Hanukkah or Chanukah otherwise known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication begins on Sunday, December 18th this year through to Monday, December 26th. So it starts in one month Kislev and ends in the next which is Tevet.
Do you celebrate Hanukkah? I do it. Not because I’m Jewish or I think I’m going to miss out on anything if I don’t. I want to be clear about this, I’m sharing with you the way in which I celebrate it and I’m telling you why I do it.
You do not need to do this but if for some reason you feel led to do it this will give you some ideas.
I want to give you a simple explanation of what this is. You need to know that there is no bible verse referencing the Feast of Dedication in the old testament because the events that occurred to create this feast happened in 2nd Century BCE which was after the old testament.
So the only bible verse that exists that points to this feast is in the new testament:
John 10:22-23 “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.”
Honestly, the scripture just points to the fact that there is such a feast and there’s nothing that says that Jesus was actually celebrating it.
So how did this feast come about? Well, Antiochus which is a Syrian King had raided the temple and demanded that the people worship him instead of God. God raised up a family known as the Maccabees, they led a successful rebellion against Antiochus and drove the Syrians out of Israel. The Feast of Hanukkah commemorates the victory God gave the Jewish people over Antiochus and his army. Therefore, Hanukkah (dedication), is the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Now with only one little scripture referencing it you may wonder why should we even celebrate this? Well, the miracle that happened on Hanukkah is that there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day but the oil ended up lasting for 8 days. It was God working miraculously! It’s back to the multiplication prayer again. God taking the little and making it much.
Don’t you think we should celebrate miracles? The bible says we overcome the enemy by the word of our testimony and the blood of the lamb (Revelation 12:11).
When we remember our testimonies or our miracles it taps into the spirit of the overcomer, builds our faith, builds our expectations, because we think God can do this again!!
So here’s what I do on Hanukkah, since I’m not Jewish, I use the 8 days to remember 8 miracles or powerful testimonies of how God worked in my life and I use that as a springboard for future miracles.
This is a 9 prong candelabra (Hanukiah) because the middle candle is known as the (Shamash) servant candle and this is the one used to light the other candles. Most Christians may not know this but there are actually 2 different menorahs, there is a one with 7 prongs and one with 9 that is used for Hanukkah. If you’re going to buy one please keep that in mind.
You can buy the candelabra and candles from Amazon. You’ll need to have enough candles. I think you end up using 45 in total.
So the servant candle gets lit first, then you use it to light the other candles. You put in the first candle for the first day going left to right so that on the first night you only have one candle on the menorah plus the servant candle. Then on night #2 you have 2 candles plus the servant candle and so on and so forth for 8 nights. You light the newest candle you added first each night and all the others after which means you’ll end up lighting right to left as you add the candles. Don’t blow out the candles let them burn down on their own.
Hanukkah Blessing Prayers
For the first night only (the Hebrew portion is actual sung)
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Hebrew:Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tsivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You,our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with , commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, she-asah nisim laavoteinu v’imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors in days of old at this season.
Here is a YouTube Video with a full explanation on how it is done.
This link has MP3 Files with the blessings sung in Hebrew, I usually press play and sing along.
It’s a Jewish prayer! Generally, after I say the prayer I then go into my own worshipful prayer where I recount my own miracle that He did for me or my family. That’s how I personalize it. I make it my own by remembering the wondrous deeds He did for me and my family. Then I take the time to make declarations or prayers for other things that I am asking Him for in this season. I think BIG. I think Miraculous! That’s the whole point – MIRACLES!!
I do it because there’s something about sitting there with your family and recollecting a miracle for 15 – 30 minutes while watching a candle burn. It’s the fact that you are focusing your entire mind, heart, soul and body on the Lord and what He has done for you and being thankful. After I finish doing this each night, I can’t tell you how rejuvenated I feel and how it shifts the entire environment. I actually look forward to this each evening. Plus I have to prepared my miracles before the prayer because each day I’m remember a new one. It’s just a great time remember miracles with your family. Think about what it does for your entire family listening to past miracles. It’s a very powerful time. That’s why I do it.
You will notice that Jewish people put the Menorah in the widow so you can see it from the outside of the house. This is how they “publicly declare the miracle”. For me, the public declaration is saying the testimony aloud with my family or whoever is present to hear it.
This year I’ve decided to add another component, since it is the Festival of Lights I thought it would be great to do some meditative scripture reading using a different bible verse each night on LIGHT. Believe me, if you get some good Hanukkah candles they can take a long time to burn out! We need something to fill the time!
Do you celebrate Hanukkah? If you do, please share below any additional tips or things that you do to add to the experience. And if you decided to do it, please come back and share how the experience was for you.
13 thoughts on “Tevet 5783 – The Season of Miracles”
Just a quick one please. Being that the celebrations will end on the 18th of Dec. is one allowed to do it twice in a season, or can one celebrate the whole days like from the 28th November to 18th Dec?
Hmmm, that is an interesting question. I’ve never done that before because it is a seasonal celebration that happens at a specific time of year. I guess you would have to ask God. Do you celebrate Christmas twice? Or Easter? What would be the purpose and motivation behind doing it twice?
Thanks once more for these new links to the prayers and songs as I followed along I just felt a change in the environment.
Just a bit of curiosity what do they say about Jesus?.
Hi Matthew, the prayer says “Adonai our God”. Many people acknowledge that they need a Savior but fewer relinquish control and accept Him as Master and Lord. So, I guess it comes down to the heart of the person saying the prayer. Are they only looking for a Savior or are they also willing to accept Him as Master and Lord of their life? These are different roles of Jesus.
Yes, indeed, point taken he is my master I live for him not to myself 2coth 5;15.
Praise God! I’m so happy to have the opportunity to join many in this world giving Thanks to God for the many Miracles that He had been doing… and in my Family and myself! It’s so beautiful!
I prayed to God and ask Him because I wanted with all my heart celebrate Hanukkah but, living in Venezuela, I don’t have candles and candelabra….Well…what matters must is our heart willingness and our LOVE for God!… Then I will celebrate with only one candle, for the total 8 days…. and all my LOVE TO OUR PRECIOUS & GLORIOUS GOD!
Thank You MOP!
God Bless You and all Sisters and Brothers around the world!
Amen! I have to tell about how I started as this is only my 4th year doing this. The first year I had no menorah and candles but after spending time reflecting on the miracles I decided I wanted to make it perfect the next year. Within the year I went to Israel and I thought what could be more perfect than a menorah from Israel for Hanukkah, so I bought one and brought it home. When it was time, I started putting the candles in and lighting them daily I realized that I ran out of places to put the candles before the days were over! I bought the wrong menorah! LOL Sigh. After frantically looking online to figure out what went wrong I realized there are 2 different menorahs. So I had to go buy one from that fancy Jewish store…you know the one (Walmart! LOL) I couldn’t order it from Amazon because I wouldn’t have it on time. So after getting the 9 prong menorah I then realized that I ran out of candles and was missing 2 candles for the last day because there were broken candles in the box which I discarded not realizing that I wouldn’t have enough candles!!! So I had to blow out the candles and reuse them on the last day. LOL (What a mess!) Then last year Hanukkah started a few days before Christmas so I started at home and then had to travel to my family’s house for Christmas with the menorah for the rest of the days. Just imagine the looks when I whip out the menorah and started lighting candles, LOL It was nothing short of “So what, you’re Jewish now?” LOL As I start thinking if I should even start explaining why I’m doing it. Then, NOBODY had matches!!! Have you ever tried lighting candles on an electric stove??? Oy Vey!! LOL So, this year should be my first year having a somewhat normal Hanukkah celebration. I’m saying all of this to let you know the only perfect Hanukkah is one that is coming from a pure heart. Blessings
My God! LOL Thanks for sharing your journey with celebrating Hanukah. This encourages me so much!!! I am so excited to celebrate this year after reading your article! I know it will be a blessing. However, this year, I too have no Menorah and candles. I just read this article YESTERDAY 12-10-20 and I was not prepared. So, I looked on Amazon, and I saw the earliest I would get one was on this Sunday the 13th which would include Hanukah Gelt (my soon to be 2 (Faith- on 1-17-21) and 5 year old (Aria- on12-23-20) will love this I am sure)! In my heart and spirit, I felt this to be just fine, because of my desire to do this with my family, reflect, and take time to teach the kids about the importance of Hanukah. What’s more is that I just read an article this morning that there is supposed to be a ‘Christmas Star’ in the sky on Dec 21st! This makes me also reflect on why I should be seeking God more on the fact that many have put up Christmas decorations earlier than normal it seems and for me to make sure I had a bright star (with a light) on our tree this year unlike the last previous years. Anyway, this gave ‘Christmas Star’ coming on the 21st gave me more confirmation that for this year, for me, it is about celebrating it even though a bit late and for us to light the candles reflecting on God’s miracles even though our window of lighting will be from the 13th-21st! I am hoping we will see this Christmas star on the 21st for sure to make it even more special. Let me know if I am totally off with this! Haha. Blessings to all and to you Missionaries of Prayer for making this a new tradition in our home. So grateful!
That’s great June! The children will love it. My daughter was so excited this year when we started. She is 9 and this is the first year I told her I want her to share her own miracle every night. It is a very special time with the children. I’ve heard about the Christmas Star and I will be researching and writing about that as well. It’s on the 21st but Hanukkah ends on the 18th. So if you’re saying the days you’re missing you’ll just extend to the time of the Christmas star, I think that is beautiful! It will be another memorable thing for your children. Believe me, they won’t forget. My daughter reminded me of the wax that was everywhere from trying to light the candles on the electric stove last year! LOL Blessings and Happy Hanukkah!
That’s so weird but not weird because I felt the Lord earlier, some time ago and I believe some days ago, highlighted the Maccabee’s, their story and now their name keeps on coming up, especially this year and season. Really awesome! I believe that God wants us to be like the Maccabee’s, courageous and exercise our faith in Him in this season. To rebel against the world’s idols and false gods but in the way Christ Jesus did. I believe He is calling us out in this season to consider our ways and to examine ourselves, to be a light like He called us to be in this rebellious world. The thing is I want to celebrate but I don’t have the the candles and things…can I not have these specific items and still celebrate? What do you suggest?
Thank you so much! God bless you ( :
I’m sure you could! Remember the Jewish people put their menorah in the window so people can see it from the outside and I don’t do that my outward acknowledgement of the miracle is telling it publicly. So likewise you could go through the steps without the menorah. I think the heart posture is what counts more than anything else. It’s a “little late in the day” to get the supplies now for everyone but I think if you start by just saying the prayers and reflecting on the miracles you could be ready for next year with the menorah. Blessings
Thanks for that clarification, it’s the heart condition which matters most. However it’s good to do things the right way if it is in one’s reach.
Yahweh our God is always a God of wonders (miracles) so it is very appropriate as his worshipers to give thought to this miracles he do to us like life & good health and show our appreciation by setting time like this to show our acknowledgement.
I’ve noticed this matter in God’s dealings that, Whenever he (God) wants to show his approval on something, he does this through a miracle so it is very imperative to show being appreciative.
Am very much tarched by the issue of the maccabees. Some times back I felt looking for the deuterocanonical books where the maccabees is also mentioned just to a certain some historical curiosity in regard to why they were left out.am of the opinion that there are things there that even though Jesus did not mention anything from them, still we can learn from them. Shalom
WOW, you have been used by God in his season so profoundly in my heart. I just had to write it down. Subtle word is so real and through reading it, confirms what’s been happening around me that as I watch was wondering if things were actually holy spirit led. My spiritual antenna will remain up so i am not contaminated. Will also ask Christ where and how to come in.
I will celebrate this season, now that i have revelation. It’s beautiful to recount the blessings and i cant wait.
Thank you again and may the Lord continue enriching you.