The True Light of Chanukah

While the narrator tells the story, an artist draws the scenes in this video, The True Light of Chanukah.

The words and the drawings summarize the complex history of the long war against the Seleucid Empire (167–160 BCE) and the Maccabean Revolt (167–141 BCE), making what happened easy to understand.

The miracle of light begins around 164 BCE, when the Maccabees captured Jerusalem and eventually cleansed and re-dedicated the Temple Altar on 25 Kislev. There was only enough oil to light the Temple menorah for one night, but miraculously, the oil lasted eight nights.

This miracle is celebrated by the annual Festival of Lights (‎Ḥag HaUrim, חַג הַאוּרִים). 

This video connects the physical menorah light to the story of Yeshua who is described as the spiritual “Light of the World” (John 8:12). That same text shows Yeshua celebrating the Festival of Lights (or Feast of the Dedication) at the Temple (John 10:22-23), continuing the annual tradition of Chanukah/Hanukkah by sharing light, through his words and through miracles.

This video invites viewers into the hopeful glow cast by menorah lightings; it also encourages reflections on physical and spiritual lights inspired by but found outside the clip itself. 

For example, one way of referring to Psalm 30 is as “the Song of the Dedication of the House” (שיר חנכת הבית‎, the "Song of Ḥănukkāt HaBayit”). This Psalm/song is traditionally recited on Chanukah/Hanukkah. Within the book of Psalms, its number 30 is the sum of the numerical day of Kislev (25) plus the Books of Torah (5), for a total of 30. Just as the menorah physically illuminates spaces with lighted candles, the words of Psalm 30 spiritually illuminate spaces with words of light, re-consecrating them each year.

In human terms, the menorah lights were impossible around 164 BCE, because there was not enough oil; but miracles defy the impossible, spilling divine light into dark times.

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