It’s Potato Latke Time!
If your church or Bible study has never held a Hanukkah party, you don’t know what you’re missing.
It’s not difficult, and it teaches both children and adults how God protects His people and how important it is to stand up for what you believe. Hanukkah also has prophetic significance because the murderous Seleucid king of Syria, Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes), who tried to destroy Judaism, is a type of the coming Antichrist.
The joyous, eight-day celebration, also called the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, begins on sundown December 21 and commemorates the cleansing of the Temple after Antiochus desecrated it around 167 B.C. by setting up a statute of Zeus—which looked like Antiochus—in the holy place and sacrificing a female pig on the altar. The heroes were a Jewish priest named Mattathias the Hasmonean, and his son Judah the Maccabee.
Legend goes that, after the Temple was recaptured, the Jewish people wanted to rededicate it but only found enough oil for one day. It took eight days to consecrate new oil. Miraculously, the little cruse lasted eight days, long enough for new oil to be consecrated and the Temple rededicated to the God of Israel.
Hanukkah is a fun time involving potato latkes (pancakes), menorahs, dreidels, games, songs, plays, and presents. Many churches use Hanukkah parties as educational outreaches. And you can hold a party anytime in November or December. Even making the latkes can be fun. Here’s an excellent recipe:
Peel five potatoes and grate them in a food processor. Squeeze out all the liquid. Then grate a small onion into the potatoes. Mix with two tablespoons of matzoh meal (or flour), two eggs, a teaspoon of salt, and a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper. Fry them like pancakes in vegetable oil, about five minutes per side. One batch makes about five latkes. Serve them with applesauce and/or sour cream.
More about the holiday can be found on the Internet. For tips on how to hold a Hanukkah party at your church or Bible study, email Laura Coleman at The Friends of Israel; and she will send you the information. Her email address is LColeman@foi.org.