Hanukkah is not listed as one of the 7 Feasts of the Lord listed in the Book of Leviticus. It is not on a spiritual par with them, yet important. It is part of the traditions of men. Some call it a feast or festival. What is the core, the centerpiece of the spiritual beauty of Hanukkah, then or now? It is not in the bloodbaths, the carnage, the mass murders in the times of Judah Maccabee or Antiochus Epiphanes IV of Syria and their followers to their brutal deaths. The beginning of the beauty was the restoration of nation and people of Israel: the Restoration of Temple, Torah Commandments/Mitzvoh, the Hebraic Scriptures. Hebrew, Sacrificial System, Shabbats, Feasts of the Lord, Office of the High Priest, and the Levitical Priesthood. These were foundational and completely necessary for Preparing the Torah Lit Way for the First Coming of Messiah/Christ. At its deepest meanings and purpose, the Hanukkah events/stories/traditions led to the Messiah of Israel, the Long Expected Deliverer, the Redeemer of Humankind, and Personal Savior.
Some aspects of Hanukkah are truly distressing: the bloodbaths, carnage and murders. There were also subsequent abuses of power, more bloodbaths and murders, by subsequent rulers of the line of the Maccabees to others of the House of Israel for generations later. What is the core of Hanukkah in spiritual abiding beauty? It is in the person of Messiah/Christ. The spinning of dreidels is fun, the potato pancakes are delicious, the presents are nice, the candle glow of hanukkiahs abaze with all 9 lights on each is lovely beyond description. Many have and continue to observe these deeply cherished traditions of Hanukkah and more of them.
Messiah/Christ should be the centerpiece, the core, the emphasis above all. The theme should be life, not death. Messiah/Christ will righteously slay His enemies and Abba Father's at the Second Coming. The Book of Revelation assures us of that. But He is called the Prince of Peace (Shalom) rather than Death Prince or Prince of Death. Like Abba Father, Christ does not take delight in the deaths of the wicked, the unrepentant. The Scriptures in the Book of Revelation, calls Death an enemy and the last enemy Christ will destroy. If people want to take pleasure in the deaths of Antiochus Epiphanes IV of Syria and his wicked henchmen, they can do so. Does this reflect the mind of Messiah/Christ, knowing He will personally destroy the final enemy of Death?
I have written 3 articles recently, on 12-14, about Hanukkah. Doves readers over the last 6 years may recall many articles I have written with respect for Hanukkah events and aftermaths leading to Messiah/Christ. I have no respect for the murderous acts of Antiochus and his henchmen long ago. Joe/Jovial mentioned the following about me. "Of course, we may need to talk about why you wish Antiochus still ruled over Israel." No. That is a Big Lie. I have never agreed with how he treated Israel, nation and people. Antiochus has been dead for about 2179 years. We have seen many pagan despots come and go with the spirit of Antiochus Epiphanes IV of Syria. Not all have been of the "go Greek or die" variety. I do not want any to rule over Israel with the spirit of Antiochus Epiphanes IV. There was no need for the demeaning and sarcastic tone of remarks in the final paragraph. Totally unnecessary. By the way, I post under my name, rather than first name or nickname. An observation. Some individuals, mainly men, can and have posted at doves while hiding personal identity behind first name status or nickname. Then they bully, demean, and insult others. For 6 years or longer some men, Mister Anonymous types, have tried to get our attention and impress us with posts displaying verbal belligerence, showcasing anonymous cowardice. Word assault hit and run. Bravery? No. Respect? No. I do not admire this behavior towards myself or any other of the Doves. My data file for eternity will list my real name. I have no need to hide it. Jean Anonymous? A person with no last name ? Why? Does word assault hit and run ever display the mind of Christ? I have valued the nights/days of Hanukkah for the last 15 years, after I learned the true spiritual beauty of Messiah/Christ in the midst of them. Like you, Joe/Jovial, I believe Abba Father and Christ are with me in honoring them during those 8 nights and days of spiritual beauty of Hanukkah.
I wish each and all the Doves and their families love and shalom. I also hope Joe/Jovial that you can improve your manners, in disagreements. I believe I was sharing significant things to consider in my 4 posts of 12-14. May we, each and all, always uphold in our posts, civility and kindness, no matter how much we disagree. Christ, our personal Savior and Judge, is constantly listening and watching. He will notice what is shared by the Doves in words, attitudes, and tone. May Christ be thanked and praised and obeyed during the beautiful nights and days of Hanukkah, and always, and forever.
With Love and Shalom,