Happy Hanukkah 2019!

This year, Hanukkah is extra-special, because it coincides strongly with Christmas, beginning on sundown of December 22. And what better President than TRUMP to help us celebrate both Holidays!

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/presidential-message-hanukkah-2019/

Hanukkah isn’t a flashy holiday. It’s a quiet but important one – about keeping the faith, rekindling the faith, and celebrating the faith. So more than just being glad for Jews everywhere who will be celebrating – whoever you are – let me suggest that you think about taking a quiet moment to take in the Hanukkah spirit and renew your faith in God. Take your faith to the next level!

Dark to light, friends!

W

https://www.calendardate.com/hanukkah_2019.htm

47 thoughts on “Happy Hanukkah 2019!

  1. This is not directly related to Hanukkah AT ALL, but I want to make sure that all people interested in Jewish matters bookmark this EXCELLENT new article from Tablet Magazine which talks about a pet concern of mine – being very rigorous about Holocaust evidence, in order to “deny the deniers” any real ammunition!

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/296012/how-a-fake-nazi-document-fooled-the-experts

    It has always been my opinion that RIGOROUS UNDERSTATEMENT is much more shocking to people than inflated evidence – either in quantity of victims or level of depravity. The casually stated unarguable truth about the Nazis is always vastly more shocking in its instant believability, and I will always assert that our sticking strongly to the unimpeachable evidence will bring back the trusted authority of common knowledge about the Holocaust that existed in my youth, when Holocaust deniers were as rare as flat earthers – meaning nobody ever knew any! Note that both Holocaust deniers and flat earthers are back with a vengeance now. Fake News and radical leftist schemes helped create this mess!

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Yes, beautiful, this thread just had a much needed calming effect on me. It also reminded me that ever since I can remember, I thought that if I was not RC, my faith would be Jewish. Which also reminds me that the Catholic faith is intertwined with and started with the Jews.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Absolutely intertwined!

      Something which has really helped me to see deeper into Christianity (and Judaism, for that matter) is to try to view Christianity seamlessly arising out of Judaism – back when it WAS a mystical, metaphorical, messianic sect OF Judaism. Looking at Samaritanism is also very helpful – again – another thread in the powerfully evolving and changing milieu of radically expanding Judaism at that time. Jewish thinking about God was getting “lift” from Greeks and then Romans, as well as other cultures in the region. Jewish thinking was spreading faster than Judaism itself – a pure product of early globalization (to be differentiated from globalism, although the latter had deeply infected Roman thought). The very idea of the God of Abraham as an abstract entity asserting power in REALITY by our recognition of it was changing humanity in all sorts of ways.

      Scott is always making a very valid point, which I tend to agree with, but from a far more syncretic standpoint than most. Go back in time to when Jesus was ALIVE and you will not only see Judaism and Christianity very clearly – you will see that they’re really dealing with the same powerful thoughts, because they ARE the same thoughts. Scott’s view is that Christianity is corrected by doing so, and I tend to think he’s right, although I am not as bothered by the idea of traditions, as long as we accept strongly and firmly that that is what they are. I think traditions build faith, and if we appreciate them AS traditions and aids, and not moral imperatives, then we are safe.

      On the other hand, my own interest in going back in time is more to see Christ more clearly, because I have a strong interfaith interest in the nature of Messiah, which I tend to see as a generality, more like the Baha’is, but not in the exact same way.

      The metaphors of the early Christians are an excellent Judaism, bringing us toward the words of God which are difficult to put in any human language! Thus, I see Messiah not as unique, but as something which brings us back to the Word, because it IS the Word in action.

      Some people want Unity, others want Trinity. Some want discreteness, others want continuity. Some want Reform, others want Conservatism or even Orthodoxy. I was seduced by mathematics and Pythagoras, and I want ALL the Symmetries of the most Highly Symmetrical Object of All, Which is Beyond even the Idea of Object!

      I’m greedy for God! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 8 people

      1. —“greedy for God” —great phrase. ~~~That’s me too….ever since God showed up when I was 17, scooped me up in His arms and all I knew—-what every cell in my body knew—- was “God IS…God is Love….God loves ME…” “Love” -feels real good, whatever form it comes in (lover’s embrace, pet’s enthusiastic welcome, touch of the Divine at Midnight Mass, a friend’s steady presence in time of need)——feels REAL good. We do not forget, and want more—and yes, get greedy for more God/ of His loving touches.

        ps: —in the twinkling of an eye on that occasion I went from total atheist to——-His. Such is the nature of our God. I wasn’t looking, hadn’t asked but He knew how much i needed Him and He came to get me.
        Praise God praise God.

        ~~~~~MERRY CHRISTMAS Treepers!–you’re ALL wonderful; we are all so blessed. Thank you Wolfie for this great hangout.

        Love to all—-L.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Religions are ‘man made’ because of our limited understanding. Who is to say that God, in his infinite wisdom, did not make allowances for our limitations and provide mankind multiple ways?

        I find it hard to believe that good, honest, kind…. Hindus or Jews or others are headed to Hell because they do not believe as Christians do, while some not so nice Christians are headed to heaven because they repent.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Here’s the thing about Christianity being a Jewish sect (in Catholicism it’s called “fulfillment” of Judaism)…you have to include the Scripture that Christ would have known which includes the Helenistic Canon (the books of Baruch, Sirach, Wisdom, Judith, 1&2 Maccabees, and Tobit) which are excluded in the Masoretic Text which is used as the Hebrew Scripture today. A LOT, and I mean A LOT, of what Christ has to say is included in those seven books that the Jerusalem Jews of the immediate post-Christ period did not want in their Holy Books. Martin Luther switched out the original (the Septuagint) for the Masoretic Text, so protestants don’t know those seven books, but Christ certainly did. I mean, there are passages in Sirach and Wisdom that are almost identical.

        Just another data point for consideration.

        The celebration of light…we have the Advent wreath and lights on evergreen trees which are a symbol of new birth. Our friends the Jews have their lights. It’s a dark time of year, naturally. That doesn’t mean we need to give into the darkness.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Christianity certainly AROSE from its own sect of Judaism, which was closely allied with some of the other major sects of the time. At what exact moment it becomes another religion is anybody’s call, but it’s clear that by 300 years later, it’s something else.

              The reverse though (Judaism as a sect or denomination of Christians) makes absolutely NO sense. Also disrespectful. Is it ever well-intended? Maybe yes, maybe no.

              When I was a kid, on a day-to-day basis, Jews, Catholics, and the various denominations of Protestants all treated each other like the other one was just “some other church”, and it was good – there was no *real* antisemitism.

              So in that sense, I can almost see that SOCIAL motivation for viewing Judaism as some “other” type of Christians. It’s well-intended – but it’s highly inaccurate. The historically and theologically accurate view is more like the reverse, and sometimes I wish more people saw THAT, too, because in that light, antisemitism makes ZERO sense. Attacking the original faith and those who hold it is self-destructive, and once people see that, it sharpens any derivative faith, IMO. The “aha” moment of the Baha’i faith was Baha’u’llah’s reconciliation of Islam with Judaism and Christianity. Very interesting reading. All the troublemaker parts of Islam magically vanish. To me, that’s a big hint. IMO, you cannot go wrong by reconciling toward Judaism, because it’s the strong foundation of the nature of God himself. How to spin that out then will stay strong if it stays reconciled.

              BUUUUUT whatever. I don’t want to muck up this Happy Hanukkah thread with too much theological discussion! 😀

              I think we can all be thankful that Judaism is alive and well, and has friends!

              May it have many more! ❤

              Like

    2. That article is more evidence of the horror of the holocaust. Amazing the deniers are still ignorant of the Truth.
      God curse those who are doomed to repeat the history of hate and genocide. What a stain on humanity

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes – fighting a recurrence of the Holocaust is a huge task, and it is powerfully more complicated than people realize, because some of the most important components of a re-emergent Holocaust are extremely insidious, and parallel what many people think are “good” ideals.

        E.g., CONTROL OF SPEECH seems like a wonderful thing to eliminate Nazi pep talks and their pernicious ideas – until we stop to recognize in horror that this is one of the PRIME STEP-WISE GOALS of Nazi-like ideologies, and we have DONE THEIR WORK FOR THEM if we implement it.

        Fighting evil is TRICKY!!!

        I am personally of the opinion that institutionalized evil is far more dangerous than isolated individual evil, with “mob evil” somewhere in between.

        Nazi laws – cold and bureaucratic – were ruthless and efficient, but LACKED EMOTION – EVEN HATE. It is imperative that people understand this. Socialist bureaucracy is a far greater danger – in my opinion – than isolated groups of emotional haters like the BHI, or sick individuals who gravitate to warped ideologies.

        Example: The Pankrac Prison in Prague, Czech Republic. Used by the Nazis to execute over 1000 by guillotine on site, with thousands more shipped out to hangings or shooting ranges, and of course death camps for many others.

        But the prison was ALSO used to execute all the Nazis by the Czechs, and THEN it was used by the Communist coup in 1948 to execute THEIR political prisoners (234, I think).

        Socialism of any kind is an extreme danger, IMO – even the Swedish variety which simply loses common sense.

        Liked by 3 people

    3. There is a wonderful book: Salvation is from the Jews, by Roy H. Schoeman, a Jewish Catholic.

      From the back cover: “This book traces the role of Judaism and the Jewish people in God’s plan for the salvation of mankind, from Abraham through the Secind Coming, as revealed by the Catholic faith and by a thoughtful examination of history. It will give both Jews and Christians a deeper understanding of Judaism, both as a religion in itself and as a central component of salvation history….”

      It addresses Messianic prophecies in Jewish lit, the anti-Christian roots of Nazi anti-semitism, links between the Nazis and Arab anti-semitism and so much more.

      One of the best books I’ve read on the subject.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanky you Grandma. Bookmarked his site. Saw also that he has a trip to the Holy Land in May….maybe I can get the knee doc to up my second knee surgery…I wanna go.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Just listened and chandelier now sparkles. I realized that I heard his talk before, but needed to hear it again, especially his exhortation at the end,to evangelize. Thank you bunches.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. You probably don’t know this but people who call themselves Jewish Catholics are implicitly insulting the religion. Zero chance a true Jewish person would enter the Catholic Church. If he practices in a church, he is no longer a Jew. He can allege he is but objectively he has abandoned the religion.

        I know you meant that in a kind way.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Apologies for the double post on Roy Schoeman…at least I think I posted twice erroneously.

    The following should be on the open thread for today…but can’t find it…

    a great interview with Sebastian Gorka…enlightening for sure by American Thought Leaders

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “And GOD said, “Let there be light!”

    Love, Truth, Joy, Life – are all equated with light…in Scripture, prose, poetry and song.

    Whereas, Dark Ages refers to the conquest and oppression of the pagans putting out the light of learning, freedom, truth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarian_kingdoms

    There is danger though – remember – Enlightenment and freedom, blessing and prosperity may cause leaders and scholars to think their achievements surpasses GOD’s Word/Will and negates or exempts them the Commandments.

    Like

    1. Some of you try to make Judaism a subset of Christianity. Not only is that false but it is a major insult to people like me who grew up in an orthodox synagogue. Try to just simply reflect on the holiday, extend your well wishes and move on. Any other way is a total lack of respect

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it might be more accurate to say that Christianity is a sort of subset of Judaism. In the New Testament there was a controversy in the early church that in order to be a Christian one had to become a Jew first. This is discussed in the Book of Acts, in particular chapter 15, which can be found here:
        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+15&version=NIV

        Jesus & all of his disciples were Jews & Paul (formerly Saul) had been a Pharisee that “studied at the feet of Gamaliel” before encountering the Lord on the road to Damascus.

        Many Christians believe that this passage in Isaiah is a prophecy foretelling Jesus’ suffering & death:

        Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

        53 Who has believed our message
        and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
        2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
        and like a root out of dry ground.
        He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
        nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
        3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
        a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
        Like one from whom people hide their faces
        he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

        4 Surely he took up our pain
        and bore our suffering,
        yet we considered him punished by God,
        stricken by him, and afflicted.
        5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
        the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
        and by his wounds we are healed.
        6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
        each of us has turned to our own way;
        and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.

        7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
        yet he did not open his mouth;
        he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
        and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
        so he did not open his mouth.
        8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
        Yet who of his generation protested?
        For he was cut off from the land of the living;
        for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
        9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
        and with the rich in his death,
        though he had done no violence,
        nor was any deceit in his mouth.

        10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
        and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
        he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
        and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
        11 After he has suffered,
        he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
        by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
        and he will bear their iniquities.
        12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
        and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
        because he poured out his life unto death,
        and was numbered with the transgressors.
        For he bore the sin of many,
        and made intercession for the transgressors.

        Footnotes:
        a Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest
        b Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?
        c Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make
        d Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
        e Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
        f Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him
        g Isaiah 53:12 Or many
        h Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous

        New International Version (NIV)
        Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

        copied the above from this site: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+53&version=NIV

        The entire book of Hebrews in the New Testament goes into detailed explanations of the deep truths revealed in the rituals of Judaism that are fulfilled through Jesus’ sacrifice.

        Having attended a Passover Seder conducted by “Messianic Jewish Rabbi’s” I would wish to have studied Hebrew in Hebrew school to even get a glimpse of the depth & richness of the Jewish faith (which I believe is fulfilled, but not erased nor contradicted, through Christ). What if Jesus actually Is the promised Jewish Messiah???

        Here is a blog post that goes into detail about the book of Hebrews (you can read that entire book throughout the post, though I copied those chapters from biblegateway.com like above) & faith:

        https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/abel-true-father-of-faith/

        Anyway, no offence is meant by any of this. I share these things out of love & truly believe that we love & serve the same God, YHWH…I’ve written on this topic as well here:

        https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/christianity-judaism-one-in-the-olive-tree/

        May God Bless You Richly in this New Year!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The 2 religions are not connected. I view “messianic jews” with total contempt. It is an insult to say that the richness of Judaism is fulfilled through Christ. Absolute and total insult. Christ has no role in the religion. They are different and separate. Always and forever.

          Like

          1. Well, no offence was meant. But I was (at least in part) referring to Mosaic law & sacrifice. God shed the blood of animals to “cover” the “sin” of Adam & Eve after “the Fall of Man”. Jesus was described as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” in that His Blood would once and for all time redeem us from the curse of the law of sin & death, not just cover sin, like in animal sacrifice…

            Here is a passage from Luke chapter 4 where Jesus illuminated some things (from biblegateway.com)

            Luke 4: 14-30
            Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
            14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

            16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

            18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
            because he has anointed me
            to proclaim good news to the poor.
            He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
            and recovery of sight for the blind,
            to set the oppressed free,
            19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[f]

            20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

            22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

            23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

            24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[g] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

            28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

            Footnotes:
            f Luke 4:19 Isaiah 61:1,2 (see Septuagint); Isaiah 58:6
            g Luke 4:27 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

            New International Version (NIV)
            Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

            I have zero background in Orthodox Judaism just various Christian practices, so we’ll have to agree to disagree as to the connection of Judaism & Christianity. Though I believe “Judeo-Christian” is in common usage & refers to underpinning commonalities of these faiths that inform Western cultures (among other things).

            Best Regards!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. A different perspective on “Messianic Judaism” is copied from a post of mine:

            “As such, to briefly state my current perspective on this topic, I think the very best version of a faith heritage would (likely) be someone who was raised in the traditional Jewish faith and later on came to the “completed” knowledge of Jesus as their personal Lord. Savior, AND Messiah! I guess even better would be to be raised in a Messianic Jewish household replete with the beauty of the Historical Traditions of Judaism and the fullness of the knowledge of the completeness of the work of the Cross by our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is truly an extreme historical irony that the early leaders of “The Way”–which later became known as Christianity–argued amongst themselves as to whether or not one had to first become a Jew before becoming a Christian…as in being a Christian (in their minds) actually required someone to be a Jew first. Now the opposite distortion seems to be in play, in order to accept that Jesus is the (Jewish) Messiah you cannot be a Jew, for such a belief negates your very Jewishness–Wow!”

            https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/christianity-judaism-one-in-the-olive-tree/

            I have been given to understand that there have been a number of prominent Jewish leaders that have come to the knowledge that Jesus Is the promised Messiah…though some have been unwilling to share this perspective overtly during their earthly life. One storied rabbi made his declaration in his earthly effects left for his son to wrestle with following his passing. I would guess that the “contempt” you express is one of the reasons that some faith leaders have had such a difficult time making public declarations that would likely lead to extreme rejection of their faith peers.

            http://www.yeshuahamashiach.org/Kaduri_names_Messiah.htm

            I share this info for your consideration with no disrespect meant. God Bless You Sir!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I do not like it one bit so I prefer not to comment further. I will say their unstated goal is to destroy the religion using high minded phraseology.

              Liked by 2 people

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