To:      "Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup"<>
Date:    Tue, 23 Dec 1997 03:06:16 +0000
Subject: Info on Hanukkah


From:          Ron Baker
To:            <>
Subject:       Hanukkah

Greetings Mishpachah (family):

Jacqui and l want to celebrate Hanukkah this year and not so much the
Christmas theme. I have looked through the HHM site and found nothing on
the Hanukkah festival. Can Someone guide us on where we should be looking
and how to incorporate Hanukkah whilst remembering that our Children would
be most upset if they thought that the Christmas they so love was being
done away with. So we want to celebrate Hanukkah not Christmas and still
make it a special time for our Children..... Help.

At least our young Children have never believed in Father Xmas as we have
never deceived them on this issue, so we don't have that to deal with.


Ron & Jacqui Baker

>From Eddie:

           The following article and information is taken from a 
newsletter written by Dr. Randy Weiss. Dr. Weiss is a Jewish believer 
in Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah. He is the founder of a Jewish Roots 
ministry called "CrossTalk".  The CrossTalk Web Site is located at:

            Randy is a member of our Hebraic Roots network.

                            THE HISTORY OF HANUKKAH
        Alexander the Great was a famous Greek King who conquered 
most of the known world in his day. He dominated all of the Near East 
which included the land of Israel during the 4th Century B.C.E. After 
his death, his kingdom was divided into four parts. The land of 
Israel was under the dynasty of the Seleucid dynasty that dominated 
the area of Syria. This is the historical background and setting to 
the Hanukkah story. It began in approxiamately in 167 BCE when a king 
named Antiochus Epiphanes tried to force the hellenization (accept 
the ways and practices of the Greek Empire) of all his subjects. 
Jewish practices such as the keeping of the Sabbath and circumcision 
were forbidden. They even commanded that the Jews sacrifice the most 
unclean of animals, a pig, to Zeus instead of the animals that God 
required and instituted through the Levitical priesthood in the 
Temple. Some Jews desired to assimulate and accept the Greek ways 
but  other Jews refused and some were brutally killed.

              When the Greeks arrived in the city of Modi'in ( a city 
about 17 miles from Jerusalem), they set up an altar and commanded 
the Jews to come and sacrifice a pig. Mattathias, an old priest,  was 
enraged by this event. As priest, Mattathias was to be the 1st person 
required to do this sacrifice.  Mattathias boldy refused to offer a 
sacrifice to Zeus and made a rousing speech against pagan worship 
and  called the Jews to solidarity and faith.

                 When a Jewish parishioner went forward to sacrifice 
the pig in compliance with the demand of the pagan invaders, 
Mattathias killed the weak-spirited Jewish infidel and attached the 
soldiers. In that very moment, the revolution began!

                  Mattathias and his 5 sons engaged the Greeks in 
guerrilla warfare to win Israel's independence. Because of the 
their bravery and leadership, the Jews miraculously won the war with 
the Greeks and regained their freedom to worship the one true God of 
Israel.  The Temple which was descrecrated when Antiochus Ephiphanes 
sacrificed a pig on the altar of the Temple was recaptured by the 
Maccabees and rededicated back to God. 

                    Hanukkah is one of the most historically 
documented ancient Jewish holidays. It is recorded in the Apocrypha 
-- in 1st and 2nd Maccabees.  Concerning the story of Hanukkah, the 
ancient Jewish historian Josephus born in 37 CE wrote in his book, 
"The Antiquities of the Jews" 12:7:7

"Now Judas celebrated the festivals of the restoration of the 
sacrifices of the Temple for eight days: and omitted no sort of 
pleasure thereon: but he feasted them upon every rich and splendid 
sacrifices; and he honored God and delighted them, by hymns and 
psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, 
when after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had 
regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for 
their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the 
restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that 
time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it LIGHTS. I 
suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes 
appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival".


     In 1st Maccabees 1:41-64 it is written:

"Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should
be one people. And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen
agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yea, many also of the
Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols and
profaned the sabbath. For the king had sent letters by messengers unto
Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange
laws of the land. And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink
offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths
and festival days. And pollute the sanctuary and holy people. Set up
altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh,
and unclean beasts. That they should also leave their children
uncircumcised and make their souls abominable with all manner of
uncleanness and profanation. To the end they might forget the law, and
change all the ordinances. And whosover would not do according to the
commandment of the king, he said, he should die. In the selfsame
manner wrote he to his whole kingdom and appointed overseers over all
the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice, city by city.
The many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every one that
forsook the law, and so they committed evils in the land. And drove
the Israelites into secret places, even wheresoever they could flee
for succour. Now the fifteenth day of the month Kislev, in the hundred
forty and fifth year, they set up the abimination of desolation upon
the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on
every side; and burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the
streets. And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which
they found, they burnt them with fire. And whosoever was found with
any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they would
put him to death. Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites
every month, to as many as were found in the cities. Now the five and
twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar,
which was upon the altar of God. At which time according to the
commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their
children to be circumcised. And they hanged their infants about their
necks, and rifled their houses and slew them that had circumcised
them. Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in
themselves not to eat any unclean thing. Wherefore the rather to die,
that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not
profane the holy covenent: so then they died. and there was very great
wrath upon Israel"

                             THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY

      Before Mattathias died, he passed the leadership onto his son 
Judah Maccabee. Judah (or Judas as he is also called) was known as 
"the hammer". Under his respected leadership, the Jewish warriors 
continued to drive the pagan invaders out of Israel. This was the 
beginning of the Hasmonean dynasty. Against all odds, the Jews were 
victorious. Ultimately, they liberated Jerusalem and rededicated the 
Temple back to God. Later, the Hasmonean dynasty became quite 
hellenized. They persecuted and opposed the Rabbis. The Hasmonean 
dynasty ruled into the 1st century.


       The ancient Rabbis taught about the holiday but even they 
don't discuss the miracle of the oil until the later Talmudic 
writings of the Gemara. The Mishnah is silent about the miracle of 
oil burning for 8 days after having only a one day supply of oil to 
burn in the Temple upon recapturing the Temple back from the Greeks. 
This was probably due to the Mishnah Rabbis living under Roman 
domination and their fear of the Roman authorities. 


   Hanukkah is not a Biblical commanded Festival found in Lev 23. 
However, according to the text of John 10:22, Yeshua/Jesus kept and 
celebrated this festival. The "feast of dedication" in John 10:22 is 
Hanukkah. Hanukkah in Hebrew means "dedication".  


         Dreidels are the toys with with Jewish children play to call
to remembrance the story of the rededication of the Temple in ancient
Israel. Can a toy tell a religious story? A sevivon (Hebrew for
Dreidel) tells a marvelous story. A dreidel is a 4 sided top-like
spinning toy that has a letter painted on each side. The letters are a
Hebrew acronym saying:


         What was this great miracle that the Dreidel and the holiday
commemorate? It is proclaimed that after the Maccabees won their
stunning military victory over the Greek invaders of Israel they
cleansed the Temple. In so doing, they needed to light the Menorah ( a
candelabra in the Temple). The Maccabees only had enough proper olive
oil to burn for 1 day. The miracle that is remembered is the story of
how the lights burned for 8 days giving them sufficient time to
complete their celebration and produce more oil for the Temple.

                Chanukiah Candle Lighting Guide

#1) First, set the number of candles ready to be lit to correspond 
       with which of the 8 days are being celebrated. The first 
       candle is placed at our right, as we face the Chanukiah (9 
       candlestick menorah) subsequent candles are placed to the left 
       of it, one additional candle to each of the eight days. The 
       first new candle is ALWAYS kindled first by the LIT shamash candle.   

#2)  Light the Shamash (servant) candle, which represents the Messiah 
        Yeshua (He is God's servant sent to the earth to redeem us 
        from our sins). 

        While holding the Shamash candle, recite the Barukh (blessing)
       saying, "He is the Light of the World" and reading Mark 

        "Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be the servant 
        of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but 
        to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many".

#3) With the Shamash candle burning, take it in your hand and recite 
        the following blessing in Hebrew and English.

        "Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha-olam kidshanu 
         b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Chanukiah"

         "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who 
         has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded 
         us to kindle the light of the Chanukah (and to let our light shine 
         before others)"

         "Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha-olam sheheyanu 
          v'ke'manu v'heegeeanu lazman hazeh"

          "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who  
          has performed miracles for our forefathers in those days at this 

           "Baruch atah adonai Elohenu Melech ha-olam, she-hasah 
            nisim la-atotainu ba-yamim ha-ham bazman hazeh"

           "Blessed ar you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who 
            has kept us alive and sustained us and enabled us to reach this 

#4)  Then, light the other candles with the Shamash candle

#5)   Each night of lighting, invite a different person to read the 
         Scriptures designated for each night of the 8 days. 

#6)  Sing "Ma'oz Tzur" ("Rock of Ages") and other Chanukah songs you 
        might come across, celebrating the coming of the Light of the World.

a)   FIRST CANDLE (Exodus 3:21-22)
b)   SECOND CANDLE (Psalm 18:28, Psalm 27:1)
c)   THIRD CANDLE (Isaiah 60:1,3
d)   FOURTH CANDLE (John 8:12)
e)   FIFTH CANDLE  (Luke 2:30-32)
f)    SIXTH CANDLE (Psalm 119:105, Psalm 130)
g)   SEVENTH CANDLE (Matthew 5:14-16)
h)   EIGHTH CANDLE (Rev 21:22-27)

#7)  Gift giving on each of the 8 days of Chanukah is optional.

From:          Sara Sutherland 
Subject:       The Eight Nights of Hanukkah

The Eight Nights of Hanukkah

        On the first night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, a warm
        bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the second night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, two
        matzoh balls and a warm bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the third night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, three
        golden latkes, two matzoh balls, and a warm bagel topped with
        cream cheese.

        On the fourth night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, four
        pounds of corned beef, three golden latkes, two matzoh balls,
        and a  warm bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the fifth night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, five
        kosher dills, four pounds of corned beef, three golden latkes,
        two matzoh balls, and a warm bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the sixth night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, six 
        grandmas cooking, five kosher dills, four pounds of 
        corned beef, three golden latkes, two matzoh balls, and 
        a warm bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the seventh night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me, seven
        rabbis dancing, six grandmas cooking, five kosher dills, four
        pounds of corned beef, three golden latkes, two matzoh balls,
        and a warm bagel topped with cream cheese.

        On the eighth night of Hanukkah, someone sent to me,
        eight fiddlers fiddling, seven rabbis dancing, six
        grandmas cooking,   five kosher dills, four pounds of corned
        beef, three golden latkes, two matzoh balls, and a warm
        bagel topped with cream  cheese.

                                OY VEY!!!!!!!!