This week is Chanukah; as a little Catholic girl, I was always curious about those lights when they were lit in the windows near my home. As an adult, I have read the descriptions many times. I always notice how much they have meaning for you and me in our recoveries.
This week, I asked my friend Rachel to write for us the Chanukah story. Please try to find the meaning for yourself and use it to make your holidays more sacred.
What is Chanukah?
It’s called The Festival of Lights.
In the second century B.C., (second temple period), the Jews refused to accept the rulings of their Greek-Syrian oppressors. They rose up and the Maccabean Revolt occurred.
The word Chanukah means “dedication” in Hebrew. At the time (200 B.C.), the current king allowed the Jews to practice their religion with no interference. His son (Antiochus IV) did not ascribe to the same benevolence that his father had shown. He outlawed Jewish religion and practices and ordered the Jews to worship Greek religious figures. The Jews refused and the Greek army descended upon Jerusalem and war began.
The Greeks desecrated the Holy Temple, erected an altar to Zeus, and sacrificed animals within the temple which were forbidden for Jews to consume. The Maccabees were led by Yehuda Maccabee and within two years, the Maccabean brothers had driven the Greeks out of Jerusalem. Yehuda cleansed the temple with his followers, rebuilt the altar, and lit a Menorah whose seven branches represent knowledge and creation.
The miracle of Chanukah, according to the Talmud, is that Yehuda and his brothers only had enough oil to light the menorah for one night.
Yet the candle kept burning for eight nights.
This allowed the brothers time to find more oil.
For me, (Rachel)as a proud member of my Jewish family and tribe, Chanukah represents being a light in whatever stage of life you are in (and maybe we think we have very little), yet, ultimately,
We are endowed by Our Creator, with endless light!!!!
Chanuka is a symbol to fight for what we need.
In essence, don’t let go.
Whomever you are and whatever your beliefs and standards may be, whatever your truth may be, respect it, honor it, and let it provide light, hope, and courage.
Thank you for writing this for us, Rachel, and may all of our lives be filled with light, hope, and courage this week.
p.s. – Remember that we have Wednesday With Theresa (aka Wacky Wednesday) today.