Hanukkah: Some Disturbing Things You May not Know

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Chanukah: Some Disturbing Things You May not Know

Chanukah- I would like to share some facts with you that you may not be aware of and need to know in order to make the fully informed decision of whether or not you and your family should celebrate it.

1) The rabbinic blessing for lighting the chanukiah candles goes like this: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Chanukiah.” Did you know there is no such command in all of Torah to light Chanukah lights/candles?

2) Saturnalia is also called, ‘The Festival of Lights’, as well as ‘The Feast of Dedication’.

3) Chanukah is the most celebrated Jewish holiday in America, far surpassing the holy days listed in Leviticus chapter 23, which are His.

4) Flavius Josephus in his book called, Antiquities of the Jews says, “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.” Deuteronomy 12:32 “All the things I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.” Josephus also said that it’s called a festival of “Lights” and seemed kind of puzzled by the name. He sounds like he’s guessing when he says, “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. [Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7, Part 7]

5) The story about the oil lasting for eight days is entirely fictional and is not found on the Book of the Maccabees.

6) From an American Chabad rabbi:

“The menorah that we light on Chanukah (also known as a chanukiah in Modern Hebrew) commemorates this miracle. The design of this menorah may (but need not) be similar to the original menorah, with some important differences: The menorah in the Holy Temple had seven branches, while the Chanukah menorah has eight (plus one additional “helper” candle, the shamash.) The menorah in the Holy Temple was lit indoors, while the Chanukah menorah is lit outside, at the front door facing the street. (In many communities it has become customarily to light it indoors near a door or window.) The menorah in the Holy Temple was lit during the daytime, while we light the Chanukah menorah after sundown, to burn into the night.

“The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, explains that there is significance to these differences. The number seven represents the natural order, as reflected in the Seven Days of Creation and the seven days of the week. Eight is a step beyond nature: the supernatural, the transcendent. The Temple was a place of holiness and revealed Godliness, and the seven lights of the menorah were enough to light it up. Nowadays, there is more spiritual darkness in the world, and Godliness is concealed. We need to reach beyond the limitations of nature and tap into a higher level of holiness in order to illuminate the darkness outside. The eight lights of our Chanukah menorahs, burning in the night, transform the world into a Godly, light-filled place.

* “The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, explains that there is significance to these differences. The number seven represents the natural order, as reflected in the Seven Days of Creation and the seven days of the week. Eight is a step beyond nature: the supernatural, the transcendent. The Temple was a place of holiness and revealed Godliness, and the seven lights of the menorah were enough to light it up. Nowadays, there is more spiritual darkness in the world, and Godliness is concealed. We need to reach beyond the limitations of nature and tap into a higher level of holiness in order to illuminate the darkness outside. The eight lights of our Chanukah menorahs, burning in the night, transform the world into a Godly, light-filled place.”

(Entirely Kabbalah, FYI)

7) The ‘servant candle’ on the chanukiah is called the ‘shamash’ and supposedly comes from the Hebrew word for servant. This word ‘shamash’ does not appear in Biblical Hebrew anywhere. However there is a VERY common Biblical Hebrew word for servant, and it’s ‘eved’.

8- Is it coincidence that this made up word for the chanukiah ‘shamash’ is VERY closely related to the Hebrew word for sun, which is ‘shemesh’, as in the city that very close to Jerusalem today called, Beyth Shemesh/House of Sun, (mentioned in Numbers chapter 33) a location that has a circular megalithe likely used in sun worship? This city was originally one of the cities set aside for the cohenim/priests. To this day, the place continues to be associated with sun worship.

9) Shamash is a pagan god of Babylon and Canaan.

10) This is a hymn sung in honor of Shamash: “You, Shamash, direct, you are the light of everything … The whole of mankind bows to you … Shamash, the universe longs for your light … It is pleasing to Shamash, and he will prolong his life … You observe, Shamash, prayer, supplication, and benediction … They in their reverence laud the mention of you … And worship your majesty forever … Which are the regions not warmed by the brightness of your light? … Brightener of gloom, illuminator of darkness … Dispeller of darkness, illuminator of the broad earth.” If Yeshua made the statement that He is the “Light of the World”, what do we make of this? Idolatry?

11) The Maltese Cross represents Shamash, the god of the sun and justice and is worn by the Catholic pope. This cross was identified with a sun god eight centuries before Messiah and long before it was called the Maltese Cross by the Knights of Malta. It’s also called the ‘Iron Cross’. Roman Catholic Adolf Hitler renewed its use in 1939 and superimposed the swastika in its center. Why would the RCC pope wear the cross of Shamash, and why would Jews choose this specific name to label the middle branch of their chanukiah?

12) We must keep in mind the CONTEXT of John chapter 10 and who Yeshua’s audience was:

John 10:22-26 At that time the dedication (This is how the Greek text reads) came to be in Yerushalayim, and it was winter. And Yeshua was walking in the Set-apart Place, in the porch of Shelomoh. So the Yehuḏim surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, say to us plainly.” Yeshua answered them, “I have told you, and came to be in Yerushalayim, and it was winter. And Yeshua was walking in the Set-apart Place, in the porch of Shelomoh. So the Yehuḏim surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, say to us plainly.” Yeshua answered them, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s Name, they bear witness concerning Me. But. The works that I do in My Father’s Name, they bear witness concerning Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.”

Notice that the words ‘feast of’ are added to all the English texts but is not in the Greek. The Greek simply reads ‘dedication’. Is it possible we’ve been led to believe it was Chanukah, but it really wasn’t?

13) The ‘porch of Solomon’ in John 10 is the entrance into the Court of the Gentiles, where only the unclean Jews and Gentiles would be. The Jews surrounded Him there and it’s possible that they were preventing Him from entering into the area of the Holy Temple. Why would they prevent Him? Was He going to reprimand the unbelieving Jews for keeping a pagan holiday, if it was Chanukah?

14) There are MANY pagan winter celebrations- Saturnalia, St. Nicholas’ Day, St. Lucia’s Day, Winter Solstice, Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasadh, the Festival of Janus, etc. Perhaps Yah didn’t want a festival in the winter, the darker portion of the year, for a very good reason! How many times has He instructed us to not do as the pagans do?

15) A serious offence to Yah (the golden calf) that resulted in the deaths of MANY Israelites:

Exodus 32:5 & 6 And Aharon saw and built an altar before it. And Aharon called out and said, “Tomorrow is a festival to יהוה.” And they rose early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to sport.”

16) Ou. org says “It (Chanukah) was added to the Jewish calendar by our sages. No fasting is permitted or mourning for the dead.” It seems to be on the same level of holiness to them as Sabbath keeping, which holds those same restrictions according to Judaism.

17) The first temple, Solomon’s Temple, only stood for 410 years, approximately. 827 BCE until 417 BCE. (The dedication of the Temple of Saturn, commonly known as ‘Saturnalia’, ‘Festival of Lights’ and ‘Feast of Dedication’, was done in 497 BCE). The second temple, Herod’s Temple, AKA Zerrubabel’s Temple, stood for 420 years, approximately. 350 BCE until 70 AD. After the re-dedication of the temple by the Maccabees in 148 BCE, the Maccabee family, AKA the Hasmoneans, became drunk with power, corrupt and cruel within 65 years. Does it seem strange to anyone else that Chanukah is a celebration of a temple that only stood for another 218 years until Yah allowed it to be destroyed in 70 AD?

18) It’s in the Jewish Talmud that the Chanukiah is established as a Jewish tradition, and the rules for its use are found there. It surprises me that most on this path for truth will adamantly oppose other traditions from the Talmud, but readily accept this one.

19) Wax figurines called ‘sigillaria’ were made especially for the celebration of Saturnalia, or plain candles. Does it astonish you that both festivals, Chanukah and Saturnalia, have a heavy theme of light and candles burning? Don’t most pagan celebrations? What comes to mind when you see an altar with candles burning on it? Catholicism? We have ONE oil lampstand in Torah, and it has seven branches, not nine wax candles like the chanukiah does.

20) From the Chanukah entry of the Jewish Encyclopedia: “The actual reason for the selection of the twenty-fifth of Kislev by Judas Maccabeus for the dedication of the altar is stated to have been, as mentioned above, that on the very same day three years earlier Antiochus Epiphanes had a pagan altar set up at the altar of burnt offerings in the Temple of Jerusalem and sacrifices offered to his idol (I Macc. i. 41-64; comp. II Macc. vi. 2 where the heathen god is called “Zeus Olympius”). ***The twenty-fifth of Kislew was accordingly a day sacred also to the heathen BEFORE it became a Jewish festival.*** 😮 According to Ewald (“Gesch. des Volkes Israel,” 3d ed., iv. 407) and Wellhausen (“Israelitische und Jüdische Gesch.” p. 210; comp. Paulus Cassel, “Weihnachten,” pp. 57, 97, and p. lii., notes), it had been celebrated as the winter solstice feast by the Jewish people BEFORE it became a historical festival associated with the great Maccabean victory. Regarding the historical data connected with the Ḥanukkah feast, see Maccabees; Maccabees, Books of.”

21) Something that greatly disturbs me is when people who celebrate Chanukah use the same greeting as they do for one of Yah’s Feasts/Moedim- “Chag Sameach Chanukah!” The Biblical Hebrew word ‘chag’ means ‘pilgrimage feast’ which are just three specific moedim (Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Tabernacles). Yah commands the men to journey from where they are three times each year to appear before Him. Chanukah is NOT one of those! Chanukah would be a ‘mishteh’, which is a party, not a ‘chag’.

22) I hear a lot from people that this is the time to “re-dedicate ourselves” or “re-dedicate our temple” to Him. But didn’t you just do that a few months ago for Yom Kippurim? Did you not lay down all your sins and purpose within yourself to not stray from Him and to walk in righteousness? Don’t you feel that His Moedim are for that very purpose, on a very cyclical, regular basis?

Our HIGHEST priority as children of Yah is walking in purity and set-apartness, and not solidarity with Judah. Can you honestly say, after reading all these facts, that Chanukah is a pure form of worship to our Father? Can you see Yeshua participating in such an activity?

Psalm 19:7 The Torah of יהוה is perfect, returning the soul.

Perfect means lacking nothing! We have no need of more festivals- Leviticus chapter 23 is His heart and desire and where He designates Moedim to meet with us. Stand firm on the PERFECTION of Torah!

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