Welcome

Next – Purim 2019:

Begins evening of Wednesday, March 20 and

Ends the evening of Thursday , March 21.

 

  1. Chanukkah (Kislev 25-Tevet 2, 5779)
  2. “Let there be Light!”
  3. Kislev is the month of Dreams
  4. Joseph the Dreamer
  5. The Great Light of Avinu Shebashamayim
  6. The Three Blessings
  7. Blessing on the Menorah
  8. Blessing for Chanukkah
  9. Shehecheyanu (first night only)
  10. Kislev is a time of Awakening
  11. Let the Spirit of Loving-kindness (Chesed, Grace) rule your heart!
  12. Festival dates, worship forms, and scholarly studies

Chanukkah (Kislev 25-Tevet 2, 5779):

Chanukkah (Hanukkah) 2018 began the evening of Sunday, December 2 and ended the evening of Monday, December 10.

The seventieth day after the first day of Sukkot (Tishri 15) is the first day of Chanukkah (Kislev 25). Both of these festival days are strongly related to the Messiah of Israel and of all the world: Tishri 15 is the day the Messiah was born – on the first day of Sukkot (ביום הראשון של חג הסוכות); and Kislev 25 is the day the Messiah Yeshua ben Yosef ben David was conceived in the womb of his mother, the Jewess Miryam bat David – on the first day of Chanukkah (ביום הראשון של חנוכה). Therefore, the festival of Chanukkah is the “Festival of Light” (חג האורים) of *Avinu Shebashamayim for M’shicho (His Messiah) is His “light to the world.”

*Our Father in heaven.

A period of 40 weeks exist from the time the Messiah of God was conceived in the womb of Miryam at the beginning of Chanukkah (Kislev 25) to the time he was born at the beginning of Sukkot (Tishri 15). Therefore, regarding his life 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 LORD, 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 (the LORD) 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.'”

“Let there be Light!”

The Jewish month we are now in today is Kislev. Kislev is the ninth month of the Jewish calendar (counting from the first month of Nisan). Rosh Chodesh Kislev began this year at sundown on Wednesday, 30 November 2018. Kislev is the time when we are expectantly anticipating the revelation of the light of Adonai (the LORD) in a time of darkness. The prophet Moses taught us that the first time Adonai spoke He said “Let there be light.” We need light. Chanukkah is the only festival whose one main religious observance (lighting the candles) takes place only at night.

Kislev is the Month of Dreams:

Kislev is called the “month of dreams.” The four weekly Torah portions (scripture readings) for this month contain more dreams than any other. In the ninth month of the Jewish calendar nine dreams (of the ten in the Torah) appear in the four Torah portions of Vayetzei, Vayeshev, and Miketz. The nine dreams (plus the first dream that is included here) that are meditated on in the month of Kislev and Chanukkah are:

Dream #1: King Abimelech’s *dream (Genesis 20:3-7).
Dream #2: Jacob’s 1st Dream (Genesis 28:10-17).
Dream #3: Jacob’s 2nd Dream (Genesis 31:1-13).
Dream #4: Laban’s Dream and Jacob’s interpretation (Genesis 31:29, 42).
Dream #5: Joseph’s 1st Dream (Genesis 37:5-8).
Dream #6: Joseph’s 2nd Dream (Genesis 37:9-11).
Dream #7: Joseph’s interpretation of the Chief Cupbearer’s Dream (Genesis 40:9-15, 20-23).
Dream #8: Joseph’s interpretation of the Chief Baker’s Dream (Genesis 40:16-23).
Dream #9: Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharaoh’s 1st Dream (Genesis 41:1-4, 14-36).
Dream #10: Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharaoh’s 2nd Dream (Genesis 41:5-7, 14-36).

*Without this first dream there are no other dreams. Without this first dream then none of the other dreams of our (Israel’s) fathers Ya’akov (יַעֲקֹב) and Yosef (יוֹסֵף) could exist. For if at the beginning Sarah and Avraham had not been protected and preserved alive by Adonai (the LORD) then there would be no other dreams (ever):

Dreams are a horizon to horizon view of what is going on in the spiritual realm.

Dreams are a larger scale of revelation than visions. This is why Adonai says to His servant Joel: “Your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Only the mature (זָקֵן, old, elder) discern the deep things that Adonai has revealed to us in dreams. The young men can see a vista of the overall revelation. But no more. When we become spiritually aged, however, we can see the panorama. We can see an unbroken horizon-to-horizon view of the entire region.

Mysteriously the first dream in Genesis that comes before all of the other dreams was given to a gentile King Abimelech (Master King; Father of king(s). It involves an incredible incident that occurred between King Avimelekh (מֶ֣לֶךְ-אֲבִימֶ֜לֶךְ), our mother Sarah (שָׂרָ֖ה), and our father Avraham (אַבְרָהָ֔ם). Our father Avrham is the father of many nations, for he is the father of all who live by faith (cf. parashat Vayera, Genesis 18:122:24).

Joseph the Dreamer:

In the Torah, the primary figure connected with dreams is Jacob’s son Joseph, who was nicknamed by his brothers as “that dreamer” and who was later named “Decipherer of Secrets” (Tzofnat Paneach) by Pharaoh (Genesis 41:45). Therefore, it is written:

“Joseph dreamed a dream.”

ויחלם יוסף חלום ויגד לאחיו ויוספו עוד שנא אתו׃ ויאמר אליהם שמעו־נא החלום הזה אשר חלמתי׃ והנה אנחנו מאלמים אלמים בתוך השדה והנה קמה אלמתי וגם־נצבה והנה תסבינה אלמתיכם ותשתחוין לאלמתי׃

וַיַּחֲלֹם יֹוסֵף חֲלֹום וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶחָיו וַיֹּוסִפוּ עֹוד שְׂנֹא אֹתֹֽו׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם שִׁמְעוּ־נָא הַחֲלֹום הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר חָלָֽמְתִּי׃ וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתֹוךְ הַשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה קָמָה אֲלֻמָּתִי וְגַם־נִצָּבָה וְהִנֵּה תְסֻבֶּינָה אֲלֻמֹּתֵיכֶם וַתִּֽשְׁתַּחֲוֶיןָ לַאֲלֻמָּתִֽי׃

“And Yosef dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.” (Genesis 37:5-7).

In over a hundred ways Yosef (Joseph) prophetically (supernaturally) represents the Messiah Yeshua. The Messiah ben Yosef is the Beloved Son of Israel who for the ultimate purpose of universally saving (redeeming) and delivering his people (family) of Israel—and all of the peoples and families of the world—he has been (temporarily) disguised as being an Egyptian ruler (i.e. the disguise of being the Messiah of the Gentiles and not of the Yehudim).

Like father Yosef, the Messiah ben Yosef was at the first rejected and treated hatefully by his Jewish brothers. However, after he saved all Israel Yosef was fully accepted and greatly beloved by all of his brothers. Therefore, like Yosef our Suffering Messiah ben Yosef (ben David) will one day (soon) be reconciled to his elect family of Israel when he is (gloriously) revealed by God to be His promised Deliverer and rightful ruler over Israel and all of the nations, peoples and families of the world.

This year 5779 the month of Kislev began on the evening of Thursday, November 8, 2018 (Kislev 1). This means that the eight-day festival of Chanukkah began the evening of Sunday, December 2 (the beginning of Kislev 25; light 1st candle) and ended in the evening of Monday, December 10 (end of Tevet 2).

Chanukkah Menorah #1 Candle (25th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 2.
Chanukkah Menorah #2 Candles (26th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 3.
Chanukkah Menorah #3 Candles (27th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 4.
Chanukkah Menorah #4 Candles (28th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 5.
Chanukkah Menorah #5 Candles (29th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 6.
Chanukkah Menorah #6 Candles (30th of Kislev, 5779) – light evening of December 7.
Chanukkah Menorah #7 Candles (1st of Tevet, 5779) – light evening of December 8.
Chanukkah Menorah #8 Candles (2nd of Tevet, 5779) – light evening of December 9.

The Great Light of Avinu Shebashamayim:

Eight lights represent the eight days of oil that (miraculously) burned in the Temple during Israel’s observance of the first Chanukkah, 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, inside the Temple-at conception; and secondly, outside the Temple-at his 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 (the LORD) 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: God is 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), Sunday, December 2, 2018, 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 God, 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 God, 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 God, King of the universe who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season. (Amen)

The Twelve Festivals of Messiah:

This *web-site is dedicated to the study of the Twelve Festivals of the Messiah. There are Twelve Festivals of the Messiah that we will be studying this Jewish calendar year 5779 (sunset September 9, 2018 to nightfall September 29, 2019). We go off in a lot of directions but we always return to the same task, the study of the festivals; and that is pretty much all we are trying to do for now.

Let the Spirit of Loving-kindness (Chesed, Grace) rule your heart!

You will find that we disagree a considerable amount with much of the teaching of the haredim (חרדים), the “ultra-orthodox” (1, 2). However, please do not mistake our disagreements for a lack of love. We believe that with emet (האמת-the truth) there must also be present chesed (חסד-loving-kindness). Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (late Chief Rabbi of England) has wisely said, “whenever chesed (loving-kindness) and emet (relational truth, reliability) are used together chesed (covenantal love) always comes first,” as if to say:

Speak the truth by all means; but be quite sure you speak the truth in (kind, charitable, and gracious) love (חסד-chesed).

This saying of Rabbi Hertz is very similar to what Rabbi Shaul ben Benyamin says in his writing about the kind of attitude one should maintain when one presents a difficult truth to another:

אלא נדבר את האמת באהבה ונגדל בכל דבר אלי המשיח, אשר הוא הראש.פ

But we will speak the truth (האמת-ha-emet) in (unselfish, deeply affectionate, and enduring) love (אהבה-ahavah), and we will grow up (develop, mature) in all aspects in him who is the head (הָרֹאשׁ-ha-rosh), even the Messiah (המשיח-ha-mashiach).

We will attempt to do the same. We will talk truth (נדבר את האמת). Yet we will do so in an attitude of love (ahavah and chesed); recognizing all the while the great love Avinu Shebashamayim (our Father in heaven) has for all His children of Israel and for all the people of the world.

Festival dates, worship forms, and scholarly studies:

We are Jews. So we are interested in reading other Jewish views and perspectives related to the practice of our faith in HaShem. This is why we recommend you visit the Chabad.org and Hebcal.com sites (cf. bottom of page; recommended study links). We recommend you visit these sites so you can get acquainted with some of the worship forms and scholarly studies of the larger Jewish body.

*For optimal viewing of this web-site we recommend you use “Mozilla Firefox.” Our table colors and writings in Hebrew are oftentimes not visible when you use other browsers.