Rabbi Schneider - Hanukkah, To the Glory of the Lord
It's the Hanukkah season. And I wanted to bring you a little message about Hanukkah from the great city, the city of the great King, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem. Now, behind me, way off in the distance, you can see the Dome of the Rock, that gold dome. That's where the Hebrew temple, the Temple of Yahweh used to stand before it was destroyed in 70 A.D. But previous to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., there was an episode that took place between the writings of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, which we call the old Testament, and the writings of the New Testament.
And this period between the time that the Old Testament canon stopped being written, yet before the beginning of the New Testament canon began to be written, this time of silence in Scripture lasted 400 years and is called the intertestamental period. And it was during the intertestamental period that an episode took place. That is the origin of the celebration of Hanukkah today. Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for dedication. So Hanukkah, the celebration of Hanukkah, is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament or the Tanakh, because the episode that led to Hanukkah happened in the intertestamental period. And it happened when a group of Jewish kind of renegade soldiers called the Maccabees recaptured the temple from the Greco Assyrians that had desecrated.
So the Greco Assyrians were living in Jerusalem, or I should say that were ruling over Jerusalem and Jewish people were living here. But they were not free to practice their own religion. And the Greco Assyrians had taken over the temple and had desecrated it. But again, this little ragtag army known as the Maccabees in the 164 period, in the 164 B.C. period, they recaptured the temple, they drove the Greco Assyrians out of the temple. And then they rededicated the temple back to God, back to Hashem. And when they rededicated the temple back to the Father, they went to like the Holy Menorah in the temple. And tradition tells us that although there was only enough oil in the temple to last for one day, supernaturally that oil burned the menorah for eight days.
And so ever since that, every year we celebrate this liberation of the temple, this rededication of the temple back to Yahweh. We light the menorah for eight days to celebrate the eight days that that oil supernaturally burned. It's a great time to celebrate freedom and the victory we have in Messiah. And it's a great time to also realize that even as that Temple was rededicated back to Father God in Yeshua, so to my friends, you and I need to rededicate our temples back to the Father every single day of every single year, each day when we wake up in the morning. So let's live in that spirit of dedication so that truly our temple, the temple that is our body, is the resting place and the habitation of the glory of Yah.