December 7, 2023 by Tom Roberts, Esq.
Happy Hanukkah – Despite Hamas
Hanukkah & Hamas
On October 7, 2023, the world witnessed the most recent attack on Israel, this time by Hamas from Gaza. “But what does this have to do with Hanukkah?”, you may ask. Hanukkah is a reminder of God’s miraculous protection of Israel in the past, present and future. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time that evil attempts to wipe out the Jewish people.
The Story of Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a reminder as well that the claims that Jews are newcomers and occupiers to a land belonging to the “Palestinians” is absurd. In 168 BCE, Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes sent terrorist soldiers to Jerusalem and desecrated the Jewish Temple, and attempted to prevent Jews living in Israel from worshiping God. But surprising the world, against overwhelming odds, Jewish resistance defeated the Syrians and reclaimed the Temple. Hanukkah or “dedication” is a celebration of the rededication of the Temple, and as legend would have it a small jar of oil miraculously lasted 8 days lighting the ner tamid, a lamp which was to be continually burning in the Temple, while new purified oil could be processed, in accordance with Levitical law. The modern practice of lighting the 8 candles of the menorah is a nod to this event, and a reminder of God’s miraculous hand.
Historical References To Hanukkah
While Hanukkah or the Festival of Dedication is not mentioned in the Jewish Scriptures, the TNK, the history upon which the celebration is based is recorded in Maccabees I and II. It is also referenced in the New Testament history of Jesus, which reports that “The Festival of Dedication then took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon’s portico.”
Why Celebrate Hanukkah?
Light Chases Away Darkness
So, against the grim aftermath of the terrorist attack upon Israel by Hamas, people around the world will celebrate God’s protection throughout the ages of the Jewish people against the continuing attacks to remove them from the face of the earth. Light chases away darkness. Stand with Israel and join in celebrating a testament against antisemitism – Happy Hanukkah!
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