It is an interesting festival because it is not required anywhere in the Tanakh you don’t find it there at all. In fact interestingly the only way we know about Chanukah today especially in the Christian community is Yeshua celebrated it. It is only found in John that Yeshua was at the temple for the Feast of Dedication. And that’s what Chanukah means dedication. It is a joyous eight (8) day feast. It commemorates the victory of the few over the many. It demonstrates that God is in control of everything. The biggest mystery about Chanukah is how do you spell it? There are three (3) ways of spelling it. It is interesting because English and Hebrew don’t share all of the same sounds we use transliteration. We use transliteration: spelling of one word in a language with the alphabet of another language. The Sephardic people say it one way and the Ashkenazic say it the other way. We have three ways of spelling it. The reason that it is spelled with an H sometimes is that people can’t do the “CH” sound. The end letter (H) sounds like an H, except when it is at the end of the word, then it is silent. What is Chanukah? It became really big in our century here because Chanukah became the competition for Christmas.
What is Chanukah? And Chanukah is a confusing festival because it really wasn’t a big player in Jewish history. It became really big in our century because Chanukah became a competition for Christmas. The Gentiles have Christmas they give a present away, the Jews have Chanukah they give eight presents away. All you need is a menorah or a Chanukkiah . One little light draws more attention than a whole bunch of lights. You don’t need to try and compete with your neighbors. You supposed to be a different kind of person your supposed to be that light.
To understand Chanukah you have to go back 2200 years ago when Alexander the Great had the Hellenistic Kingdom and he ruled over the middle east and the Hellenistic or Greek culture seem ed to take over. Alexander was really smart, when he conquered somebody he let them keep all their customs and traditions. He just infused it with the Greek culture. So it was easy for the Jewish people to accept it and many of them did accept it. Greece replaced the Persians, and everything changed for the Jewish people at that time. They were given a lot of liberties, but they also were forced to change into a Hellenistic mind set. Many Jews would take on different names. (continued on audio)