Chanukah – Isaiah 2:5

Chanukah – Isaiah 2:5

The celebration of Chanukah was instituted after prophecy had already ceased from the community of Israel. The religious leadership of the people established this holiday as an expression of thanksgiving to God that is to last through the generations.

This holiday brings to the forefront the question of the authority of the religious leadership of Israel. Who are they to decide on my behalf? Who are they to dictate my personal relationship with God?

In order to answer these questions we need to understand a basic Scriptural concept. The concept I speak of is the entity called “Israel”. This entity is not just a gathering of individuals. It is a community. A community that stands as one before God from the days of the exodus into the future.

This community is human. We have made mistakes and we will make mistakes but this doesn’t change the fact that we stand in a covenantal relationship with God as a community. It is this entity – Eternal Israel, whom God chose to marry. He tied Himself to this community in a covenantal union and it is this covenant that stands at the heart of this community. As partners to God we seek to dispense our duty as a united community before God.

A group of people cannot be united without leadership. Is the leader perfect? Is the leader infallible? Not necessarily, but without a leader there is no community, only a collection of individuals.

How does Israel choose her leaders?

We choose our leaders based on our understanding of our covenantal responsibilities as a community. These are all spelled out in the Law that God gave to Moses. There are various factors that we consider in our choice of a leader. Does this person excel in the grasp of the myriad of details that make up the Law? Does this person embody an understanding of the spirit of the Law? Is this person dedicated to the Law with the fiery love that the Psalmist displayed towards the Law (Psalm 119:97)? Does this person live with an understanding and a vision of the community’s responsibility throughout the ages as did leaders before them (Joshua 22:24-29; Esther 9:27).

We consider these factors and the leaders rise to the top. These are the ones whom God chose to guide this ship of ours through the dark exile. Throughout history various groups jumped ship and made off in their own vessels; some of those may have been larger than the ship we ride today. But all of those deviants went lost in the sea of assimilation.

Yes; there is room for correction and the community corrects itself from time to time. But the process of correction takes place in the context of a community correcting itself. One cannot insist on calling themselves “Jews” while repudiating the entire concept of an Eternal community. Those who join the community must first submit to the concept of Eternal Israel; they cannot expect to be a part of the covenant on their own terms. Ruth; the quintessential convert, first declared: “Your nation is my nation” before she declared: “Your God is my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Chanukah is the celebration of the light that God entrusted us with. The ultimate goal is described in Isaiah 60:3; when the nations will all walk to our light. Meanwhile we carry that light, a light that is larger and brighter than ourselves, but as God’s bride He entrusted it to us to carry through the darkness and we carry it as a community.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

 

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10 Responses to Chanukah – Isaiah 2:5

  1. Dear Readers;
    We are lied to by those who want to lead us into oblivion. Paul set the standard, and it is followed by the missionaries an do others who wish to assimulate you and I into their un-Torah form of faith.
    We have the responsibility and duty to know what G-d wants of us; “We shall do, and we shall learn!” was statted by all the souls of Israel at Sinai. Our sages and Prophet have interperted this last as all the souls of Jews, including the convert, until the end of time.
    Along side with the profession of for eternity repeated throughout the Tanach, there is no room for a side-ridder of people, accepting other forms of theos, trying to say that theyhave taken our place. How can they, if they refuse to learn His way, to do their lives according to what He told Israel? If this Eternal Promise is not accepted by them, they cannot be a part of Israel.
    A born Jew who accepts their was also separates her/himself from Israel and from G-d, so they are respected as human beings, but not as a part of His Chosen People’s commuity
    Simple. We are entrusted with His light. Shine.
    However, anyone who has not committed a sin unparnable can T’shuva, and return to HIs People.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  2. Dear Readers;
    We are lied to by those who want to lead us into oblivion. Paul set the standard, and it is followed by the missionaries and do others who wish to assimulate you and I into their un-Torah form of faith.
    We have the responsibility and duty to know what G-d wants of us; “We shall do, and we shall learn!” was statted by all the souls of Israel at Sinai. Our sages and Prophet have interperted this last as all the souls of Jews, including the convert, until the end of time.
    Along side with the profession of for eternity repeated throughout the Tanach, there is no room for a side-ridder of people, accepting other forms of theos, trying to say that theyhave taken our place. How can they, if they refuse to learn His way, to do their lives according to what He told Israel? If this Eternal Promise is not accepted by them, they cannot be a part of Israel.
    A born Jew who accepts their was also separates her/himself from Israel and from G-d, so they are respected as human beings, but not as a part of His Chosen People’s commuity
    Simple. We are entrusted with His light. Shine.
    However, anyone who has not committed a sin unparnable can T’shuva, and return to HIs People.
    Shalom;
    Yechiel

  3. Dear Readers;
    Not through, yet. Gev on RPP made a good comment; >>>
    Leading national-religious personality Rabbi Yuval Cherlow has called for state recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations as a means of preventing their alienation from the Jewish state.
    Cherlow added, however, that this recognition should be political in nature and not on the basis of Jewish law.
    Cherlow, the dean of the Hesder Yeshiva of Petah Tikva, made his comments in a letter addressed to his students following his return from a visit to the US last week in which he spelled out his concern for the ongoing assimilation of Jews outside Israel and what he described as a decreasing sense of Jewish identity in the Diaspora.
    <<<
    My concern is that, with us fighting among ourselves, the Missionaries as the J4J and the Hebrew Christians have a foot into our home. Do you want to let them in? Or, do you feel that a strong Torah Strong Jewish Home is what we need.
    Do we want to see Judaism desolve into the abyass of history, or to be strong to carry out His Will.
    We are supposed to wait at least until Moshiac arrives; but if we do not pay attention to the warnings we are getting, even from our enimies, we shall fail Him.
    T'Shuva is part of the deal for a reason, as the only means open for a human to have salvatioin. Any one can. I have and am; are you.

  4. Dina says:

    The ship metaphor is a good one. Very inspiring, thank you!

  5. CP says:

    R’B,
    Happy Chanukah!

    Sorry, I kinda choked on the first sentence:
    “The celebration of Chanukah was instituted after prophecy had already ceased from the community of Israel.”
    Who may I ask has the right to go against Torah which instructs us how to identify a prophet and declare ‘prophecy has ceased’?!
    This has always bothered me.

  6. “your nation is my nation” before declaring “your God is my God!”
    This is so illuminating~~😇
    Way before the apostles began to delcare “Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” Yeshua ,who was found in the Temple, declared to his parents, “Don’t you know that i am to be in the house of my Father?”
    Messianic gentiles must respect and join the majesty of the Jerusalem temple in the nation of Israel before applying it to their body in the gentile world. The order is so important.

    Church has not begun on the Pentacost by Peter’s sermon, the already-existing church (Israel! Jews! Judaism!) restored its saltiness and vibrancy by the Holy Spirit.
    Thank you brother!
    please send me your email address
    via geangukjeon@fuller.edu

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