For a couple of years, we have been learning more about the Biblical Feasts. Chanukah is not listed in the Old Testaments with the other feasts because the event that Chanukah commemorates did happen until later. The event happened in the era between the Old and New Testaments.
In 168 B.C.E. a small group of Jews, led by Judah, “The Maccabee”, rebelled against the Greek culture forced on them by the Syrian rulers. The refused to submit to Antiochus IV, King of Syria, who had outlawed many Jewish practices and placed idols in the Temple in Jerusalem, and sacrificed a pig on the altar.
The Maccabees fought against great odds and drove the Syrian-Greeks out of the land.
In the month of Kislev in the year 165 D.C.E. the Maccabees rededicated the Temple to Jewish worship. In lighting the menorah for the re dedication, they found only enough purified oil to burn for 1 day. They lit it anyway, while starting the 7 day process to purify more oil. The oil in the lamp burnt for 8 days! A miracle from God!
Chanukah is reminder of God’s miracleous provision, and that we can defeat our enemies, both physical and spiritual.
Did you know that Jesus celebrated Chanukah? In John Chapter 10, Jesus went to the temple for the Festival of Dedication. That’s Chanukah! Chanukah was important to Jesus, therefore, it should be important to us.
|Our menorah and candles waiting…..|
Last year, our first year of celebrating Chanukah, we light candles in a homemade menorah. I went to get a picture, and I couldn’t find one! I must not have taken a picture. That makes me sad. I think I will try to recreate it and take a picture. We lit the candles, and did some reading, learning more about Chanukah. We also ate fried foods, and learned how to play Dreidel. With a Dreidel my husband made.
This year, we are adding more to our celebration. We bought a new menorah this year, shown above on top of our piano. We will be lighting the candles, saying the blessing, singing Rock of Ages, reading the nightly selection from Heart of Wisdom Biblical Holidays and letting the kids each open a gift all 8 nights. Small gifts, that I can’t what they are now, as my kids read here. I’ll have to share that later. 🙂 We also will be putting money in a box every night for charity.
We are still learning, so we will be using the resources linked below, to continue learning about Chanukah, Our Heavenly Father and His Word.
We will also being playing dreidel again. I’m sure lots and lots of times. This year, instead of using chocolate coins, we will be playing with pennies, with the winner of each game getting a small piece of candy (or two). The only chocolate coins we can find at the stores in our area are expensive, and the kids didn’t even eat the ones we bought last year as they didn’t like the way they tasted. So we’re playing with real pennies this year.
We will also be eating lots of fried food. 🙂
We will be having a great family time learning more about God and His Word. From what I have learned, the main thing that should be done in the celebration of Chanukah, is telling others of God’s great miracle. So we are also telling others about the miracle of Chanukah, and how we celebrate it.
Here are some of the online resources we are using this year:
The National Jewish Outreach Program is offering an excellent Chanukah Ebook. It has history, recipes, games, puzzles and articles.
Heart of Wisdom Biblical Holidays – our nightly readings
Chanukay Unit Study
Here’s a fun video fun video with Kosher Joe.
Here are 2 books that I use:
Jewish Holidays & Festivals: A Young Person’s Guide to the Stories, Practices and Prayers of Jewish Celebrations I have an older version, though.