH" ALSO HAS WITHIN IT THE ROOT OF THE WORD "LIGHT" - "ORR"
JESUS CONCEIVED DURING HANUKKAH
DURING THE DARKEST TIME OF THE YEAR, AT HANUKKAH, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WAS CONCEIVED. ISAIAH PROPHESIED IT EXACTLY IN CHAPTER 9, VERSE 2 - "THE PEOPLE THAT WALKED IN DARKNESS HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT."
THERE IS A PARALLEL HERE AT THE TIME OF HANUKKAH TO THE PRECISE EXPLOSION OF THE MESSIANIC LIGHT WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT IN GENESIS. IT WAS AS IF THE LORD WAS SAYING FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME - "EVEN AS I CREATE LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS, LET THIS BE AS A PROPHETIC SIGN THAT IN THE AGES TO COME, DURING MY BIBLICAL FEAST - THE FEAST OF LIGHTS, THE FEAST OF DEDICATION, SHALL BE BORN ONE (THE LORD JESUS) WHO WILL BE THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF THAT MESSIANIC LIGHT!"
SINCE JESUS (YESHUA) WAS CONCEIVED DURING HANUKKAH, THAT PUTS HIS ACTUAL BIRTH NOT AT CHRISTMAS TIME IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, BUT DURING THE FALL DURING THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES, A PARTIALLY FULFILLED BIBLICAL FEAST SINCE HIS FIRST COMING, BUT YET TO BE FULLY FULFILLED WHEN WE TABERNACLE WITH THE RETURNED MESSIAH IN HEAVEN, SHORTLY AFTER THE RAPTURE WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE DURING A FEAST OF TRUMPETS.
HOW CHRISTIANS CAN CELEBRATE HANUKKAH AT HOME
You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Hanukkah. There is much in the feast which tells us of Yeshua, and as you go through it, you will see certain parallelisms. Because the Biblical Feasts are dated from the lunar calendar, this year in 2008, Hanukkah's first night of the 8 nights, starts on Sunday, December 21. (The Biblical calendar expresses it as the 25th day of Kislev).
Brief History: Hanukkah's other names are the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication. This feast commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the wicked Greek King Antiochus and the Hellenistic Syrians who were trying to force Jews to bow down to idols, and to stop all Jewish rituals.
In 168BCE they seized the Jewish temple, and used it for worshiping Zeus. Some Jews were so full of fear that they did not retaliate, but a small yet tough Jewish family called the Maccabees, led by the priestly Hasmoneans, revolted at Modi'in and stood up for righteousness, thereby saving the Jewish race. One of them called Mattathius, rose up and slew a fellow Jew who had weakened by offering to comply to pagan worship, thereby betraying the Jews. Mattathius also killed the Greek officer who had demanded Jews worship idols and eat pig, both of which are forbidden in the Torah. (If he had not done this, the Jews would have been wiped out, and our Jewish Messiah Yeshua would never have been born to save us.)
After this brave encounter, they found much destruction in the temple, so in 165BCE they cleaned it up and rededicated the ransacked temple that Antiochus had used to put a non-“kosher” pig on the altar. The idea of lighting the candles comes from the fact that a real miracle happened after the Maccabees found only one flask of oil left to light the damaged temple “m'norrah”, and it actually stayed lit for 8 days amidst great celebrations! To Christians, it has a special significance, in that Yeshua (Jesus) was conceived during Hanukkah as the Light of the World! (He was born 9 months later at “Sukkot” - the Feast of Tabernacles).
Apparently, the “Magnificat” (Lk.21:46) that Miriam (Mary) sang in response to the Angel Gavriel (Gabriel's) announcement that she would mother a child named Yeshua, was part of the ancient liturgy for Hanukkah itself! Do keep your commemoration of the event separate from Christmas. That is easy to do when the dates do not collide, but this year they DO!
Here are some guidelines as to how you can celebrate Hanukkah nightly right in your home.
Buy or make a “hanukkiah” (ha–noo–KEE-yah). That's a 9 sticked candelabra. Buy enough candles for lighting fresh ones each of the 8 nights = 72. They don't have to be big ones – the little ones are available at Jewish stores, and sometimes at supermarkets. You can buy a “hanukkiah” from a Jewish store on-line. Sometimes you can find them in second-hand stores too.
You can even have a contest in which you notify folks 2 weeks in advance to your Hanukkah party (via your e-mailing and phone lists) that they have to make and bring their own “hanukkiah” to the party. There will be quite an astonishing variety that will show up. You can choose a winner, and give him/her a small prize.
At nightfall, appoint someone (even a child) to light the first candle (it also can be just you yourself!) – and light the end candle first. Look up the Hanukkah prayers on http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/103874/jewish/Blessings.htm
After this, put out your match and use the candle, the “shamash” (sha-MASH) , the “servant candle” to light the first candle. (Someitme sit's on the extreme right and sometimes it stands in the centre by itself. Put the “shamash” back into its place. And then stop - don't blow out either candle!)
That's all you light the first night. The second night, you add one more, and then the third night, the third one as well, till he last night when ALL the candles are lit – still by the “shamash” which lights all the rest throughout the week – not the SAME candle, as it is fresh each night.) To us as Christians, we see the parallelism in our Messiah Yeshua Who took upon Himself to be a servant to us all, Who “lights” up our lives!
Recite the “hallel” - Ps. 11-118.
Sing a Hannukah song. Download these from the Internet or you can look up one on our website called "New Messianic Songs"
Cook the traditional food (Google this = Hannukah traditional food or recipes), or order from a Jewish delicatessen or supermarket grocery store ahead of time. First the “latkes” (LAT-kuz) = shredded potato pancakes served with homemade apple sauce, and “suvgani'ot” (soov-ga-nee-OHT) = jelly filled donuts. Recipes of both can be found on the Internet. Just Google it. Lots of folks have a “latke” making party beforehand or as even part of their party the same night..
Traditionally, small gifts are exchanged during this time as well.
Find a small “dreidel” (special spinning top) at a Jewish store, or order one on-line. It has a big Hebrew letter on each side of its square sides, which is an acronym of 4 Hebrew alphabet letters standing for: “A big miracle happened there!” During the time of persecution in ancient history, while the Jews were really studying Torah, if they heard the Greek soldiers at the door, they quickly snatched their “dreidels” from their pockets, pretending to be playing with them, and not reading Torah. There are “dreidel” games and other Hanukkah games on the Internet.
Appoint someone to read the story of Hannukah.
If you are part of a community, you could have the festivities at a different home each night.
Involve the kids as much as possible – in the lighting of the “Hannukiah”, in baking cookies, in helping with the cooking or baking, in singing along with the songs, and in playing games with the “dreidel”.
- Merv & Merla Watson
FATHER OF LIGHTS
[Feast of Hanukkah or Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication]
(special Hanukkah song for Christians, which has a verse for each of the 8 candles)
composed by Merla Watson
© copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. Abbotsford, BC - Canada)
Father of lights, at dawn of creation,
Earth, it was empty, without any form.
Darkness was on the face of the waters;
Suddenly light was born!
Shine out your brilliance, Your glory resplendent
On this temple, on this dark soul!
Heavenly lustre, luminous radiancy,
Till we are pure and whole!
Father of lights, You hurled out the fiery sun
Burnishing warmth, birthing morning bright;
After the rain, and after the thunder,
After the clouds and night!
[repeat chorus above]
Father of lights, You spun out the moon,
Reflecting effulgence of the sun!
Glist'ning thru night, determining tides
Till virgin day's begun!
Father of lights, You scattered the stars!
From ancient times, they've recounted a tale!
One of these beamed on Bethlehem's manger!
Prophecy did not fail!
Father of lights, You've given Yeshua!
Light of the world, Your servant Son! -
Blazing His grandeur into our sinful hearts
Till His salvation's done!
Father of lights, within seven candlesticks
Stands in splendour the Son of man!
He is the Lord of Sabbath for ev'ryone!
Thru him all light began!
Father of lights, we set our bright candles
High on a hill so all see Your face!
Under a bushel we never shall hide,
But share Your amazing grace!
Father of lights, our lives we dedicate!
Fully we give of our talents to You!
Bring out our colour, potential, and loveliness!
Polish us, make us new!
[chorus] [Shine out Your brilliance, Your glory resplendent
On this temple, on this dark soul!
Heavenly lustre, luminous radiancy,
Till we are pure and whole!
Based on texts:- Jn.1:17 / Gen.1:1-5 / Mt.5:15 / Jn.8:12 / Rev.1:13
Words and Music:- Merla Watson
© copyright Catacombs Productions Ltd. Abbotsford, BC - Canada)
FEAST OF HANUKKAH
(shortened version ceremony)
Hanukkah can also be transliterated into English by spelling it “Chanukkah” which is more authentic to do so. The “ch” is not pronounced “ch” as in “chair”, but with a guttural sound as in German “ich” or Scottish “Loch Lomond”.
Please note: The congregational proclamations below can be put on overhead transparencies or Keynote or Power Point on a laptop computer. The songs we have chosen here are from our own compositions, or from standard contemporary worship repertoire. You may substitute them with others of your choice, as long as they fit in with the theme of what is being said each time. Please bear in mind that this is our own personal programme, and that this is not a typical programme done by Jewish secular or religious people. Also, there has been no precedent of Christians celebrating this, so that up till now there have been no traditional songs for Hanukkah
that Christians can sing. That's why we have been writing them! Most of our Hanukkah compositions are contained in our songbook called New Messianic Songs by Merla Watson available on the Internet with accompanying demo-CD www.mervandmerla.com
All of the Watson songs listed below are
© copyright by Catacombs Productions Ltd. Abbotsford, BC - Canada
IF YOU NEED A BREAKDOWN ON HOW YOU PRONOUNCE THE PRAYERS,
PLEASE CONTACT Merv and Merla Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
SONG: "Hanukkah Song" (trad. simple childlike Hebrew song on Internet)
LEADER: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Yeshua. If we walk in the LIGHT, as He is in the LIGHT we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin."(I John 1:3,7)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "I Am a Companion" (by Merla Watson – about joining hands with all those who own God's name)
LEADER: Shalom! We invite you this night to partake of a new experience for most of you. We will call it the Christian celebration during the Biblical Feast called Hanukkah, which is also called the Festival of Lights, or the Feast of Dedication. Our goal is to have you understand what Hanukkah is and why you are observing it tonight. Hanukkah is not just a Jewish feast – it is a BIBLICAL feast, although not one of the main ones. Because we have been grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, we can feel free to celebrate it as well. We rejoice that Christians worldwide are rapidly catching on to the idea of celebrating the Biblical feasts - long gone from Christian celebration, due to the blunder of the early European church. But God is restoring these feasts quite sovereignly to the church year. Let us say together.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #1: Since Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, we can say as Christians, that this light is also a "light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as the glory of God's people Israel." (Luke 2:32)
LEADER: We may also wonder why we are celebrating something that doesn't pertain to OUR heritage. The story we are about to hear did not happen to OUR ancestors. But God reminds us that we are not only to bless Him for OUR answers to prayer and OUR miracles, but also those of OTHERS.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #2: "Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that You bear unto Your people: O visit me with Your salvation; That I may see the good of Your chosen (Israel), that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory WITH Your inheritance. " (Psa.106:4,5) "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of OTHERS." (Phil.2:4)
LEADER: Hanukkah! - To Christians, the name means a Jewish holiday - somewhere near Christmas - and veiled in mystery. It seems rather inconsequential and dwarfed by the bigger Christian celebration of Christmas. It IS interesting, though, to discover that while we all love to celebrate Christmas, it is NOT a Biblical holiday, neither was Yeshua born on December 25th, but rather on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the fall. But Hanukkah IS a Biblical Feast. We have thought that because Jewish children are jealous of Santa Claus and the gift giving of the Gentile world, that they have invented a festival as a Jewish substitute, which involves a Hanukkah bush instead of a Christmas tree, and also the giving of gifts. None of these assumptions is based upon fact! We will tell you momentarily about the famous true story of the tremendous courage of the Jews who would not bow down to a false god. This is extremely important for the Christian to consider, because had the Jews given in, they would have worshiped a pagan god, thereby blocking the way for us as Gentiles to be grafted into the Abrahamic covenant. There would have been no plan for salvation, and definitely no spiritual hope for non-Jews - it is that serious!! There are many scriptural references to Chanukkah throughout Numbers 7. Then in John 10:22 - 24, we read that Yeshua Himself celebrated it. "And it was at Jerusalem, the Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah), and it was winter. And Yeshua walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews around Him, and said unto Him, How long do you make us to doubt? If You be the Messiah, tell us plainly." At that point, He COULD have declared He was the Light of the world, which would have tied right in with Hanukkah, but He refrained until another time. It is also mentioned in the Apocrypha (a series of books not contained in our canon of Holy Scriptures) in the book of Maccabees 4:36-41.
On the first day of any Biblical Feast, the "shoFAR", (or ram's horn) is played by the rabbi. It is a very holy instrument, not to be treated lightly, even though its sound is often unpleasant to our modern ears. It has been used from ancient Biblical times for battle, and for announcing the Biblical feasts to the twelve tribes of Israel who came to full attention as its sound pierced the air. Out of respect for this, we now ask you, who represent the tribes and kindreds from all the nations in the book of Revelation, who have been washed in the blood of Yeshua - we ask you to stand in reverence as it is being played to begin our celebration. Let us say together.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #3: This is a call to feast - a call to the high praises of God!!
LEADER or ANOTHER MAN: blows shofar
LEADER: Please remain standing while we sing together in Hebrew the ancient proclamation from Deuteronomy 6:4 - "Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord." This is repeated 3 times daily, and especially at feast times by every observant Jew. As Christians, we too believe that the Lord our God is one Lord. We are not divorced from our Jewish roots, but rather we build upon them. Some day both Jew and Christian will be united - one flock - and one Shepherd. Let us sing together.
CONGREGATIONAL CHANT: "Sh'ma Israel" (3x) (Hebrew chant from Deut. 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord Thy God is One!”)
Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai, Eloheynu, Adonai echad!
Baruch Shem kavod malchuto, l'olam va'ed!”
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Hear O Israel" (contemporary worship song)
LEADER: Please be seated. (wait) It is very necessary that we give you now a background of the history of Hanukkah.
Brief History: Hanukkah's other names are the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication. This feast commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the wicked Greek King Antiochus and the Hellenistic Syrians, who were trying to force Jews to bow down to idols, and to stop all Jewish rituals. In 168BCE they seized the Jewish temple, and used it for worshiping Zeus. Some Jews were so full of fear that they did not retaliate; but a small yet tough Jewish family called the Maccabees, led by the priestly Hasmoneans, revolted at Modi'in, and stood up for righteousness, thereby saving the Jewish race. One of them called Mattathius, rose up and slew a fellow Jew who had weakened by offering to comply to pagan worship, thereby betraying the Jews. Mattathius also killed the Greek officer who had demanded Jews worship idols and eat pig, both of which are forbidden in the Torah. (If he had not done this, the Jews would have been wiped out, and our Jewish Messiah Yeshua would never have been born to save us.) After this brave encounter, they found much destruction in the temple, so in 165BCE they cleaned it up and rededicated the ransacked temple that Antiochus had used to put a non-“kosher” pig on the altar. The idea of lighting the candles comes from the fact that a real miracle happened after the Maccabees found only one flask of oil left to light the damaged temple “m'norrah”, and it actually stayed lit for 8 days amidst great celebrations!
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Mi Y'Malel" (trad. Hebrew, recounting the Maccabees' victory – song on internet)
LEADER: We will begin now to explain the symbols of Chanukkah. (If you cannot produce any or all of these article, display a photo of them from the Internet)
HANUKKIAH – (pronounced “hah-noo-KEY-ah”)You will recall the "m'norrah" or 7 sticked candleabra usually associated with the Jewish people, although it is clearly a Christian one too. In Revelation 1:12,13, "John saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst ..... one like unto the Son of man." Obviously, the Lord Yeshua!
LEADER: Recently, the oldest known symbol of the Christian faith was found near the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumram in the Negev Desert in Israel. It is a 3-fold vertical symbol starting with the candelabra at the top. Its base becomes the top point in the star of David joined underneath it. At the bottom centre of the star of David is the fin of a fish which stretches down vertically to its whole body. (Look up Messianic Seal photo or drawing on the Internet.) The cross symbol was invented by Constantine in the 4th century to be used by Christians as their symbol, although it was already used as a conquering symbol by pagan generals. The heathen followers of the god Tamuz (long before Yeshua was even born) initiated the making of the sign of the cross on one's body as implemented in the Roman Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox, and Anglican churches to this day!) The candelabra for the 8 day Hanukkah feast has 8 candles, and is called an "Hanukkiah", and is the main emblem of the feast. It also has an extra candle, called the "shamash" (pronounced “shah-MAWSH”) which is the servant candle, in that it is lit first, then is used to light the first candle and the rest in succeeding nights. Does the "shamash" not remind you of the Lord Yeshua?
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #4: "He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT" ... (Phil.2:7) He also commands US to be servants. "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant". (Matt.23:11)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Lighten Our Darkness, Lord" (by Merla Watson)
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #5: "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation as a LAMP that burneth." (Isa.62:1)
LEADER: That is the translation of a beautiful modern Messianic song which we will now sing together.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "L'Ma'ahn Tzion" (modern Hebrew worship song by Elisheva Shomron – text: Isa. 62:1 )
LEADER: The next articles for symbolizing Hannukah are:
BASIN AND TOWEL AND ANOINTING OIL: - representing the cleansing and anointing by the priests of the desecrated temple and its religious articles by the Greeks and the pagan king Antiochus, in the Hanukkah story. For Christians, we see this as the obvious "housecleaning" of OUR place of worship.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #6: "Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" (Psa.77:13)
LEADER: We also see this as a cleansing and anointing of our personal bodies which are supposed to be temples of the Holy Spirit.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Know Ye Not?" (well-known worship song about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit)
LEADER: The next article for Hannukah is:
TORCH: - a symbol also of light, but particularly in this case of running as in a relay.
During Hanukkah in Israel, people take trips to Modi'in, the city where Mattathias and Judah and his brothers lived. There they honour the memory of the Maccabees' victory. First the Israeli flag is raised above the field. Then a large bonfire is lit. A number of torches are lit from the bonfire. These torches are carried by runners in a relay, and continue until the last group of runners bring their torches to all the cities of the country. The first torch is brought to Jerusalem to the President of Israel, who uses it to light the Hanukkah candles in the palace. The torch then is brought to Mt. Zion, where a special memorial service is held for those who perished from the Holocaust. The torches also light the Hanukkah candles at the Western Wall, and in all towns and cities of the country, thereby uniting with Modi'in. May WE carry OUR torches to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God to all the corners of the earth.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #7: "...let us run with patience the race that is set before us looking unto Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith.." (Heb.12:1)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Send the Light" (old gospel hymn)
LEADER: The 4th article for Hanukkah
DREIDEL: - this is a spinning top with 4 sides used as a children's game during Hanukkah. In celebrations outside of Israel, each side has a Hebrew letter - (nun) (gimel) (heh) (shin) standing for the first letters of a 4 word sentence which in Hebrew is "Nes gadol haya sham" meaning "a big miracle happened there". If the celebration is in Israel, the last letter is a “peh”, changing the meaning to "a big miracle happened HERE". It is spun by each player and each Hebrew letter stands for a certain value. It is great fun. The derivation is thought to have come from the fact that King Antiochus ordered the Jews not to study Torah or keep the feasts, forcing them to do so in secret. They devised a plan to make "dreidels" (spinning tops) to keep for emergency purposes in their pockets while studying Torah, so that if they heard the Syrian officers knocking at their door, they would immediately put away the Torah, and begin to play with the "dreidel", fooling the Syrians.
LEADER: The 5th article for Hanukkah:
ISRAELI FLAG: - Notice that the geometrical design of two equilateral triangles, the one imposed in reverse on the other, has been known for hundreds of years in many tribes and countries. Two bars and the star are designed in blue on a white background. The name "Magen David" (Star of David) first appeared in Jewish literature in the 12th century, which said that the six corners represent the four directions of the compass, the earth and heaven. By the time of the middle of the 17th century it had become an important Jewish symbol. This became the first flag of the Zionist movement. Blue, the heavenly colour, was used on the borders of the priests' garments, showing that the servants of God were to be heavenly in their obedience and character, and separate from earthly things. The parallel line represents the Jewish "tallit" (tah-LEET) or prayer shawl that Jewish men wear. In 1948 this design was declared the official flag of the Jewish state. Now we will sing the Jewish National Anthem.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Ha Tikva" (Israeli national Anthem – everyone must stand)
LEADER: The 6th article for Hanukkah:
GELT: - this means a group of coins representing another Hanukkah game. The coins are hidden around the house. A time limit is set to find them. The one who finds the most wins. There is a connection here to that woman in the New Testament who searched her whole house to find the one coin. The Lord says that we shall seek Him, and find Him, when we shall search for Him with all our hearts. (Jer.29:13)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God" (contemporary worship song)
LEADER: The 7th article for Hanukkah:
LATKES: - (lat-kes) These are actually potato pancakes fried in olive oil. Legend has it that the Maccabees were fed these "latkes" by the different village women, as they galloped their way to destroy the Syrian army and their false gods. As Christians, in our battle through life, we are constantly fed by the Bread of Life - the Word of God. God also uses our brothers and sisters in the Lord to encourage us along the way.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah" (liturgical hymn)
LEADER: The 8th article of Hanukkah:
SUVGANIOT (pronounced “soov-gah-nee-OAT”): - these are large round donuts with red jelly in the middle. They are enjoyed by everyone during the 8 days of Hanukkah. As Christians, we can say that our life, in spite of its trials, is a sweet one, because of our relationship to our Redeemer. At the very centre and core of that life is the bleeding heart of Yeshua ever pumping into our blood stream His resurrection life.
LEADER: The 9th article of Hanukkah: (show a photo of a Torah scroll off the Internet)
TORAH - this is a covering for over the scroll containing the 5 books of Moses - from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Often, Christians erroneously think that the "law" is referring to a type of enslavement to a police state or strict regime. But the original word for "law" in Hebrew stood for Godly statutes or principles of life. King David sang, "O How I love Thy law". It is not a burdensome thing to people who love the Lord with all their hearts and souls. In the New Testament there are many more laws to obey than in the Old!
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #8: Yeshua said: - "Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."(Mt.5:17)
LEADER: Without God's laws written upon our hearts we would barbarians! God's Word is sweet and precious to us who believe, and we revere it highly. In Israel, when the religious Jews dance with the "Torah" at the Western Wall, they hold it on their shoulders the way they always lift up a bridegroom at a wedding. Who is OUR Royal Bridegroom? YESHUA!!
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "O How I Love Thy Law" (by Merla Watson)
LEADER: The 10th article for Hanukkah:
SECOND TEMPLE DRAWING: - this represents the temple that was desecrated by the evil King Antiochus. As Christians, we long for the day when "the glory of the latter house (or third temple) shall be greater than the former". (Hag.2:9)
LEADER: The 11th article for Hanukkah:
SHIELD: - this denotes the armour of the fighting Maccabees who did not bow down to King Antiochus and his blasphemic regime.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "My Glory and the Lifter of My Head" (contemporary worship song)
LEADER: We as Christians pray for the leadership of our country, but if there is an law which is passed which is ungodly we must stand up for what is right.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Kingdom of God" (by Merla Watson – about not bowing down to that which is not scripturally based)
LEADER: Because Hanukkah, as well as all the other Biblical festivals, is on the lunar calendar (as opposed to the solar calendar which we use now), it falls on a different date each year. But it is always around Christmas time. ----- Now comes the most important ceremony in this feast - the lighting of the candles in the Hanukkiah. Many synagogues and Jewish schools have special candle lighting ceremonies for the entire community. On the first night, the first candle is lit by the "shamash". On the second night, the first and the second candle are lit - and so on till we reach the 8th one. Because we are teaching on this for one night only, for demonstration purposes only, we will light all the candles one by one, pretending that we are going through the entire week. There are special blessings that are said or sung each night. On the first night only, there is an added prayer. As we light the first candle now, with the "shamash", let us say that the first candle for the first night (which will actually be tomorrow) stands for miracles.
LEADER: (TRADITIONAL PRAYER): - "Baruch ata adonai eloheinu, melech haOlam, sheheheyanu ve kimanu ve higianu lazmahn ha zeh." "Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, for keeping us well to reach this season."
LEADER: The next song is the most well-known one for lighting the candles. We will sing it first in poetic English before we sing it in Hebrew. (Look up Rock of Ages from Hanukkah on Internet)
Rock of ages, let our song
Praise Thy saving power.
Thou amidst the raging foes
Wast our sheltering tower.
Furious they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us.
And Thy word broke their sword
When our strength failed us.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: Now in Hebrew - "Ma'oz Tzur" (trad. Jewish hymn – found again on Internet)
LEADER: The "hanukkiah" is then placed near a window to cheer all who pass by.
FEMALE LEADER: (TRADITIONAL PRAYER): "Baruch ata adonai eloheinu, melech haOlam, asherr kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu lehadlik ner shel Chanukkah." "Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, for teaching us the commandment of lighting the Hanukkah candle."
LEADER (TRADITIONAL PRAYER): "Baruch ata adonai eloheinu, melech haOlam, she asa nissim la'avoteinu ba yamim bazmahn ha zeh." "Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, for doing wonders in days of old at this season."
LEADER: Jews celebrate the miracle of the cruise of oil that lasted for 8 days in the temple. As Christians, we light this candle for the miracles of the Lord to continue in our day. Since the Messiah Yeshua is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we should expect and believe He will perform them to-day.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #9:
"And these signs shall follow them that believe: in My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mk.16:17,18)
SPECIAL SONG: "Miracles" (by Merla Watson)
LEADER: Now we will light the second candle, representing the second night - again with the "shamash". The Jews think of the mighty deliverance from King Antiochus and his attempt to destroy their temple. Let us light this candle for God's deliverance in each of our lives from the hands of Satan and his relentless attempt to defile OUR temples - both our churches - with presumption in our worship, - and our personal bodies, minds, souls, and spirits - with pollution, especially from the modern media.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #10: "For You have delivered my soul from death: will You not deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?" (Psa.56:13)
LEADER: Now we will light the third candle, representing the third night, which to the Jews represents the purification of the temple and its articles used during worship. To us, we pray against the influence of the world and its fashion upon our music worship. We also desire our purification before the Lord of Hosts, that we will be able to be used more fully.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #11: "No man, when he has lighted a candle, puts it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when your eye is single, your whole body is full of light; but when your eye is evil, your body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness. If your whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle gives you light." (Lk.11:33-36) "Therefore whatsoever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear of closets shall be proclaimed from the housetops." (Lk.12:3)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Lord, Purify Me" (by Merla Watson)
LEADER: Now we will light the fourth candle, representing the fourth night, which the Jews call the re-ordering of the temple articles after they had been corrupted. We realize as Christians, that the grace that has saved us is not cheap - we are bought with a price. Therefore we must work out our own salvation by putting things right with God and with others as a sign that repentance has seriously happened in our hearts.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #12: "Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (1Cor.10:12) "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Heb.2:1)
LEADER: Now we will light the fifth candle, representing the fifth night, which will symbolize the breaking down of idols and false gods in that second temple. Let us crash down the idolatry in our own lives.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #13: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psa.139:24) "O Lord our God, other lords have had dominion over us: but by You only will we make mention of Your Name." (Isa.26:13)
LEADER: In our city, we now have statues of Buddha, Hare Krishna, and other heathen deities. ALL in honour of pagan gods!! New Age beliefs are now on the rise as well.
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "We Raise Up the Standard" (by Merla Watson)
LEADER: Now we will light the sixth candle, representing the sixth night, as a memorial to the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust, that their poignant memory will remain with us to the point that never again will we as the Body of Christ remain silent and ineffective should there be mass persecution of God's chosen race again.
LEADER: I will read you from the diary of Moshe Flinker in December 7, 1942 during his time in the concentration camp. "We lit the fifth candle tonight, and Hanukkah, the Feast of lights is drawing to a close. I cannot hope any longer for the miracles of Hanukkah. Every day, more and more Jews are being deported - now from one place, now from another. " Again we read from December 12, 1942. "Thursday was the last night of Hanukkah. My Father, my young brother, and I lit the candles which we obtained, though not without difficulty. While I was singing the last stanza of the Hanukkah hymn,"Ma'oz Tsur", (which we sang earlier tonight) I was deeply struck by how the words applied to us. (This is the exact translation from the Hebrew.)
Reveal Thy sacred mighty arm
And draw redemption near!
Take Thy revenge upon that
Wicked people that has shed blood
From those that worship Thee.
Our deliverance has long been overdue.
Evil days are endless.
Banish the foe, destroy the shadow of his image.
Provide us with a guiding light.
Moshe went on to say: "All our troubles, from the first to the most terrible one, are multiple and endless, and from all of them arises one gigantic scream. from wherever it emanates, the cry that rises is identical to the cries in other places at other times. When I sang "Ma'oz Tzur" for the last night on Hanukkah, I sang with emphasis - especially the last verse." ---- (Moshe Flinker died 2 years later in Auschwitz when he was only 18 years old - perhaps he could have been a poet!!)
LEADER: Christians living now have tried to correct this whole issue, and have been instruments of repentance, comfort, and restitution to the bereaved Jewish families worldwide. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace, Christians for Israel, Christian Friends of Israel, and many more organizations have developed in recent years for this purpose. They pour millions of dollars into the Israeli economy, and are doing much good to repair the breach between Jews and Christians – both locally, and in Israel!
LEADER: Now we will light the seventh candle, representing the seventh night, which we will dedicate to the forming of the modern state of Israel begun in 1948. Remember the rise and FALL of Rome - - but when we think of Israel, we see its fall and RISE!
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #14: "And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame: (Isa.10:17) "I the Lord have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;" (Isa.42:6)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Ahm Yisrael Chai" (trad. song re the nation of Israel living, found on Internet.)
LEADER: Now we will light the eighth candle, representing the eighth night, for the peace of Jerusalem.
PRAYER FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: you can find wonderful prayers for this topic on the Internet if you so desire.
LEADER: With all of these candles lit, we are reminded that the number 8 in the Bible stands for new beginnings. As the church age draws to a close, we see the dawn of the Messianic Age emerging.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #15: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2 Pet.1:19) "Yeshua is the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world." (Jn.1:9)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Shine, Jesus, Shine!" (contemporary worship song)
LEADER: Our candles as Christians have each been lighted by the "shamash", the servant candle - Yeshua. As such, we also have that light. We also have a mandate to share it with all with whom we come in contact.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #16: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick: and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." (Mt.5:14-16) "For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yeshua HaMashiach." (2 Cor.4:6)
"We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:" (1 Pet. 2:9)
LEADER: Hanukkah is also the Feast of Dedication. As the priests re-dedicated the cleansed temple to the Lord, let us as Christians re-dedicate this (home, congregation) unto the Lord, as well as all believers.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #17: "Wherefore He says, Awake you that sleep, and rise from the dead, and Messiah shall give you light." (Eph.5:14)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "O Send Us Revival" (by Merla Watson)
LEADER: Now let us re-dedicate our personal temples unto the Lord.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #18: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1)
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: "In My Life, Lord” (contemporary worship song)
PREACHER SHARES (briefly): "Modern Hellenization in our Churches" (plenty about this topic on Internet)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Give Me Oil in My Lamp" (gospel song)
LEADER: Even as the Maccabees stood against overwhelming odds and pressure beyond belief, we look to our own lives as Christians today, with the very challenging future we have before the Lord's return.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #19: "For He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Heb.13:5,6) "While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light." (Jn.12:36) "The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? (Psa.27:1)
SPECIAL SONG: "Keep Your Light" (by Merla Watson)
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Yet Will I Stand" (by Merla Watson - about standing in this day when everything is falling apart around us)
LEADER: It is at this time of year that we as Christians celebrate the birth of Yeshua. We pray for the time when His birthday will be celebrated during the right time. But in the meantime, we can make a connection between Hanukkah and His advent. Yeshua came as the Light of the world, and in Him we see light.
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #20: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined." (Isa.9:2) .."The appearing of our Saviour Yeshua HaMashiach, Who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2Tim.1:10) "...The darkness has passed, and the true light now shines." (1 Jn.2:8)
CONGREGATIONAL HYMN: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (liturgical hymn)
LEADER: The Jews wait for their Messiah to come for the first time - we, the second time. On the rear windows of many cars in Israel you can read a sign that says: (translated from the Hebrew) "We want Messiah NOW!" For us he is coming a second time to rule, and to reign, and to deliver Israel. He will take us to His kingdom of Light where we will shine forevermore. In this, both Jew and Christians are united - Messiah IS coming!!
CONGREGATIONAL SONG: "Come, Come, Messiah, Come!" (by Merla Watson)
CONGREGATIONAL PROCLAMATION #21: "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of the New Jerusalem." (Rev.21:24) Therefore, Lord, light our candles and enlighten our darkness. For with You is the fountain of life, and in Your light shall we see light. You shall bring forth our righteousness as the light and Your judgment as the noonday. O send out Your light and Your truth. Let them bring me unto Your Holy hill to Your tabernacles. We shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. God, You are Lord, Who has showed us Your light. Praise Him, sun and moon and all the stars of light.
CONGREGATIONAL LIGHTING OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL CANDLES: (wait)
RECESSIONAL SONG: "O Lord, Send Out Your Light!" (by Merla Watson)