The festival of Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, is a joyous celebration of gratitude towards the Almighty. A glorified acknowledgment of the miracles that the Lord bestows upon us and the great victories that are granted when faith overcomes ALL obstacles imposed.
Our story takes us back over two thousand years to a time during the Greek conquest of the Middle East and Israel.
Whilst Alexander the Great was alive, Israel was considered a source of spirituality and faith. He allowed the Jews to keep their practices which enabled a peaceful yet short Jewish autonomy.
Things changed quite dramatically after his death as is successors did not have the same approach towards the Jews. The Greek leader’s corruption and lack of morals, caused them to belittle the inner world of the spirit and power of the soul, whilst abolishing monotheism.
They were forceful in their attempt to impose on the faithful a material and external culture that sanctifies the body at the expense of the spirit. When the Jews did not respond positively, the Greeks began a more violent approach threatening the lives of those who stuck to their belief system, eventually forcing the Maccabees to begin a divinely inspired war for the survival of their faith and the inner spirit.
On Hanukkah, we celebrate that single turning point, in which the faithful decided to fight for the sake of their inner world, their faith in a single almighty Lord, and their way of life. To reject rulers who forced upon them a material culture of Hedonism and demanded that they change their values and beliefs. A turning point that led to a long battle that would only cease with a great victory and the purification of the holy temple.
The history of Jerusalem is filled with turning points such as these. Moments of crisis that eventually led to the Victory of the spirit over the material. These moments motivated the faithful to express their faith in the Lord in inspiring manners. Such an expression of faith was revealed before us in a fascinating and fruitful excavation at the Ancient biblical Jerusalem.
A 5 branched menorah carving was discovered in the depth of the Second Temple period drainage channel at the City of David.
The small stone was discovered beside other artifacts of the final days of the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire just before the destruction of the Temple. It is likely that the individual who carved this Menorah, a symbol that is so deeply identified with the Jewish faith and spirit, was inspired by the events occurring around him – the Jewish warriors engaged in the revolt, citizens fleeing and hiding and the impending fall of the Holy Temple and Jerusalem.
The inner spirit beating inside inspired him to leave a sign for generations to come- for our generation! 2000 years later!
It is a symbol of the enduring connection of the Jewish people to their long history in Jerusalem. It is a symbol of the strength within.
These moments are truly what Chanukah is all about.
These expressions of faith are what we now celebrate.
Moments when a Great Light expels the Darkness.
Moments when faith in the almighty trumps fear.
These are the moments that inspire us at the City of David to keep excavating even when UN’s UNESCO demands that we stop.
These artifacts uncovered are a part of prophecy fulfillment and motivate us at the Jerusalem Watch to work harder every day!
This miraculous discovery is a reminder that even in the hardest and darkest times the spirit will prevail and man can see the Lord’s salvation before him.
Article by: Jerusalem Watch Team