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Israeli skin care products have been formulated with the latest knowledge and technology, but their essence comes from the soil and waters of the Holy Land earning an international reputation as some of the best. Supporting Israel is an act of faith and a dedication to the plan God has for Israel to be a light amongst nations. Israeli cuisine is a cultural fusion influenced by different Jewish heritages: Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi, as well as traditional Mediterranean foods.
The November of his senior year of college, I set out to find my friend Russell a Hanukkah present. Please let us know if you see something unsavory on the Google Ads and we will have them removed.
Until relatively recently, the menorah, not the Star of David, was the prime symbol of Judaism, but we rarely delve into its symbolism. Judaism developed in a period when matriarchal cultures were declining, and patriarchal ones were rising. Rabbi Fern Feldman is a singer, scholar, spiritual counselor, service leader, and ritual facilitator, with experience in a wide range of Jewish communities, including Conservative, Renewal, Reconstructionist, Reform, and unaffiliated. She received rabbinic ordination in 2003 from Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and Spiritual Direction certification in 2007 from the Morei Derekh program of Yedidya. Her current research and writing involve exploring the sacred dark in Jewish text, and developing non-dual paradigms for the mysteries of creation.
In addition, she works as a nurse practitioner in a community health clinic, and lives with her partner, two children, a dog, a cat and a rabbit in Santa Cruz, CA.
Spiritual Direction is a relationship in which we dedicate a regular period of time to the exploration of the presence of the Holy in our lives, seeking to discern glimmers of holiness, the awe at the depth of the soul. CartTerms & ConditionsWhen you place an order you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions. The word Chanukah essentially translates as "dedication" commemorating the chutzpah, the sheer gall, of a Jewish rebel force called the Maccabees.
Anyway, to celebrate the restoration of the Temple, and the eight miraculous nights of light, Jews kindle candles watching them burn all the way down as we eat potato pancakes and other foods cooked in oil in honor of the eternal flame.
So this year, on the third night of Chanukah, A set up three candles the menorah, the candelabra we use for this holiday, wrested the shamash -- the so-called guardian candle we use to light all of the other candles -- from parental hands, and lit all four while I chanted the blessing. That day, I saw then nine-year-old A place his hand on the knob of our gas stovetop and begin to turn it.
My son locked eyes with me, took a deep breath, and said softly but clearly, "Baruch," Hebrew for "blessed," the first word of many Jewish prayers.
The question remains of where my son's interest in Judaism came from, given the relatively non-religious aura of our household. Every weekday, A takes a school bus to a neighborhood very different from the one in which he lives. This year, like the past few, I have heard a lot of discussion about Hanukkah being a ‘manmade’ or ‘traditional’ holiday rather than one of God’s Appointed Times like Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.  Because it has been judged by some as just a ‘tradition’ that men created, they have chosen to opt out. In Mark 7, Yeshua only rebukes the leaders for a tradition that nullifies the commandments. Yeshua says that there are two pens of sheep.  One pen is obviously gathered at the Temple (the Jewish people),  the others are not (the gentiles).
Purim and Hanukkah are the revelation and celebration of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from the Adversary himself.
The central theme to both of these holidays is anti-semitism and it is at work in the hearts of foreign peoples, the gentiles in Persia, Syria, and in all the known world at those times. What does the Bible say about Hanukkah?  Though people say that Hanukkah isn’t in the Bible, it is. Numbers 7:11 “The leaders brought the offering for dedicating the altar on the day it was anointed. Was it not at the Altar that the sacrifice for sin was made?  Is it not the Altar of Sacrifice that will once again be dedicated chanukah in Ezekiel’s vision of the Temple?
The account of the dedication of the altar for eight days is found in the first book of Maccabees. Though the miracle of the oil may not be found in the account of Maccabees, who is to say it didn’t happen?  In 2 Kings 4:1-7, Yahweh performed a miracle of oil through Elijah when the widow’s oil did not run out and she had enough to sell and pay her debts. Those who have joined the commonwealth of Israel through faith in Yeshua claim to  accept Biblical history as their own and prophecy as their future expectations,  but what about history not found in the Bible but proved by historians? Those who take part in lighting their menorah or hanukkiah at Hanukkah are not only remembering  a story of great sacrifice and courage, they make a statement to the world of their stand with God’s chosen people and their eternal calling. Moshe is up on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.  During this time he meets with Yahweh who gives him the instructions for making His sanctuary. It is on the kapporet that the blood of the atonement was put on Yom Kippur – Day of Covering.


After Aaron had made atonement for the Holy Place,  the other goat, called the scapegoat or azazel, was presented alive to the Lord.  On this goat, Aaron confessed all the sins of the nation of Israel and then it was set free in the wilderness. Many of the objects in the Tabernacle were acacia wood overlaid with gold.  Acacia trees were probably the only type of tree growing in the wilderness and therefore perfectly accessible for creating the furniture.
My initial thought when I read this was how Yeshua’s body never saw decay because he was resurrected.  Philippians says that he was willing to give up his position at God’s right hand of glory and become a human being.
Philippians 2:6-11 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. All the planks were to be overlaid with gold with gold rings through which the crossbars would pass.
Parochet ????? is the Hebrew word for the curtain that was between the Ark and the Holy Place. Everything needed for every kind of service in the tabernacle, as well as the tent pegs, were to be of bronze. Now if he were on earth, he wouldn’t be a cohen at all, since there already are cohanim (priests)  offering the gifts required by the Torah. But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant he mediates is better. In a Hebrew mindset, the Son always had the Father’s name so the two would be considered the same or one. The historical account of the Maccabean revolt is found in the apocryphal book of 1 Maccabees. 1.  Compare today with the time of Alexander the Great and the influence of Greek gods and thought (Hellenization) with the pure Word of God.  Are these influences easily recognized?  Are these influences easily removed from our walks of faith?  Why or why not? 4.  Syria still exists today.  What is their relationship to Israel?  How is Syria once again attacking the faith of the Jewish people in Israel and the faith of those around the world who love the God of Israel? 4.  From the prophecies in Daniel, what are some of the things that the ‘beast’ will do?  Scripture already says the ‘man of lawlessness is at work’.  What are ways you see that when you read the prophecies in Daniel? The menorah has an incredible history.  It was the only article for the Tabernacle patterned from the one shown to Moses on the mountain (Ex. The menorah was put in the Holy Place along with the Table of Presence and the Altar of Incense.  These three objects symbolized the sanctification of the priesthood  as they walked in the light, ate the bread of God’s presence, and lifted their hands in prayer as the sweet smell of incense.
During the defilement of the Temple at the time of Antiochus, the menorah had been splattered with pig’s blood.  It was not in good condition. 6.  Why do you think there is an olive branch around the menorah in the Israeli emblem?  Do you think it has prophetic significance for you, for the land, for the people?  Why or why not?
Oil is generally a Biblical symbol for the Holy Spirit and was used to anoint articles for the Tabernacle, priest and kings. It doesn’t matter if the menorah story is true or not, oil played a significant part in the re-dedicating of the Temple.
2.  Spices also have special purposes.  What are some of the reasons these spices may have been chosen?
Mary, the mother of Yeshua, had a miraculous encounter during the Feast of Dedication.  Following the time frame in Luke for the birth of Yeshua, the angelic visit to Mary would have occurred in ‘winter’. It is a blending of traditional beliefs and new customs that have developed in the re-born State of Israel.
Not the menorah we typically think of in modern times, the chanukiyah, or Chanukah menorah, but rather the original menorah—the seven branched candelabra that graced the south wall of the mishkan as well as the Temple in ancient times.
Some have compared the seven lights of the menorah to the seven lights of the human face—the eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears.
The translation of this word is varied, but the majority opinion is that it has to do with the shekeidiyah—the almond tree.  Thus, the menorah is to be decorated to look like an almond tree— with almond shaped cups, and flowers. And this is the image that we chose to represent us as the Jewish people; the image we still put before ourselves every morning in the siddur, and every year at Chanukah.
We carried teachings from matriarchal traditions that could not survive any longer out in the open, to be unpacked later.
When it comes to things Jewish, we follow the lead of A, our minimally verbal autistic son who took it upon himself this Chanukah to set up and light the candles, which are a central component of most Jewish Holidays and the be-all and end-all of Chanukah, otherwise known as the Festival of Lights. This ad-hoc army defeated Greek occupiers who had systematically removed or defiled everything Jewish from the most sacred of Jewish sites, The Holy Temple.
He participated in a few non-traditional rituals specific to our family as the candles began to burn: He ate the special Chanukah cupcake I made and decorated for him.
Completely kosher even, I'll wager, because Halakah, the Jewish legal code permits that which is not expressly forbidden, and at least to my knowledge our law does not forbid cookie jars in the shape of dreidels. We march to the beat of our own little yiddishe drummer boy around here, and eternal or not a flame is still a flame. I put the kibosh on that right away, reminding him that adult supervision is required when he pursues this other special interest, cooking.


He spends much in this other world, the one where he finds some of his greatest joy His school has no religious affiliation but happens to flourish in the middle of a lively Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. A part of me hopes it will stick, even if it leads him down a radically different path from the one his parents have chosen. Consider making a donation.Monies support TPGA infrastructure, and groups like The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. To each his own, however, I wonder if that is really is a wise decision based on Scripture and prophecy about Israel, the Jewish people and the coming Temple.
If someone is on the roof, he must not go down to gather his belongings from his house;  if someone is in the field, he must not turn back to get his coat. Fifty fasteners of gold were to connect the sheets to each other as fasteners so that the tabernacle formed one single unit. It is possible to buy  myrrh and frankincense candles or incense.  Purchase some in order to enjoy the aroma that would have filled the Tabernacle. All things that come in sets of seven, such as the days of the week, or the seven lower sefirot in the kabbalistic Tree of Life are also related images.
The root of the Hebrew word for almond—shin kuph dalet—is also the root for one of the words meaning to watch or guard.  In this way, there is a connection between the almond tree image and the idea in Zecharyah of the menorah lights as the eyes of G-d. Perhaps there is also a relationship between the twenty two almond cups that G-d tells Moses to make on the menorah and the twenty two letters of the alef bet, with which the Torah is made. 135) comments about Rashi’s comment: “the difficulty was not in understanding, but because the Menorah symbolizes the Torah.
Due to the amazingly faithful transmission of our teachings and practices, even the ones which we haven’t fully understood, we now have an unbroken chain of tradition unlike any other. You will not find tight clothing or garments that promote promiscuous behaviors for sale here. During the cleanup, the Maccabees discovered that the Temple's centerpiece, an eternal flame, had only enough oil to fuel it for one night -- but miraculously that tiny reserve somehow lasted eight nights, giving them enough time to fetch more oil to keep the flame burning, if not eternally, then at least until the Temple was destroyed many years later. Still, I suppose I momentarily worried about the extinguishing of those tiny fires, if I had somehow failed to convey the meaning of the ritual.
As uneven as my Jewish education is, even I know that Judaism calls us to balance individual needs with the common good, to reflexively offer material help to the sick, poor, or grieving, to do right even when, especially when, right is inconvenient. Do we deny the parts of destruction and restoration because we really don’t want to endure the persecution that will ultimately become part of our lives when we graft into the chosen people? Other times we look at all the aspects, one each night.  Below are some ideas for celebrating the eight nights (or eight years) of Hanukkah. I felt it was the prayers of the Jewish people begging to be answered, that there was going to be some sort of awesome thing G_od was g oing to do for them?? But that's a different story for another commemoration, and definitely a whole other essay.
But then I thought back to something very Jewish A did last spring, apropos to no specific Jewish holiday, and I realize how much he truly understand and embraces his heritage, and how fully he deserves the role of religious leadership he has claimed in our family. But there was no cookware in sight, so I was confused until he rummaged through a drawer and produced a candle. Surrounding stores sell mountains of kosher goods, and the people who live locally celebrate every one of the many Jewish holiday with vim, to the point that I am beginning to think that A doesn't fully embrace a snack as such unless there's at least some Hebrew writing on the package, and thinks that every celebration has a Jewish component. Luckily, back when I was affiliated with a congregation, I occasionally subbed when the cantor was out of town, so a simple Hebrew chant, I could handle.
On Thanksgiving morning, before he graciously allowed me to serve as his sous chef, he put on a kippah, the skullcap Orthodox boys and men wear.
A learns new skills every day, but he may well need some kind of support throughout his life, and I will always be grateful to anyone has his back.
On a Day of Atonement in the future when ‘all Israel is saved,’ their final redemption will be accomplished.  Until then, their corporate sins are on the scapegoat. Clearly, he wanted to play birthday party, like he used to with pretend candles, and to my relief at the time, pretend flames (For a while there, apparently every day was our cat's birthday.) But now, it seemed, he was aiming for greater verisimilitude.
After I slowly articulated each word of the sabbath blessing that more diligent Jewish women use every week to welcome a much-needed day of rest, Arren carefully reproduced the words and melody. So I took a deep breath, and hoped the cat Fala's attendance would not be required, as his house-wide sniffing chores already fill his feline agenda. It took many repetitions, but he absolutely wouldn't give up until he had mastered the prayer. A midrash teaches that the four pronged shin is a missing letter, whose appearance will bring new meaning and transformation to the world.



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