Israel and the Diaspora Jewish Holidays

Hanukkah, Night Eight

Written by my friend Aaron Gann, reproduced here with permission.

Today on the eighth day of Hanukkah, let us focus on that of turning.

It is a call for us to remember, to look back and be inspired by the recollection of God’s deliverance.

This week as we have celebrated Hanukkah, one of the most treasured traditions is that of playing a game called Dreidel. Now for those who don’t know, a dreidel is a small rectangular top with four letters, one on each side. Players first put game pieces in the center and then take turns spinning and seeing which side it lands on, which determines the player’s action in the game.

The four letters in particular are נ Nun, ג Gimel, ה Hey and שׁ Shin. These four letters stand for the phrase: Nes Gadol Hiyah Sham (A Great Miracle Occurred There). It is a call for us to remember, to look back and be inspired by the recollection of God’s deliverance.

During this game we remember that we are to resist the world, that we are to dedicate ourselves to The Lord, that we are to love The Lord with all our being and trust Him. We remember that just as the Maccabees cleansed the temple, so too does The Lord cleanse us, just as they gave The Lord all they had, so too are we to give, even if it seems like a pitiful amount. We also remember the Shamash, a picture of the Holy Spirit and of The Servant of The Lord, Yeshua The Messiah. We remember that He came as the Light of life for all men, so that through Him all people may become children of God.

Lastly we remember that though these previously mentioned miracles are wonderful, things that we as a people should never forget. Yeshua has performed an even greater miracle, for all that have accepted Him are now Born Again (John 3), previously we were all born of the flesh, born physically, but now we have been born of Spirit. We have turned from our old ways, for in Hebrew the word for repentance is Shuvah which means to turn back. We are now a new creation, holy and pleasing to Him. His Spirit now residing in us, has cleansed us from all unrighteousness and has now awakened us to a new life in service to Him. During this Hanukkah time we remember that Nes Gadol Hiyah Sham, a Great Miracle Occurred There. Or better so, as they say in the Land of Israel, Nes Gadol Hiyah Poh, and A Great Miracle Occurred HERE! During this season, let us take time to reflect on the greatness of the miracle that is Salvation From The Lord, Yeshua, and His ever present working in our lives.

Shalom and Chag Sameach

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