Ever wonder what Hanukkah is all about? Is it really just a Jewish holiday, or contained within this Festival of Lights, did God (the original 'genius') create this 8-day celebration as yet another means of pointing us to Yeshua, Jesus " the Light of the world?" He did!
Simply stated Hanukkah was first celebrated in the second century by Judah (meaning 'praise'), the Maccabee, and his band of followers. The Maccabee's, a family from Modi'in near Jerusalem, led an uprising against the Syrian King Antiochus IV. Antiochus decreed that all his subjects must become Hellenized (adopting Greek culture.) He desecrated the Holy Temple of Jerusalem strictly forbidding all Jewish ritual on penalty of death. Judah Maccabee and his band of brave men recaptured and cleansed the Holy Temple. When the temple menorrah was relit, there was only enough oil to burn for one-day. The legend of the "great miracle" is recorded in the Talmud (Jewish interpretation of scripture according to Rabbi's) - that the burning of that oil lasted not just one day but 8 days until more oil could be brought into the Temple. The Jews replaced the seven branch menorrah with a nine-branch menorah called a "hanukkiah." The middle branch ( highest branch) candle is called the "shamash" or "servant candle." This candle is always lit first and is used to light the other candles in celebration of thier victory. Is this beginning to form an image in your mind? Yes! Jesus, Yeshua, is that servant candle. He IS the Light of the world who came to light our lives. He came TO SERVE not to BE SERVED. We, as believers in Yeshua, Jesus, can celebrate this biblical feast by recognizing that, like Yeshua, we can shine forth the great Light of His glorious Gospel. We ( Jew and Gentile) can REDEDICATE our ‘holy temples’ to Him! Just as the Jewish people all over the world put these menorrah's in their window, let us keep His great Light shining in the window of our hearts during this 8 day celebration.....and all year long. Remember if it wasn't for Hanukkah, there would be no Christmas. If Antiochus IV had succeeded in annihilating the Jews, there would be no Jewish lineage from which our Jewish Messiah would descend. Let's fill our body temple (hannukiah's) with the oil of the Holy Spirit for all the world to see! You can find detailed information in my Feasts of Israel Cookbook-found by clicking on Products on www.messiahsongs.com)
Typically, foods fried in oil are eaten during Hanukkah celebrating the precious oil provided by God to burn brightly in temple. Enjoy my recipe for Mediterranean Chikpea Latkes. I'll be cookin' them up for our breakfast celebration in just a moment! Happy Hanukkah!
Mediterranean Chickpea Latkes
1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained, rinsed
2 cloves garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon Rosemary
3 large eggs
6 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon bakig powder
6, or more, Tablespoons olive oil (for frying)
Sour cream, and or pomegranate seeds for garnish
Blend chickpeas, garlic and rosemary in food processor to coarse paste. Add eggs, water and 2 Tablespoons olive oil; blen until smooth. Add flour, cumin. salt and pepper, baking powder and blend. Pour batter into a bowl. Heat 6 Tablespoons olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Fry until golden - about one-minute per side. Use slotted spatula to transfer latkes to paper towel or rack to drain. Add more oil, as needed for frying. Allow oil to get hot before adding more batter. Makes about 24 latkes.
(Hebrew for "good appetite!")