Hanukah, Christmas, New Year Blessings

  • The Holiday of Hanukah should bring the world a blessing for the New Year.
  • There is always hope and hopelessness is the greatest sin.
  • Amidst daily tensions and the threat of a Third World War each person should search for a permanent answer which is to find God and the Messiah.

The holiday season has arrived. This week the Jewish people celebrate the holiday of Hanukah at the same time is celebrated Christmas and also New Year’s Day.  Not every year does it all come in one bundle for Judaism goes according to the Lunar Calendar and the Western world goes according to the Solar Calendar. Jews adjust the Lunar Calendar in springtime by making a leap year that it should always be connected to the Solar Calendar. Therefore Hanukah and Christmas if they don’t fall exactly during the same week always are in the same season. Holidays are meant to be a blessing for all mankind. Christians and Jews are in the holiday season. Muslims go strictly according to the Lunar Calendar and even though Islam was born from Judaism and Christianity; it functions as a separate unit without connection to Hanukah and Christmas.

Hanukah Menorah a Candelabra of eight lights.

The holiday of Hanukah is celebrated by lighting each night a candle in a window or public place to publicize a miracle which occurred at the time when the stood the holy temple in Jerusalem. The holiday lasts eight days corresponding to a miracle which lasted eight days when with a small can of pure olive oil that had the potential to light one day lasted eight days.  There was no other cans of pure olive oil available and the temple candelabra needed to be lit continuously. A lesson for all mankind on the holiday of Hanukah is that each person should add to his life a new light each day which should never be extinguished. The creation of God is renewed each day. The power of God and prayer is great to do miracles.

The weekly Torah portion Genesis 37 which always falls out on Hanukah relates a story which is difficult to accept. Jacob had twelve sons from four wives. His sons were all men of great character and intelligence. The Bible relates that between the children of Jacob there was conflict and possibly jealousy to the extent Joseph the favorite child of Jacob was assaulted by his brothers and thrown into a pit with scorpions and snakes.  As is written “They took him and threw him into a pit. Now the pit was empty without water.” He may have been left to die but Judah his brother instead decided to sell him to an Egyptian caravan. Joseph separated himself from his brothers. He even had a dream that his brothers and parents would someday worship him. Joseph later on in the story became a prince in Egypt and during a severe famine saved his family from dying of hunger and brought them safely to Egypt from Israel.

Celebration of Christmas in Jerusalem.

A lesson to be learned from this story relating Hanukah and Christmas is to give respect to other religions which have come into the world through prophets even if these religions may present a different and conflicting ideology. Joseph saw life in a different way than his brothers. He valued free choice and stood up as an individual for his beliefs even if they may made him enemies.  God created the world with a challenge.  The challenge is to stand up for truth. Those that stand up for truth are individuals. There is a majority and a minority. The majority the establishment is usually in power. A person that disagrees with the majority is called a rebel. Joseph was a rebel. He stood up for his beliefs. Joseph was alone, one against the world.

On Christmas is celebrated the birth of Jesus.  Jesus was a rebel in his time. He disagreed with the establishment and was like Joseph thrown into a pit, a Roman prison in Israel and later executed. Many people disagreed with Jesus and even today do not accept him as the Messiah. A half of the world accepts him as their Messiah. Joseph saved the Jewish people from the famine.  They were given refuge in Egypt and lived happily in the merit of Joseph. Times changed the old Pharaoh died. The new King of Egypt didn’t know Joseph and persecuted the Jewish people and made them slaves. The Messiah changes darkness to light.  The Light changes back to darkness. There are good times in life with health, livelihood, love and happiness. Everything in life in temporary. No one knows the future. There are two types of salvation for every person. There is the salvation which comes from God alone which is internal and eternal. There is the salvation which comes through hard work and the desire to make life better.

The story in Genesis when Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers out of jealousy and hate is likened today to the opposition of democrats to President Trump who is supporting Israel. They not only want to impeach him but also want to put him in prison.

The Jewish people are a nation whose goal is to make the life of the Jew better through hard work.  The brothers of Joseph didn’t believe in his dreams. They believed in reality that only through hard work comes success. Joseph gave an answer to the problems of life which is to find the Messiah.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged his representatives to publicize that the Messiah has arrived. Hard work is today not the only solution for Jews and the world. People today in the middle of the tensions of a potential Third World War need a permanent answer which is to find God and the Messiah. There still remains human efforts to make life better and more peaceful.

President Trump even though he is not Jewish but acting like a brother to the Jewish people has risked his name and reputation to support Israel in all ways.  His brothers have made a Jewish coup on him in the Congress to impeach him. Not only do they want to impeach him but to also put him in a pit with snakes and scorpions with a jail sentence. For sure he is not the Messiah or a prophet. His answers and policies for the American and world dilemma require hard work.  In 2020 will be decided his future for the next four years. If he wins the elections in 2020 after four years an anti-Semitic leader a new Pharaoh may come into office like Obama to reverse the policies that were established by the Republican administration.   Trump is an example for all human beings to stand up for right. Right may be republican or democrat. To be extreme republican to make war with democrats is not the way of the Bible. To be extreme democrat and to impeach a good man is not the way of Bible. The way of the Bible is the middle way to give respect to good people even if they disagree with you.

New Year Celebration.

Three religions with their own doctrines have come into the world in the course of time Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Each religion was a universal faith in its time. A fourth religion has come into the world uniting all three religions together called Baha”i. Esoteric Judaism Progressive Jewish Spirituality, Chassidism http://www.progressivejewishspirituality.net/ through the Book of Splendor called the Zohar has come to bring to the Jewish people and the world redemption through the Messiah and to reveal the resurrection of Moses. Moses who is called the first redeemer is now revealed as the last redeemer. His resurrection has come to unite all the prophets with him in peace as they dance together in love under the holy temple.

Holiday greeting and a Happy New Year.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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