“…so we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and respectfulness.This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” (1st Timothy 1:2-3)
Welcome to Shalom Life, a newsletter designed to manifest the Peace of G-d in our lives.
Ready your Chanukkiahs! Chanukkah begins November 28th. Join us at the shul as we light our community menorah on the first night and then again on Shabbat, December 4th for our annual Chanukkah celebration. Don’t forget service starts at 4pm! Bring your chanukkiahs, invite a friend, and be prepared to worship, celebrate, and eat, of course, as we observe the Festival of Lights.
Chanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, marks the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Greek occupation. In the second century BC, the Syrian-Greek empire annexed Israel and over time, idolatry and pagan influences were introduced and the Jews fell under oppression. Jewish laws and practices, including reading from the Torah, were banned. The Temple was desecrated, and the Jews were forced to worship pagan gods under penalty of death.
Then a man named Mattityahu rose up with his sons and friends and revolted against the Greeks. They gained many followers and attacked Greek outposts and destroyed pagan altars. Later on, Mattityahu appointed his son, Judah, to lead the uprising. Judah became known as “Maccabee,” which came from the acronym Mi Kamocha Ba’eilim Adonai (Who is like You, Lord) – מכבי.
In time, they overthrew the Greeks and rededicated the Temple after cleansing it from idols and pagan vandalization. As they were preparing to light the menorah, which was supposed to be lit continuously, they discovered there was only enough oil to last one day. Miraculously the oil burned for eight days, giving them enough time to prepare new oil.
And so we celebrate this festival by lighting an eight branched menorah –a Chanukkiah– each night to commemorate this miracle.
Fun fact: Did you know there are at least 16 different transliterations of the word Chanukah? And they’re all correct!
“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
In life, we come across many trials and battles and sometimes it’s easy to become disheartened or even frightened by them. But God says do not worry for He is with us and He will strengthen us.
It’s been said that God never gives us more than what we can handle, but I don’t believe that to be the case because if it were, we would never need to rely on Him. Rather, He gives us just beyond what we can handle so that we learn to trust Him and rely on Him for strength so we can endure the challenge.
Are you new to the Messianic movement or would like to learn more about our faith? Then the New to Messianic Judaism class is for you. Delve into the history of the faith and discover who we are as Messianic Jews in our beliefs and practices. Class is held after oneg and led by our sage Ron Warren. Please see Ron for details and don’t forget to join the New to Messianic Judaism group in the Church Center app.
The materials from the class will be going to pastors and prison ministries, so you can rest assured that you’re in for a lot of good information. Bring your notebook and your questions, and be prepared to learn.