Messiah in Chanukkah Chapter 24

  1. The Great Light of Avinu Shebashamayim
  2. The Three Blessings
  3. Blessing on the Menorah
  4. Blessing for Chanukkah
  5. Shehecheyanu (first night only)

Happy Chanukkah!

The Great Light of Avinu Shebashamayim:

Eight lights represent the eight days of oil that burned, and the ninth is the Shamash. Shamash means servant or helper. The Messiah is the Light of the World and He is our Servant-leader. It is written:

העם ההלכים בחשך ראו אור גדול ישבי בארץ צלמות אור נגה עליהם׃

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.”

הן עבדי אתמך־בו בחירי רצתה נפשי נתתי רוחי עליו משפט לגוים יוציא׃ אני ה’ קראתיך בצדק ואחזק בידך ואצרך ואתנך לברית עם לאור גוים׃ לפקח עינים עורות להוציא ממסגר אסיר מבית כלא ישבי חשך׃

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. I am Adonai [the unchanging Eternal One], I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”

ועתה ׀ אמר ה’ יצרי מבטן לעבד לו לשובב יעקב אליו וישראל [לא כ] (לו ק) יאסף ואכבד בעיני ה’ ואלהי היה עזי׃ ויאמר נקל מהיותך לי עבד להקים את־שבטי יעקב [ונצירי כ] (ונצורי ק) ישראל להשיב ונתתיך לאור גוים להיות ישועתי עד־קצה הארץ׃

“And now says Adonai who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of Adonai, And Elohi is My strength), He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the Gentiles so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.'”

Therefore, the first candle that is lit on the Chanukkiah—the candle that is (remember the miracle of the one flask of oil) used to light all the other candles—represents the Messiah. Our traditional chanukkiahs rightly place the Shamash at the center of the menorah, elevated above the other candles.

Each time we lift the Shamash candle from the center of the menorah we should remember that the Anointed One is first and foremost the Light of Israel (אֽוֹר־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙, Or-Yisra’el, Chanukkah) and secondly (Or Ha’Olam, Sukkot).

He is the Humble One who gave up His place of glory so that He might take on the form of a servant to His people.

For this reason we carefully lift the Shamash from its exalted place and lower it down to the level of the other candles that they too might be filled with the light come from heaven (first within-conception and secondly without-birth). Thereafter, the Servant candle is carefully returned to its place at the center of the Chanukkiah; exalted above all the other lights (candles).

Ha-Mashiach is our Holy Servant who brings the eternal Light of Adonai to live in our hearts that we (Israel) might also be Indwelt with the Light of His (Adonai Avinu) Presence. Therefore, this year when we see and feel the warm bright glow of the candles, may we all be filled with awe and wonder as we reflect upon the Servant. May the flame of the Shamash burn brightly in our hearts throughout the year and all of our lives; so that like Ha-Mashiach Melekh HaKavod we together (Israel) might one day bring the light of Avinu Shebashamayim to all the nations, peoples, and families of the world.

The Three Blessings:

Therefore, from Chanukkah we learn that through the perfect and complete life of the Beloved Son of our Father of Mercies (Avinu HaRachamim), He the Eternal One is not only cleansing us (forgiving us of our sins) but He is also through His Spirit transforming us: making “all things new.”

So during this special holiday season:  May the Spirit of Grace enlighten and fill your heart with His own measureless eternal life, love and truth. Also, please remember: before kindling the Chanukkah lights on the first night (Hanukkah), Tuesday, December 12, 2017, recite all three blessings. Thereafter, on every subsequent night say only the first two blessings before lighting the candles.

Blessing on the Menorah (Candles):

ברוך אתה , אדוני , אלוהינו , מלך העולם אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו להדליק נר של חנוכה.פ

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Chanukah. (Amein).

Blessed are you, LORD, our G-d, sovereign of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Chanukah. (Amen).  [After reciting the blessings, use the Servant candle to light the Chanukah candles from left to right (newest to oldest).]

Blessing for Chanukkah:

ברוך אתה אדוני ,אלוהינו, מלך העולם, שעשה נסים לאבותינו, בימים ההם בזמן הזה.פ

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh haólam, she’asah nisim la’avoteinu, bayamim haheim baziman hazeh. (Amein)

Blessed are you, LORD, our G-d, King of the universe who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. (Amen)

Shehecheyanu (first night only):

ברוך אתה אדוני ,אלוהינו, מלך העולם, שהחיינו, וקיימנו, והגענו לזמן הזה.פ

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh haólam shehecheyanu v’kiyimanu v’higi’anu laz’man hazeh. (Amein) 

Blessed are you, LORD, our G-d, King of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season. (Amen)

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