Messianic Rabbi Eric Carlson and his wife Rabbitzin Barbara of Newport News Va., have been called to spread the Good News of Messiah Yeshua’s Grace and Glory in the United States and in the countries of the Former Soviet Union (having performed Gods work in Hungary, Russia, and the Ukraine).
Active in Aliyah, the world wide exodus of the Children of Israel back to Israel as prophesied in the Bible, Zion’s Sake has sponsored the return home of over 2,269 Jewish people from Russian and the Ukraine. Through a prophetic vision from God, they were called to spread the “Good News’ of the Jewish Messiah according to the Law of Evangelism; To the Jew First. To provoke the Jewish people to jealousy. To reach the lost and hurting through the Love of Messiah and to feed the starving and clothe the naked in Newport News, Virginia, America, and the Nations.
Rabbitzin Barb Carlson Leads the Zion's Sake dancers, a “One New Man” (Ephesians 2:15) Messianic Jewish Dance Team. They are dedicated to restoring Jewish and Davidic Dance. Many of their dances consist of the "circle dance" which represents unity. It is also traditional Judaic beliefs that demonic forces cannot penetrate a circle. They dance before the Lord, sowing praise and worship unto the God of Israel!by Messianic Rabbi Eric CarlsonIn 242 B.C., Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Ruler of Syria, invaded and conquered Jerusalem. Taking it without difficulty, he killed many and plundered the city after which he returned to Syria.
Two tears later, Antiochus returned to Jerusalem with his army. He treated the Jews with great cruelty, dismantling the walls of Jerusalem, burned the finest part of the city, and took all the golden vessels and treasures form the temple, stopping all Jewish sacrifices and worship. He defiled the altar by sacrificing a pig on it and erected an altar to Zeus in the temple. Jews were ordered to stop worshiping the God of Israel, cease all Jewish religious practice, and were ordered to stop circumcising their children. Those who defied these orders were tortured, mutilated, crucified, or hung.
A Jewish priest named Mattathias gathered a large force and rebelled against the Syrians, overturning the pagan altars and killing those who sacrificed on them. He also ordered all the male children circumcised. They then fled to the desert with their families and lived in caves. The Syrians marched against them and killed over 1,000 of them by burning them in their caves. Mattathias became ill after commanding for one year and died, leaving his son Judas Maccabeus as commander.
Judas Maccabeus, with his brothers, continued the fight and drove the Syrians from the country in 164 B.C. Judas told the Jewish people upon the victories God had given them to go to Jerusalem and purify the Temple and offer sacrifices. The people went and rebuilt the altar and restored the sacred Temple Implements. When they were prepared to rekindle the Temple Menorah they could only find one druse of oil that was oil to last one day. Standing on faith and the Word of the Lord, the Menorah was kindled and the one day supply of oil miraculously burned for eight days until new oil could be prepared. This is the 8 day Miracle of Lights.
We see a common thread between this story and Elijah in I Kings 17: 10-16 “So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a cup of water?’ As she was going to get it, he called to her, ‘Bring me a bite of bread, too.’ But she said, ‘I swear by the LORD your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.’
Messiah Yeshua, King of the Jews and Savior of the world, who shed His blood for our sins, celebrated Hanukkah as we read in Yochanan (John) 10:22-23- “22 Then came Hanukkah in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the temple area, in Shlomo’s (Solomon’s) Colonnade.” Yeshua is the “Light of the World and the focus in this season of Miracles!
How Do I Celebrate Hanukkah?
The Hanukkah celebration is a time for family and prayer. Hanukkah is a time to focus on the light of the world, Yeshua. The Hanukkah (9 branch) menorah should be placed in a window or outside to publicize this great miracle. The candles are placed in the menorah from left to right and the candles are kindled from right to left. The center candle is called the shammash (caretaker/helper). The shamash is removed, lit, and used to kindle the other candles then returned to its holder.
The first night of Hanukkah you will have two candles in your menorah, the Shamash and one candle for the first night of Hanukkah. The second night you will have three candles, the Shamash and two candles on the far right of the menorah representing two nights of Hanukkah and so on through the eight days!
On the last night of Hanukkah you will have all nine candles in the menorah. You will need a total of 44 candles for the entire Hanukkah celebration. The candles should be lit at sundown and the whole family should be gathered (it's acceptable to wait past sundown so that the entire family can gather around the menorah). The candles should remain lit for at least 30 minutes.
The following blessings are recited when kindling the candles:
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech ha’olam, Asher Kid’shanu b’mitsvotav vitsivanu, Le-had-lik Ner Hanukkha.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by Your commandments and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkha.
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech ha’olam, She-o-so Ni-sim La-avo-sei-nu Ba-yo-mim Ho-haim Bi-z’man Ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.
Shema, Yisrael Adonai EloheynuAdonai Echad. Baruch shem kavod, malchuto, l’olam vayed.
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be His name, His glorious kingdom forever. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech haolam, asher natan lanu et Derek ha’Yeshua, b’Miashiach, Yeshua.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us the way of salvation in Messiah Yeshua.
After the blessings, kindle the candle or candles. The following scriptures may be read, followed by prayer and family fellowship. This is a quiet time, a time focused on our heavenly Father. Spend time with your Family and God! Shut off the television, turn off the radio, block out the things of this world and enter into the presence of the most high!
For Sid, the Staff of Messianic Vision, and Myself,
Chag Sameach, Happy Holidays and Happy Hanukkah!