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The Composer's notes on "Chanukah, Feast of Dedication"

As was a part of my profession, I was sitting in a "beginning of the school-year" three-day conference where High School and Middle School choral music directors commit masochism singing through some sixty newly written choral arrangements produced by a number of educational publishing companies and directed by their chosen arrangers. I had a splitting headache (which was the norm) when we began singing through "holiday" music and finally a selection for Hanukkah (Chunakah or Khanukah). These arrangements are often the equivalant to pulp fiction in literature; i.e. they churn out these arrangements (and print them on cheap paper) just to make a quick sale on garbage that no one will ever sing again after that school year. Consistent with this declaration, the Hanukkah piece was down right awful and I exclaimed to my friend sitting next to me, "Why doesn't anyone ever write a song about the real meaning of Hanukkah?" Immediately the Lord dropped this song in my head and I sat there scratching out staff paper and writing it down while being surrounded with all that other noise. This song tells the real story of Hanukkah.

Jesus ("Yeshua" or "Yahoshua") kept Hanukkah! How do I know that? John 10:22-23 tells us,

    "At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
The Hebrew word for "Dedication" is "Hannukah." There is no Levitical directive to keep this feast because it celebrates a special event that occured much later in history and really only about 165 years before Jesus' birth. It was an awesome time where people of real faith stood up against the greatest superpower of that time (the Greek Empire) and God gave them victory after victory until the land was cleansed from Greek occupation. What would Jesus do (WWJD)? He not only kept Hanukkah but today he would be keeping it and encouraging the present state of Israel to follow in the footsteps of the Maccabees. The Temple Mount is waiting to be delivered!

If you are interested in understanding this a little better feel free to read the first few chapters of the first book of the Maccabees. It is not in the Protestant Bible but it is in the Catholic Bible. It is considered an "Apocryphal" writing. Some years ago I just went to the Christian bookstore and bought a copy (of the Apocrypha). I also wrote an article that deals in part with this subject. It is called "Were You waiting for the Anti-Christ? You Missed Him!" and is available at BuildUpZion.org

Blessings in Him who is able to keep us.

James F. Wingerter


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