Hanukkah


Hanukkah and the Light of Creation

According to the Rokeach, when we light the hanukkiah each day of Hanukkah we are lighting the light of the Messiah and it is a foreshadow of the return of this great light in the kingdom of heaven. It also adds a bit of a universal flavor to the holiday by connecting it with the creation of man and the light of creation.

5-min

The Messianic Maccabees

In the wake of the Haskalah, a small handful of Jewish followers of Yeshua independently rejected the idea that they should become like Gentiles. At Vine of David, we like to call them luminaries. These are men and women who envisioned and pioneered Messianic Judaism: a uniquely Jewish expression of faith in Yeshua.

8-min

The Maccabees of Modernity

It takes something really special to rebuild, restore, and bring life to something that has seemingly been left to die. Between assimilation, apathy, and fear, many around the Maccabees were not interested in doing what it took to fight the fight, uphold the Torah, and remain faithful to covenant responsibility.

7-min

A Time of Miracles and Redemption

When God performs a miracle on a national level like the one he did for Judah and the Jewish people, we should take notice. Let’s take a close look at this story and see how Judah Maccabee gives us a glimpse of the future redeemer and his role.

8-min

Those Days at This Time

Josephus knew of Hanukkah by the name Festival of Lights, but he seems to have hidden the reason why it is called by this name. Perhaps the Hanukkah lights do not just commemorate a past event, but for those who are willing to see it, they provide a glimpse of a far larger revolution.

6-min

The Miracle, the Message, and the Mandate

The most fundamental miracle of Hanukkah is not oil or lights, though they are indeed miraculous and a part of the story. The foundational miracle is redemption and deliverance that comes from Heaven. But we have a part to play, too.

8-min

Did Christmas Originate with Hanukkah?

Many believe Christmas to have solely pagan roots that were re-purposed by early Gentile Christians. Messianic Jewish luminary Theophilus Lucky has a different, interesting take on the theory of Christmas’ origins. Lucky believes that the birth of Messiah was celebrated every year at Hanukkah on the 25th of Kislev.

6-min

Eight Days of Enlightenment

To make the celebration of Hanukkah special, in our experience, it is essential to separate these nights from our normal routines. With this in mind, we have structured a guide to provide solid discussions of a spiritual nature that you can share around the family hanukkiah.

5-min

Festival of Lights in Israel

Hanukkah is not particularly commercial in this part of the world. It is still considered a minor holiday though it is exuberantly celebrated by both secular and religious. It's a holiday for families and kids, with gooey donuts, deep-fried potato pancakes, chocolate coins, songs, and school holidays.

4-min

Five Reasons To Celebrate Hanukkah

Given that Hanukkah is a historically Jewish festival and that its celebration is not a mitzvah (commandment) of the Torah, why would Gentile believers in Yeshua celebrate it? Obviously Jewish believers have a cultural affinity for the festival, but is there any real biblical significance to it? Is there any reason Christians might want to incorporate the celebration of Hanukkah into their homes?

5-min

The Story of Hanukkah

The eight-day festival of Hanukkah is celebrated in Jewish homes each year. The eight-branched candelabra (called a chanukkiah or Hanukkah menorah) is lit. Friends and family gather for festive meals of delicious potato pancakes and pastries. There are entertaining games for children, storytelling, songs, and prayers. Most of all, there is gladness, joy, and light.

11-min

Every Living Thing Will Acknowledge You

All nations will thank God “for all these things,” which includes the miracle of Hanukkah. In turn, the prayer itself becomes a prophetic prelude to Gentiles from all over the world joining in with the Jewish people and embracing the celebration of Hanukkah.

5-min

Winter in Jerusalem

Have you ever wondered what the Feast of Dedication is? Have you ever just assumed that it was merely some archaic festival in ancient Judaea that has been antiquated and is no longer celebrated? Have you ever noticed the verse in John and its subtle reference to this unknown Jewish winter feast?

6-min

Don't Let the Light Go Out

The real issue, as my Rabbi pointed out, is this. How are we going to keep our light burning? How are we going to make sure that we have enough oil to keep shining, keep burning, and keep doing what we need to do to shed a little bit of light in our corner of the world?

4-min

Hanukkah in Hudson

The recent Shabbaton in Hudson this Hanukkah was, for me, an exciting opportunity to return to those friendships. And not only to do theology with these friends but to do life—to see what Messianic Judaism looks like outside the boundaries of biblical exegesis and exposition.

5-min

Are We Gods?

According to the teaching about Psalm 82, if the people of Israel had not sinned, they would have retained the status of “gods” and “sons of God.” How much more so should the one without sin deserve to assume those same titles?

6-min

Hanukkah in Israel

We joke that Jewish history consists of three sentences. They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat! So as we huddle in our coats and scarves, and join others at their tables we once again reaffirm our community and our covenantal promises with he who remains faithful, even after so many years.

7-min

The Incense Altar and the Menorah

Imagine, if you will, the interior of the Sanctuary. Your eyes are on the veil of the holy of holies and the altar in front of it. Rising from that altar is a cloud of incense that fills the air. In no time, the veil is concealed behind the fragrant cloud. As you look into the cloud, the only thing visible is the illumination of seven flames.

8-min

The Problem with Ambition

The motives to Antiochus’ actions are easily understood, but it is still baffling that anyone could so easily discard human life. Problems arises when we prioritize our desires over the wellbeing of another. An attitude of entitlement is in direct contradiction to the way we are called to live our lives.

5-min

Haggai, Hebrews, and Hanukkah

Hanukkah is more than just the Jewish substitute for Christmas. In fact, Hanukkah elicits ancient prophecy and prophetic archetypes, all pointing to the coming and the redemption of the Messiah. The messianic expectation during this holiday points us to investigate the books of Haggai and Hebrews.

7-min

Hanukkah and the Birth Pains of Messiah

At Hanukkah we celebrate the ultimate future defeat of the antichrist. Recent world events and phenomenon seem to suggest that the birth pains of Messiah are increasing in frequency and the signs point toward Armageddon. We should use Hanukkah as an opportunity renew our commitment to Yeshua as the day of his coming draws near.

7-min

Hanukkah and the Abomination of Desolation

Antiochus Epiphanes, the villain of the Hanukkah story, was the king of Syria and an early forerunner of the antichrist. He erected an idol in the Temple that the Prophet Daniel referred to as the “abomination of desolation.” Yeshua of Nazareth warned us to expect history to repeat itself.

7-min

Non-Jews and Chanukkah

Chanukkah is a Jewish holiday. It’s kind of like, we think, some kind of Jewish substitute for Christmas. They saw all the fun we were having every winter and came up with something a little different that they could do, too. So we imagine them putting Chanukkah presents under the menorah, or maybe a Chanukkah bush of some kind.

15-min

The Sacred Light of Hanukkah

Jewish law prohibits using the light of a chanukiah for ordinary purposes such as lighting up a darkened room or light for reading. It might sound hyper-litigious, but the rule has a real basis in the meaning the Hanukkah menorah, its connection to the Temple, and the meaning of holiness.

7-min