Print This Page

Chanukah

With the days darkening the symbolic and practical importance of light becomes more obvious to the ones that are not enmeshed in a greed-filled materialistic consciousness. Judaism celebrates this time of darkness with their festival of ‘lights’—Chanukah. This celebration is based on a Second Century BCE Jewish military victory over the Syrian-Greeks.[i]

This eight-day celebration commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by the forces of the King of Syria. As the legend goes there was only enough sacred olive oil to light the menorah for one day but instead it lasted for eight days. This allowed enough time to consecrate more oil.

“But there is more to it. In the same way that Christmas supplanted an older Yule festival, So Chanukah was probably built on top of an older light-kindling solstice festival in the Middle East.”[ii] Supposedly around the third century CE, “the rabbis decreed that the lights had to be separate from one another, because otherwise they would resemble a bonfire (presumably, like the pagans had). The menorah is a stylized tree, which can symbolize Asherah[iii] and/or the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.”[iv]


 

[i] It is very obvious that the current problems in the Middle East are not new and have their roots even further back than this Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks.

[ii] Jennifer Hunter, Magickal Judaism, p. 136

[iii] Asherah = the goddess Venus. “….there can be little doubt that it was the worship of Asherah, already popular among the Hebrews for several generations, which was introduced by Solomon into Jerusalem as part of the cult of the royal household….” Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, p. 41

[iv]Jennifer Hunter, Magickal Judaism, p. 136