To truly understand the Christian faith, one must study the Scriptures in the context of its Biblical, Hebraic roots.  Almost the entire Bible was written by Hebrews who expected the readers to know and understand the idioms used at the time, the customs of the land and therefore the context in which the Gospels were written.  Yeshua (Jesus) was a Torah observant Jewish Rabbi who taught in the synagogues and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. All of the Apostles were Hebrews as well as most of His disciples.

Yeshua celebrated all of the Feasts of the LORD as listed in Leviticus 23.  He fulfilled the four spring Feasts in His first coming.  He was the Passover Lamb; He was buried on Unleavened Bread; rose again on the Feast of First Fruits of the barley harvest.  Then the Holy Spirit came, anointing the believers on the Feast of the First Fruit of the wheat harvest called Shavuot or Pentecost.

Yeshua and the Apostles also celebrated Chanukah.  In the Gospel of John, chapter 10 verse 22 it states “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.”  We are expected to know that there are two Feasts of Dedication. The first is in the fall and is called the Feast of Tabernacles or Succoth.  The second is Chanukah and it is in the month of December.

Chanukah is an observance commemorating the rededication (164 BC) of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration three years earlier by order of Antiochus IV Epiphanies, the Greco-Syrian king. Though modern Israel tends to emphasize the military victory of Judas Maccabeus over its enemies, the distinctive rite of lighting the Menorah also recalls the story of how the small supply of non-desecrated oil, enough only for one day, miraculously burned in the Temple for eight full days until new oil could be prepared. Therefore, Chanukah is celebrated for eight days and this is one of the Feasts that Jesus celebrated!   During this time, in addition to the lighting of the candles, gifts are exchanged and children play special holiday games.  A special nine branch Menorah, called “Chanukiah” is used during Chanukah. The center and most prominent branch is called the “Shamash” or “Servant.”  It is used to light the other branches.  It is a perfect representation of Yeshua the Servant Who came into this world as “The Light of the World.”

As Christians we need to understand and embrace our biblical, Hebraic roots.  They provide the context for our faith; enrich our understanding of our Messiah and the Word of God.  May His light shine upon you during this season of miracles as never before.

Each year, Living Word holds a “Chanukah Party” which is a celebration service with praise, worship & dance followed by an Oneg fellowship.