The lifebreath of man is the lamp of the LORD
Revealing all his inmost parts.
(note: still catching up some Hanukkah posts!! this some notes I wrote from the 6th or7th night)
The light of Chanukah is not just any light. It is the light of the Shekinah, the divine light, the light of the Divine presence that we recall from the miracle of Hanukkah those many years ago in 167 BC from the oil that burned in the re-dedicated Holy Temple after the victory of the Maccabees.
The small band of Maccabees stood up for their faith in the God of Israel and their Judaism in walking in His ways, and from refusing to give in to the ways of the "world", of the Greeks, and fighting for the Torah for their life, even though they didn't have a chance in terms of "numbers", they had strength in God. He gave them a victory over the Greek army!!! He gave the stronger into the hands of the weak. As even the weakest is given strength in the One who gives us strength!
While the lights are lit, and especially for the first 30 minutes, the Jewish sages say that we are not to do anything to use the light for any other purpose, but just to look at the light. There are many things said about the light of Hanukkah! One is that it is said to be a concentration of the hidden light of Creation.
On each night of Hanukkah you can see that the light is increasing. You light first one on the first night, then two on the second, three, ....and then seven , then eight lights at last are lit!! Its very exciting to think of how the one days light spread out and expanded over 8 nights. There are said to be two kinds of light, one the "physical " light that can be defined by its properties and physical qualities measurable to the eye, and the other is light of the Divine kind. Like the fire of the burning bush, which kept on burning but wasn't consumed. And the light of the Hanukkah miracle, which was "measurable" to one nights amount, but spread out over eight. Even when we light the 8 lights of Hanukkah with the one "shamash" candle, we have a sense of what looks like a tiny flame can light all the others.
So when I set out tonight with my menorah in hand, I prayed for some kind of miracle or divine encounter so that I would be able to share about this amazing miracle and more than that, so that I could share about this amazing God!!! And lo and behold, He gave me an encounter!! I returned to the "tent" that you can see in this post below, where I had a little Chanukah party on the third night. Tonight though I didn't have anyone with me, I decided to bring the menorah there and "light"it. The dome "tents" that are set up there in our city made me think of Abraham and how he and Sarah always anticipated for someone to come into their tent so they could share about the God of Israel, and I had a flicker of confidence, almost a mustard seed of faith, that there might just be a guest to the tent!!
So you know what happened?! I had not one guest, but three!!! It was a wonderful Hanukkah encounter in the tent with the menorah!! First a woman passed by before I even settled in, I hadn't yet taken out the menorah and she peeked in to see if there was anyone in, and she actually asked me if she could come in!! She beat me to it! I would have asked her! It was just that exact timing that the Holy Spirit breathed on the moment, so that it would work out that she would come in!! She said she had time before her bus and wanted to have a place to wait!! She asked if I mind if she had a sweet snack she brought, and offered me one. (guess what it was? you guessed! a "red bean" sweet! ) So it was my moment to ask if she would mind if I "light" the menorah with her, and she said she'd like that!! And wanted to know about what it was about!! Then I took out the menorah from my "sack" (yes, thinking of the sack with the goblet! in Benjamin's sack, this week's parsha Miketz, Genesis 44:12)). And when I was about to "light " the Shamash candle (on the battery powered menorah), a young woman and man stopped to look into our tent. Both I and the other woman asked if they would like to join us, as we were just starting to light the menorah!!
The young man and woman lit up and seemed excited about this gathering, and they entered into our Hanukkah adventure!! This was God!! Now there were four of us settled in around the menorah, and I was able to share with them about Him and the miracle of Hanukah!!! I made a prayer and a blessing. Even though it wasn't the real candles, it was the real Presence of the Holy Spirit, so we were able to feel His light expanding even beyond the transparent confines of the tent!! It was wonderful!! I even had a chance to pray for the young woman, and in that way introducing her to Yeshua, in whose name we pray. He showed me a lesson of the Maccabbees. How when we step out to shine our light for His glory, He will meet us and in the power of His light we become strong!!
I really hope I can meet the people I shared Hanukkah with tonite again, but most importantly, they had an encounter with Him, with God who is the Light !
Wishing all a Happy New Year, may we go forth with the light revealed from Hanukkah and may the year and each of our lives be filled with the pure oil of the Light of Messiah Yeshua!!
（ps please pardon my spelling of the word Hanukkah in so many different ways, I know there are several ways to spell it and I just couldn't settle on one, and left it the way I typed it out! thank you, from the editorial staff at Challah and Cherry Blossoms! Much love!)