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The Days of Eight - Hanukkah Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

The Twilight of History

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light which, coming into the world gives light to every man.” (John 1:4, 9)

In Hebrew, the number eight represents the spiritual realm or new beginnings, and eight is the number of days the Festival of Hanukkah is celebrated. As such, the Festival is called the Days of Eight ––days of transcendence from the natural to the spiritual. The last night called is called Zot Hanukkah, meaning, “This is it!” –– the full brightness expected when the Messiah comes at the end of days.

The story of Hanukkah is about two ever-present forces in the world: light and darkness, i.e. good and evil. It is the struggle between two ideologies–– serving G-d or being assimilated into the ways of the world.



The story of Hanukkah occurred during the 400 years between the Old Testament and the New. It ‘speaks’ of the transition between the two since it points to the coming New Covenant when the Spirit of G-d (the oil) would fill His people represented in the 9-branch menorah called the Hanukkiyah. It is about the struggle Israel endured when the Greek/Syrian General, Antiochus (Epiphanies) tried to force Jews to abandon their G-d and assimilate into Greek culture. Believers are still being tempted to adapt to the ways of the world (Greek culture) instead of trusting in the Spirit of G-d to lead them.

The Hanukkah Menorah is different than the Menorah that was in the temple. It has nine branches instead of seven; it is called the Hanukkiyah, which loosely translated means ‘to begin again with G-d’. One of the branches sits higher than the others and is called the Shammash or Servant Candle. The Shammash lights all others.

The oil lamps or candles are lit at twilight. The Hebrew sages say this points to the twilight of history. The number nine is a symbol of the end of all things, called ‘ketz’. Hanukkah, therefore, draws us into the final prophetic unfolding of the final deliverance from the final exile of the Jewish people. Ezekiel 37:15-22 is always read on Hanukkah because it is a reminder that the time will come when the ‘stick of Joseph in Ephraim’s hand’ and ‘the stick of Judah’ will be reconciled at the coming of Messiah.

The oil used to light the menorah could only be the most pure oil [symbolic of the Holy Spirit], the source of light for the world. Oil is one of the blessings G-d promises as a reward for faithfulness (Deuteronomy 11:14, 33:24; Psalm 45:8, 23:5). Anointing oil also indicated a change in the status of a person’s life. Eventually, the word ‘anointed’ (Mashiach) became synonymous with Messiah, anointed one. Oil, it is taught, symbolizes the divine spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) that dwells among the Jewish People.

The light that emanates from the Hanukkiyah is called Primordial Light, the light that was separated from darkness in the beginning even before the sun was created. The sages teach that the light of the Hanukkiyah, the Primordial Light, is preserved for the righteous.

The true miracle of Hanukkah, the Jewish sages teach, will be the transformation of the universe at the arrival of the Messiah when the wall between the physical and spiritual realms will become a bridge instead. Hanukkah is an introduction to and preparation for the promised future redemption when the Messiah’s light will dispel all darkness. At that time, the ‘bridge’ between the natural and spiritual realms will be opened to mankind.

Hanukkah, also known as the Season of Miracles and the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) in the New Testament, was the backdrop of Yeshua’s declaration that His divinity was evidenced through His miracles. He declared this as the Israelites were in the midst of celebrating the Season of Miracles. Yeshua stood on Solomon’s Porch, the place where the giant menorahs were placed, where the light of G-d’s Word was to shine out to the world and stated that He was the Messiah they were expecting.

Solomon’s Porch spanned the court of Israel and the court of Gentiles that was separated by a ‘middle wall of partition’. While Yeshua judicially removed the ‘wall’ in His first advent, we will experience the true unity of believers, the “one new man” (Ephesians 2:14-15), the joining of the stick of Joseph in the hand of Ephraim with the stick of Judah (Ezekiel 37:15-22) before Messiah returns.

In the Hanukkiyah, Yeshua is the Shammash, the lamp that stands higher than all the others, the lamp that lights all the others. The number eight points to the time of a new beginning when G-d would send His Holy Spirit to dwell in men, opening the ‘bridge’ between the physical and spiritual realms. The oil is the Holy Spirit infilling, the anointing believers receive at the time they accept Yeshua as L-rd and Savior of their lives. This is the oil that must shine light into the world, the oil that never runs out.

Hanukkah is a time for ‘cleansing the sanctuary’, the idols in our hearts (Ezekiel 14:1-7) when G-d enables us to come in touch with His Spirit. We are to purify G-d’s holy place, our temples. We have replaced the priests; we are G-d’s priests, His leaders in the war for the Kingdom of G-d, no longer restricted to the Temple in Jerusalem.

It is said, “By lighting the menorah, we ignite the flame in our souls, the spark that cannot be extinguished, that will burn not for eight days but for eternity. Our inner light must shine against the darkness of evil and indifference and must kindle the spirits of our fellow man. The menorah reminds us that no matter how dark life may be, there remains a source of light deep inside us. The light in our souls reflects and refracts the light from the One who is all brightness.”

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