by Stew Piddasol
It is not my place to tell anyone what to do, just some thoughts on why we steer clear of this tradition. I’m not going to debate the issue, simply offer some reasons why we don’t.
Many have suggested that the first Hanukkah may have been a belated celebration of Sukkot (8 days), which the Jews had not had the chance to observe during the Maccabean Revolt. In recent years, particularly in North America, Hanukkah has exploded into a major commercial phenomenon, largely because it falls near or overlaps with christ-mass. A seemingly ‘kosher’ alternative to the pagan mass festival, perhaps. Be that as it may.
Let’s remember some foundational principles first…
Lev 23:2 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘THE APPOINTED TIMES of יהוה, WHICH YOU ARE TO PROCLAIM as set-apart gatherings, MY APPOINTED TIMES ARE THESE (No Hanukkah listed to proclaim)…
Deu 4:2 “DO NOT ADD TO THE WORD which I command you, and do not take away from it, so as to guard the commands of יהוה your Elohim which I am commanding you (A reminder to not add to what is written and commanded).
Exo 32:5 And Aharon saw and built an altar before it. And Aharon called out and said, “Tomorrow is a festival to יהוה.” (Proclaiming festivals outside of Scripture just never turn out well)
Hanukkah history lesson, according to the Jewish encyclopedia…it states:
“it had been celebrated as the WINTER SOLSTICE FEAST BY JEWISH PEOPLE BEFORE it became a historical festival associated with the great Maccabean victory” – Did you get that? Formerly it was a Jewish SOLSTICE FESTIVAL!.
Wait, but didn’t Messiah celebrate it? We are supposed to have two-three witnesses to confirm every matter. This is quite a contrary witness to Him ‘celebrating’ anything:
Joh 10:22-39 At that time the Hanukkah came to be in Yerushalayim, and it was winter. And יהושע WAS WALKING in the Set-apart Place, in the porch of Shelomoh. So the Yehudim SURROUNDED Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, say to us plainly.” יהושע 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 YOU DO NOT BELIEVE, because YOU ARE NOT MY SHEEP, as I said to you. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. “And I give them everlasting life, and they shall by no means ever perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. And no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. “I and My Father are one.”
Again THE YEHUDIM PICKED UP STONES TO STONE HIM. יהושע answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. Because of which of these works do you stone Me?” The Yehudim answered Him, saying, “WE DO NOT STONE YOU FOR A GOOD WORK, BUT FOR BLASPHEMY, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself Elohim.” יהושע answered them, “Is it not written in your own Torah, ‘I said, “You are elohim” ’? “If He called them elohim, to whom the word of Elohim came – and it is impossible for the Scripture to be broken – do you say of Him whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘YOU ARE BLASPHEMING,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of Elohim’? “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME, believe the works, so that you know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” Therefore they were SEEKING AGAIN TO SEIZE HIM, but He went forth out of their hand,
Let’s do a quick recap on all that: He was WALKING at the temple. He gets surrounded by a mob. The mob questions and accuses Him. He tells them they DO NOT believe; and that they ARE NOT His sheep. The mob grabs stones to kill Him. He escapes.
Whoa, that is some celebration! Now ask yourself: WHAT were the YEHUDIM that He said WERE NOT His sheep doing? THEY were the ones keeping the festival!
To be honest, there is absolutely NO precedence in the above that Messiah celebrated this as a festival whatsoever. He was WALKING at the temple. That’s it. If that is enough ‘evidence’ to support such a claim as He celebrated the event, then the leap into Talmudic Judaism concerning the matter becomes a short step. One may as well then purchase an UN-Scriptural 9 branch candlestick, and tell also of the non-existent ‘oil miracle’ that was added some 600 years after the temple dedication also.
Again, y’all can do what you want, those are just my thoughts on why we avoid it. Shalom!