Jean Stepnoski (13 Dec 2011)
"Reflections About Hanukkah: 12-20 to 12-28-2011"

Dear Doves,
      My thanks for the obervations by Mercer and Whoda Thunk concerning events the evening of 12-8 with the early and premature lighting of a hanukkiah, setting all 9 candles/lights ablaze. Hanukkah is not meant to be celebrated 12 days early, or early at all. Very few people light a hanukkiah the Rabbi Shammai way, all lights lit the first night, then one light less the remaining 7 nights. The vast majority light a hanukkiah the Rabbi Hillel way, lighting two lights the first night then adding a light each of the next 7 nights. Hanukkah is celebrated for 8 days, all lights would be lit as day 7 ends and day 8 begins at sunset, this year the evening of 12-27-2011.
      There are many designs of hanukkiahs, the 9 pronged menorah, but NONE with the SERVANT LAMP (with lamp number 5 in the center) LOWER than all the other 8 lamps. The hanukkiah and lights are meant to be enjoyed. No work, like reading, is to be done with the lights. Standing over a fully lit hanukkiah to draw attention away from it to oneself in a photo opportunity, appears at best disrespectful,  if not sacrilegious or blasphemous. The focal point is meant to be the hanukkiah, not any person near it.
      What is most curious is the reason for doing all this early because of vacation beginning on 12-17, earlier than Hanukkah begins. Hanukkah begins 3 days later on 12-20. There was reference made to 20 days. A count of 20 days from 12-8 forward is 12-27 to 28, the beginning of the Last Day of Hanukkah. Was an insider's message being relayed the evening  of 12-8 about Hanukkah this year, especially underscoring the last day, of 12-27 to 28? Are plans underway for events to transpire during these 8 days or especially 12-27 to 28? Do some not want Israel to have the scheduled days of celebration of Hanukkah complete from 12-20 to 28? Is there a message to celebrate early because there should not be, because of unforeseen planned events,  the celebration through conclusion of Hanukkah for Israel this year? The New Moon at conjunction will be 12-24 and Rosh Chodesh of Tevet 1 will be 12-26 to 27. What moon phase is preferred for a nation's air force to go to war? It is at the New Moon, the dark of the moon and the dark of the skies above. These events of 12-8 are disquieting, odd, and strange.
      Garden Girl has an informative post linked at Doves on 12-12. Her son Daniel at Prayers for the has a very absorbing post linked in her article entitled "The Curious Capture of Gilad Shalit" in which he sees links to the dates this month of 12-16 and 12-27. She mentions the important story in Daniel 5:1-4 about Belshazzar the king and his infamous and irreverent party.
      We are far into the days of Advent, the anniversary days since Cheshvan 17 when the rains fell in the Days of Noah, and fast approaching the beginning of Hanukkah 2011. We have had signs in the sun, moon, and stars with the Blood Red Lunar Eclipse on 12-9/10 clearly seen above Israel entering her Shabbat. The true location of Sodom finally seems to have been found. In many ways the Days of Noah and Lot are being revisited. The Quartet will meet on 12-14, and later 12-16 will be the Third Day, as Israel enters The Day of Rest, the Shabbat at sunset beginning 12-17. Will the days of this current week be like a 7/ 8 day warning was for the Noah family, after the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse? A Blood Red Moon has been considered a bad omen for Israel indicating dangerous times ahead. We patiently, dear Doves, await the joy of His appearing!
With Love and Shalom,