Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, December 2, 2019
Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Chanukah (there are plenty of other ways to spell “Hannika” – but that’s not one of them.)  Chanukah is the Hebrew word for “dedication.”  It is the holiday that memorializes the victorious Maccabean Revolt that ended in 160 BC.

Because it took place in the intertestamental period, (between the writing of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament) it is the only holiday not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, but is mentioned in the New Testament (John 10:22).

Rabbi Trail:  This reminds me of my daughter’s high school classmate.  (I’m purposely leaving out names to protect the innocent.)    She said to my daughter (I have 3 daughters and 3 granddaughters – while we’re at it, one son, one grandson, and one great grandson), “Oh, you celebrate Hanukkah.  You must be from the Hanukkan religion.”

My daughter replied, “No, I celebrate Hanukkah, but my religion is Jewish.”

The little girl responded, “Since Christians celebrate Christmas, I thought for sure that Hanukkah is celebrated by Hanukkans.”  Only in the hills of Tennessee.  End RT.

Chanukkah lasts 8 days.  You all know the why and the story behind it.  Oil was needed to dedicate (anoint) the altar in the Holy Temple and light the menorah (7 branch candelabra).  How a one day supply of oil miraculously lasted for 8 days (while more was refined).  The Temple was anointed and menorah lighted immediately.  The dedication took place without delay in faith believing that God would honor the faithfulness of the Macabees.  He did, and may He do the same for you!

We play the game of dreidel (also the name of our late cat).  I’ll write about that in more detail soon.  I brought it up to tell you about “Chanukah Gelt.”  That’s money pictured above (gold foil coins with chocolate inside) we give to children on Chanukah.

Rabbi Trail:  Gelt is the Yiddish word for money.  There’s a Jewish joke I wanted to tell you.  There’s a new Jewish fraternity on campus and we all belong.  It’s called “papa-gimme-gelta.”  End RT.

I just bought a supply of Chanukah Gelt to give the children at our Chanukah party after the Shabbat service on December 28th.  The first light of Chanukah is Sunday night, December 22nd.  This means the 8th light will be Sunday night, December 29th.  That means only 18 shopping days left until Chanukah.  (We don’t shop on Shabbat.)

Week 49
Memory Verse:  2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

* 241 12/2    Monday:        Hebrews 7
242   12/3    Tuesday:       Hebrews 8-9
243   12/4    Wednesday:  Hebrews 10
244   12/5    Thursday:      Hebrews 11
245   12/6    Friday:           Hebrews 12

Question of the day:  I was intrigued by this verse. Hebrews 7:7 Now it is beyond dispute that the lesser is blessed by the greater.  What intrigued me?

Answer:  In the above subject verse, “the lesser” is Abraham.  Abraham is mentioned because in the 4th generation, the tribe of Levi and eventually the priesthood of Aaron would come out of him.

Abraham paid tithes to Mechizedek, “the greater.”  The Bible points out that one priesthood is paying a tithe to another priesthood even though the one paying tithes also receives a tithe.

Hebrews 7:9 Through Abraham even Levi, the one receiving tithes, has paid the tithe, so to speak—

What follows is an effort to compare and contrast one priesthood with the other.  The Lord, Yeshua, is from the tribe of Judah.  There is no way a Levitical priest could come from the tribe of Judah.  A Levitical priest has to come from the tribe of Levi.

Hebrews 7:19 for Torah made nothing perfect. (And neither could the Levitical priesthood; it had only the blood of animal sacrifices.). But on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

A new priesthood based on what the Bible calls “better promises.” We’ll build on this foundation when we get to Hebrews 8:6 tomorrow.