Tuesday night (Wednesday) is the first light (day) of Chanukah.

How to light a Chanukiah

We light the Chanukiah (the 9 branch menorah is properly called a Chanukiah) by first lighting the Shamash candle.

Rabbi Trail: Shamas is the Hebrew word servant. This Shamash candle is somehow set apart from the other 8, usually positioned higher. Once lit, the Shamash will receive the blessings while it is used to light the other candles. The term “Shamash” distinguishes the candle from the Shamas person who serves in the Jewish community.

The rest of the candles (one for each night) are loaded in the same way we read Hebrew from right to left, but lit with the newest candle first. (For example – on the third night, we load 3 candles from right to left, then use the Shamash to light the other 3 candles from left to right (newest first). Why the details? Kosher is kosher, and we all want to be kosher.

The blessings: One the first night we say all 3 blessings. On the other 7 nights we say only the first two. It takes 44 candles to light all 8 nights.

First Blessing: Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech HaOlam, Asher Kid’shanu B’Mitzvotav V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Chanukah.

Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has commanded us by His commandments concerning lighting the lights of Chanukah.

Second Blessing: Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech HaOlam, She’asah Nisim La’avotaynu Bayamim HaHem Ba’Z’man Ha’ze.

Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who made miracles for our fathers in those days, at this time.

Third Blessing (first night only): Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech HaOlam, She’he’che’yanu, V’ki’y’manu, V’higi’anu, Laz’man Ha’ze.

Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us in life, preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

In the Tuesday edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel, columnist (so labeled by the paper) Ina Hughes wrote on the Opinion Page an article titled “Evangelicalism has sold out religious faith for political expediency.” In the newspaper business they deal in a term they call “column-inches.” Well, I have never seen any article ever with so many errors per column-inch.

Here is just one sentence from the article. My comments appear in parenthesis. To help I’m italicizing them, but that may not hold through the Mailchimp distribution.

“From reproduction rights (you refer to “reproductive rights” when the victims are murdered babies who have reproductive rights too),

immigration policies (Without restricting access there is no security. Without law enforcement there is no justice. Immigration law is not racism.),

climate control (Who is controlling the climate? Not you and not me. Changes in weather cycles have always been with us. I’m not going to apologize for my carbon footprint. God created His world to sustain life. If not, the whales would have drowned by now.),

public education (Sad what is happening in public education. Tomorrow I’ll write about this alone. It is too much for here and now.),

welfare restrictions (What can I say, people who need help should get help. Someone has to decide who needs help and that involves restrictions),

military spending (The day you need protecting you will want military spending, but it will be too late. BTW – are you for it or against it?),

gun control (Hey Ina, you left out the word “laws.” It’s Gun Control Laws. These are the dumbest laws we have and you want more of them. Only criminals break gun control laws which means they don’t work because the intent is to prevent gun violence by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Because blunt force trauma can be caused by a bat, so we need bat control laws?),

the so-called war on Christmas (Don’t get me started),

who can bake a cake for whom (The Bible uses the term “after it’s own kind.” The term male and female appears 62 times in Scripture. Must be something to it.)

– the evangelicals have used Jesus as their front-man for their political leanings and have had the megaphone for far too long.” This ends the quote from the article. My closing comment is below.

(It’s not political, it’s convictional. You’re revealing more about yourself than you are about us. Jesus (Yeshua for those of you Messianics out there) is not our “front-man,” He’s our Savior and Lord. He’s our deliverer. He’s our shepherd. He is the one who says, “Follow me.” And as for the megaphone, I’m glad you’re writing on the opinion page. It clearly identifies this as your opinion. Reader beware.)