Chanukkah and our home

Shalom, dear children!
by Noa Naor

 Isn’t it wonderful to live in a house in which you feel at home? Of course, we all know that a house is a place to live in; however, this month we’ll learn about the ‘dedication of the Temple and of your house’, and you might wonder what those two have got to do with each other.The Temple, in Hebrew called ‘Beth HaMikdash’, is not only the place where the people of Israel brought their sacrifices.
First of all, it was G-d’s ‘home’, through which He could live amongst His people. When G-d commanded Moses to make and organize the Tabernacle, He said: “And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25 verse 8).Did you know, that, apart from being your parent’s child, you’re also G-d’s child? He cares for us, loves us and wants to live with us. Even though we cannot see our heavenly Father, He surely is with us!

This month we remember the miracle of Chanukah. We celebrate G-d’s victory in the time of the Maccabees. Remember? Antiochus the Fourth defiled the Temple and killed Jews who did not stop worshipping G-d. Finally, the Maccabees won. The defiled Temple had to be made holy again. Holy means: being set apart for G-d in a way that honors Him.Before the Temple could function again, there was oil needed to keep the everlasting lamp burning. There was no more holy, kosher oil but one jar. This jar would only last for one day, and the making of new, holy oil would take eight days! G-d is faithful to His people, and made this little bit of oil last eight whole days!

Like the Temple became holy again, there is a thing called ‘Chanukat Bayit’: the dedication of your home. It is the tradition for Jews, after they move into their appartments, to invite family and friends to celebrate their new home. At this moment they place the mezuza on the doors of their house. This tradition is to ask G-d’s blessing for your most important place: your home. Like G-d wants to live with us, we wish Him to bless our homes. We also wish Him to bless all that we do in our homes: that it will praise Him!

Happy Chanukah!
Noa Naor, Jerusalem

Verse to remember: “..Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from G-d, and that you are not your own?” (First Corinthians 6 verse 19).