Hanukkah – The Festival of Lights or The Feast of Dedication
Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, is often called the Festival of Lights. The holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
Hanukkah overlaps with the first Advent Week of Hope this year. Both Hanukkah and Advent are about inviting Light into the Darkness. Hanukkah’s special message for me is about re-dedication and spreading the message of Hope. The story of the Second Temple – pls find story below – talks to me about cleansing and reaffirming one’s commitment to spiritual life.
The first week of Advent brings the message of HOPE.
The word advent itself comes from the Latin word “adventus” meaning “arrival.” We prepare for the arrival of Christ. The wreath itself represents eternity and everlasting life, a circle that never ends. During the Week of Hope, we anticipate the arrival of our Saviour.
The Saviour in my interpretation is my own Soul or Spirit. During the Advent Season, I am invited to strengthen the Light of my Spirit by rededicating myself to a spiritual life of prayer and meditation.
Darkness is none other than Fear. During the Dark months of the year we tend to slide deeper and deeper into our fear-habits. (pls check this video out for more info on fear-habits HERE) As a result of that our Spirit sinks into the background. We run our whole life as a respond to our ‘main’ source of fear, whatever it maybe.
This is why it is so important to re-dedicate ourselves to the Saviour who lifts us out of our own darkness, from our fears. The saviour is you. It is you who when devoted to Spirit can hope to expect the arrival of the Saviour. It is you who makes the effort and elevates yourself out of the Darkness into the Light.
Regardless of one’s faith or religious affiliation, it is obvious that the messages are the same: Guard and build the light within so the Darkness can be cast out. The more we pray, meditate, or spend time with Spirit, the stronger the Light within us will grow. The stronger the Light within, the more it shines and inspires other Lights to shine, too.
The Light of Loving within by Kelsie Mc Sherry
GENERAL INFORMATION ON HANUKKAH
Hanukkah 2021 began in the evening of
Sunday, November 28
and ends in the evening of
Monday, December 6
The story: The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Judah called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah—the gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night.
The Miracle: Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply.
The Hanukkah celebration revolves around the kindling of a nine-branched menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday.