In the writing of our newest resource, The 180º Project, (which has run into some delays) we recently received permission from the Judaism website, chabad.org to use an article of theirs to illustrate a point. Getting this cooperation has helped in the writing of the book and, I believe, enhanced it in many ways. Their helpfulness was refreshing and graciously given. Their website is a fountain of information of Jewish practice and values and is a great resource for those wishing to explore the religious mindset of modern Jews.
Allowing this article to be used by Ta Ethne was a generous gesture. We thank them for their kindness and encourage our readers to check out their site. You will learn about customs, practices, history and how faith intersects life for many Jewish people today. It has been a rare experience for us to find the blend of knowledge, wisdom and humbleness as they have extended to us. Again, thank you very much chabad.org!
During this season of celebration named Hanukkah, there are many lessons we can learn. The Festival of Lights, while a holiday pretty much exclusively celebrated by Jews, should be held in high esteem by Christians as well. (Also by Muslims if they were honest but that is a different thought for another time). The miracle of God extending the oil so that the menorah remained lit until more oil could be made ready for use, was a great miracle indeed. It showed that God was with His children and pleased with them and their zeal for His Holy Name. That was only one of the miracles God performed, though. The entire Maccabean rebellion should have been crushed by the overwhelming forces arrayed against them. God’s granting victory to them is reminiscent of the victories during the time of the Judges. Jesus observed the festival (John 10:22-23) as did His disciples. What could possibly be wrong with a festival honoring God’s provision and care?
We are reminded during this time that God cares for His people. He provides for His people. He protects His people. He remembers His people. He helps His people. It would be a good idea for everyone to read 1 and 2 Maccabees and learn of God’s care for His people during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments.
It is also a good time to speak with our Jewish friends. To celebrate with them the miracles of God. To use this time as a bridge to communicating with them how Jesus is the Light of the World. That the God of Lights, who delights in giving His children good gifts, gave one in the form of His Son.
Wish them a Happy Hanukkah. Teach the meaning of the holiday to your children. Remind yourself that candles are not lit to shine in the home. They are meant to shine out, to tell others of the miracles of God. Let that be a lesson to take home – that the best way to honor God is to tell others about His greatness.