As a community of Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Messiah Jeshua, we as a Torah Observant community by choice – not for salvation, but because of our salvation in Messiah Jeshua keep to the installed set apart days and as such shall this year come to find an evening at sundown marking the beginning of an eight-day winter “festival of lights” which shall not be celebrated with so many people as we are used to.
Hanukkah or Chanukah, commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies. In celebration of this triumph, the “Maccabees” (the rebels, led by Judas Maccabeus who overtook the Temple of Jerusalem) cleansed and rededicated the Temple. According to history, they only had enough consecrated oil to re-light the candelabra for one day. Miraculously, it remained light eight days.
Belgium banned, for the second time this year, all services in churches, mosques and synagogues at the end of October, when the second corona wave threatened to become too much for the country. But that measure is “disproportionate”, the Council of State ruled after a complaint from Jewish organisations. They had pointed out that shops and swimming pools will be open again.
Yesterday a new regime with a “right balance between religious freedom and public health”, discussed the difficulties for certain religious groups, like for Jews to marry, where more than 5 people have to be present.
Not only do we want to celebrate the festival of lights, for example, Jehudim also want to be able to enter into marriages again, where, according to believing Jews, at least ten men must also be present with the couple and the rabbi. For this reason from Sunday onwards 15 people are allowed to come together when they respect all other corona rules (social distance, mask-wearing, etc.)
Although we are separated by geographical location, we are nonetheless a community and feel the unity of our people even when we are not allowed to come together. We shall have to be very inventive to share with each other the family feeling and togetherness, without being together in real life.
Being a community of believers that through our common love for Messiah Jeshua always have gathered together for fellowship, study and support, we in these days of Corona should out of love for our neighbours take care of the precaution measures and should not meet with too many, take care of social distance, wearing a mouth mask.
This year we shall not be able to spend the holidays together in real life. To celebrate this joyous occasion, we still can light the Chanukiah, or menorah, each night for eight nights. Even when we shall celebrate it just on our own, parents and children, without the grandparents and/or friends, we shall be able to be not only with our thoughts by all our friends wherever they may be in the world, we could also invite them for a moment via Zoom, Facetime, Messenger, Jitsi or any other meeting platform. And those we can not reach by internet we can send a Happy Hanukkah card.
Although we can’t gather in person for vegan fried chicken this year, we can still gather together over zoom for candle lighting, fun activities like sharing your favorite latke (potato pancake) and sufganiyot (doughnut) recipes, singing, and even some virtual dreidel playing.
This year the television station VTM calls people to show many lights, to bring some feeling of “light” or “hope” and to give a feeling of “unity”. Our community should not be timid or afraid to join this action and to put a menorah at the window. Last year we asked already our members to do that. This year we repeat this call for spreading light again by placing menorot in public view. Only be very careful for the curtains. Best use there an electric menorah or for the Chanukiah of which the shamash (servant) candle and the other 8 may burn all the time, and in the living room at the table the menorah with oil or candles lit per day.
Let us in these darker days show the spiritual significance of the times by the lights we dare to show the world. Once more, like last year we dare to ask you to spread the light to others by lighting up the way for those who are unable to see the positive side of life.
Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the Devar Hashem unto Zerubavel, saying,
Not by might, nor by ko’ach (power), but by My Ruach [Hakodesh], saith Hashem Tzva’os.
(Zec 4:6 OJB)
Also find to read
- Beginning of a festival of lights
- Hanukkah Feast of light
- Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
- Coming together in dark days
- Our Responsibility in corona-times #1 Collective religious worship
- Our Responsibility in corona-times #2 Opportunities for spirituality and reflection
- A Mystical Message About Chanukah from R’ Zalman Schachter Shalomi z”l
- Holy and healing olive-oil of Chanukah
- Happy Hanukkah!
- Hanukkah 2020
- Hanukkiah: Symbol of Kislev
- Eight Nights of Light
- Default Setting = Cats
- The Chanukiah
- Chanukah – revealing the light
- Chanukah, the Festival of Lights virtual celebration to begin on Pa. Capitol steps
- Celebrating Chanukah: sources from the Special Collections
- Rededication: a poem for this pandemic Chanukah
- SoCal Jewish Community Taking Chanukah Celebrations Virtual
- Holiday – Ahimsa – Non-Harming – Day 3 – Hanukkah
- Chanukah Prayers And Blessings
- Happy Chanukah!