01 December 2010

A bit of photoshop fun


chanukah_zebra
Originally uploaded by bobmendo
What makes Hanukkah so fun is the latkes and the doughnuts and the dreidels and today, a bit of photo humor. I hope you smile as you find the menorah in the stripes and remember that God does miracles.

Even though the zebra has been photoshopped, God really does and did miracles for the Jewish people at this time of year. In about 168 BCE, the Syrian Greeks were having battles with the Ptolemies of Egypt. Their battlefield? What we know today as the land of Israel. A football pitch if you will, with the likes of Antiochus Epiphanes leading the charge.

One day a crew of the Greek king slaughtered a pig in the sacred Temple of the Jewish people in Jerusalem. That made a lot of Jewish people upset and over in Modi'in, a small village about 30 km from Jerusalem.

Here's the rundown from Wikipedia. (Seems like wiki everything is in our news each day): From the Hebrew word for "dedication" or "consecration", Hanukkah marks the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem (Second Temple) after its desecration by the forces of the King of Syria Antiochus IV Epiphanes and commemorates the "miracle of the container of oil". According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.

Hanukkah is also mentioned in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. The first states: "For eight days they celebrated the re-dedication of the altar. Then Judah and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the re-dedication... should be observed... every year... for eight days. (1 Mac. 4:56–59)" According to 2 Maccabees, "the Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on the feast of Booths."

I'm of the opinion that Hanukkah was originally the celebration fo the Feast of Booths, which the warriors were not able to celebrate that year since they were at war. That's the only 8 day holiday mentioned in the Tenach (The Older Testament).

Even so, Hanukkah is a lot of fun. We light lights, eat foods drenched in oil and spin tops called dreidels. At our book shop in Bondi Junction, we are selling candles and dreidels and giving away Bibles and hoping for more and more folks to ponder how to dedicate themselves to the Living God each day, even today.

Look, the number one miracle of Hanukkah was not oil, but the victory of the few, the Maccabees over the powerful Greek army of Antiochus. It's David vs Goliath again and we win again. That's not outsmarting, that's not being clever, it's military conquest and that's honestly a miracle.

And God still does miracles these days.

He saves people from disease and distress. He brings hope where there is honestly no reason to hope. And mostly He saves souls, those who trust in Him for their eternity, by putting their faith in Y'shua. He's the One who died for our sins and rose from the dead. That itself was a miracle and He continues to offer us all new life.

That's not trick photography either. It's the real thing.

Hanukkah s'meach!

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