Monday, 23 December 2019
Chanukah means dedication. It is the Feast of Dedication. It is also the known as the Festival of Lights. We light the 8 candles (adding one each night) for a total of 36 candles, in 8 nights.
But there are 8 more (one for each night) candles called "Shamas" candles. Shemas is the Hebrew word for "servant". This means we need 44 candles to complete the lighting of the lights from the beginning of the holiday to the end of it. The Shamas candles is the first candle lit each night. It sits up a little higher than the others. And, what do they do? They light each of the other candles.
The candelabra (or candle holder) is called a menorah, This is a 9 branch menorah (one Shamas and eight regular candles). To distinguish it from the 7 branch menorah found in the Holy Temple, this one is called in Hebrew a Chanukiah. The candles are placed in the Chanukiah from right to left (like we read Hebrew) and the newest candle is lit first (from left to right).
All of this is nice to know, and maybe you learned something about the Chanukiah. But the greater reality is Yeshua, Who is the light of the world. He is our Shamas. This is how the kingdom of God works. It's upside down. How can our King be our Servant?
John 13:8 "Peter said to Him, 'You shall never wash my feet!' Yeshua answered him, 'If I don't wash you, you have no part with Me.'"
Yeshua explained this further, saying ... John 13:14-16 "So if I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example - you should do for each other what I have done for you. Amen, amen I tell you, a servant isn't greater than his master, and the one who is sent isn't greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them!"
That's another lesson on Chanukah, but not the last lesson on Chanukah.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,