Beit Yeshua & Machol Dance Ministries  



Hanukkah Play

Curtis & Carolyn

Curtis & Carolyn

Potato Latke's

Group Celebration

Curtis & Carolyn

Group Celebration

Curtis & Carolyn

Group Celebration

Curtis & Carolyn

Group Celebration

Chuck & Janice

Curtis & Carolyn





















The story of Hanukkah, or Chanukah as it is sometimes spelled, is recorded in the inter-Testament (Apocrypha) book of Maccabees.  Hanukkah is called the Feast of Lights or the Festival of Dedication.

Israel had been invaded and was under the control of the wicked king Antiochus of Syria.  Antiochus had crushed the people of Israel and attempted to make them worship Syrian gods.  Antiochus had extinguished the light of the great menorah in the temple and forbade Jewish observances.  He had taken control of the Temple in Jerusalem, and had commanded that pigs be sacrificed to Syrian gods there.

Two Jewish priests, Mattathias and his son, Judah Maccabee, led a revolt against the Syrians and they were eventually defeated and driven out of Israel.

As Judah and his army passed through the gates of Jerusalem, they saw that it lay in ruins.  Buildings were empty and many had been destroyed by the Syrian army.  The gates to the temple had been burned and the inner courts were filled with garbage and weeds. 

They cleaned the temple and built new doors.  On the twenty-fifth of Kislev, they rededicated the Temple to God, but there was only enough holy oil for the large menorah to last one day.  The menorah was lit and "a great miracle happened there" - the oil lasted for eight days, until more holy oil could be acquired.

The people offered prayers of thanksgiving, waved palm branches, and danced to the Lord.



Hanukkah (The Feast of Dedication) is also mentioned in the New Testament

John 10:22  And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of Dedication, and it was winter.

Yeshua, a devout Jewish man and Rabbi, kept all the Festivals from the time he was a boy.



Hanukkah is an eight-day festival occurring in December on Kislev 25.  The date of Kislev 25 probably influenced church father's decision to celebrate the birth of Yeshua on December 25th.

Each night a candle is lit on the special 9-branched Hanukkah menorah.  One candle, the shamash or servant (just like Yeshua), is lit first.  The shamash is used to light the other candles, from right to left.  One candle is lit the first night, two candles the second night, and so on until the eighth night.


This is the blessing to use while lighting the Hanukkah candles.  (There are other blessings for certain nights and a blessing after the candles are lit.)

Blessing before lighting the Hanukkah Candles


Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha'olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu
lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Praised are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has made us holy by mitzvot and instructed us to light the Hanukkah candles.



Special songs such as "Hanukkah O Hanukkah",
"Maoz Tzur", "Shehechianu" and "Dreidel" are sung.




The Dreidel Game (a spinning top)
is a favorite game for children and adults.


Dreidel is a Yiddish word for a four-sided top.  There are four Hebrew letters on the four sides of the dreidel.  The letters are Nun, Gimel, Hey and Shin.  The letters are an acrostic for "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham - A Great Miracle Happened There".  Dreidels can be made from clay, wood, or other materials.  There are many sites on the internet that sell dreidels. 


Any number of people can play the Dreidel game. 
To start, everyone puts a penny (candy or gelt) into the "pot" at the center of the table.  After the Dreidel spins, the side of the Dreidel facing up tells the player what to do.

1. Nun means "Nothing" - You don't win or lose any coins or candy.
2. Gimel means "All" - You get everything in the pot.
3. Hey means "Half" - You get half of what's in the pot.
4. Shin means "Put in One" - You put in one penny or piece of candy.

After each player's turn, everyone puts another penny or coin into the pot.  You can play as many rounds as you like. The one with the most pennies, or pieces of candy, at the end wins.




Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah


Our family started celebrating the Biblical festivals when our children were in their pre-teen years.


Here in 1995 our son, Philip, lights the Hanukkah lights.



Even after our children were married,
we continued the tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles.



When our grandchildren were born, we continued the tradition.



Hanukkah 2004


Carolyn lights the candles while
granddaughters Savanna & Alexandria watch.



The fifth night of Hanukkah means we light 5 candles from the taller shamash candle.


The girls enjoy Hanukkah gifts.




Special foods include cheeses and fried foods, especially doughnuts and latkes.


Potato Latkes are a favorite for our entire family.  There are numerous recipes on the internet.  Here's one of you want to give them a try.


Potato Latkes Recipe


You'll Need:


     Paper Towels
     Mixing Bowl
     Wooden mixing spoon
     Measuring Spoons
     Large Frying Pan
     4 Large Potatoes
     3 Tablespoons Matzah Meal
          (you can find this "sometimes"
          at Harris Teeter...if not, use flour)
     3 Eggs, Beaten
     1 teaspoon salt
     1/4 teaspoon pepper
     Oil for Frying
     Sour Cream


Golden Brown Latkes for Hanukkah


1. Peel and grate potatoes (or you can can buy these at the Super Market)
2. Drain off excess water
3. Place grated potatoes in mixing bowl and add matzah meal, eggs, salt, and pepper.
4. Mix well
5. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in large frying pan.  Drop in 1 large spoonful of mixture for each latke.  Fry a few latkes at a time for 2 minutes on each side until brown.  Add more oil as needed.
6. Drain on paper towels and serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Serves 6


Hanukkah 2005






Our Jewish Roots group met at Duke & Myrl's home for our Hanukkah meeting.  There were 32 of us, which was a lot for a home meeting.  We had a wonderful time.






 Danny does the blessing over the bread & wine.



Cameron Long lights the Shamash & the candle for the first night of Hanukkah.










Usually on Hanukkah we read the story of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil, but I've long wanted to produce a play that presents the story in dramatic form.  Writing the story proved a little more challenging than the Purim play that I had written previously.  It took 3 years for the Hanukkah play and songs to come together, but it finally came together this year and was a lot of fun for the entire group. 







"Hanukkah O Hanukkah"


Click here to see the play script.



The entire cast of our play, "Hanukkah O Hanukkah".






Because we are a smaller group, no one knows till the last minute if they'll get a part in the play or which part they'll have.  Lines are not memorized, but are read for the entire group to enjoy.  The surprise casting and costuming usually gives us a good laugh.






Antiochus & the Syrians had taken control of Israel.



Some of the Jews were willing to compromise in order to live in peace.











Saul puts on a toga and adopts the attitude "When in Rome do as the Romans do".



Judah and his father, Mattathias, refuses to obey the laws of King Antiochus.










Mattathias kills the Jew Emet when he attempts to offer sacrifices to the Syrian gods.



Before he dies, Mattathias blesses his son Judah.  Mattathias asks for those who followed him to now follow Judah, the bravest of all his sons.










Judah eventually defeats the Syrians and cleanses the temple in Jerusalem.



     Carolyn, Becky and Leslie were our Narrators.










The oil for the giant menorah there should have only lasted a day, but miraculously it lasted for eight days until more could be acquired. 


Interested in a copy of the Hanukkah Play?  Click HERE


Food & Fellowship







Doug, Becky, Clara, Bruce and Lynda spend some time in fellowship.



Connie & Myrl seem to be enjoying themselves!










Andy, Jane and Kirk enjoy the food.



It was a great opportunity for us to teach our kids about Hanukkah and how God always provides for all of our needs.










All ages came together to worship the Lord and celebrate Hanukkah.











          Sheryl made a cake for all to enjoy.



An article in the Lincolnton paper says, "Without Chanukah there would be no Christmas".











Celebrating Hanukkah at Home in 2005







Curtis lights Hanukkah candles at home on the 5th night of Hanukkah.









Carolyn enjoys the light from the menorah while she works on a puzzle.



Doug & Lynda join Curtis & Carolyn for lighting the Menorah on the 6th night.






Hanukkah 2006


Friends Gather Together for the First Night of Hanukkah


Lael lights the Hanukkia.
The Shamash is lit and used to light one candle for the first night of Hanukkah.
Myrl lights Shabbat candles.



The 2006 Hanukkah Play Cast

(Left to Right)
Curtis (Director), Bill (Saul, the "wishy-washy" Jew), Jesse (Emet, the "compromising" Jew), Kirk  (King Antiochus Epiphanes), Lael (the Kings attendant), Doug (Mattathias Maccabee, the righteous Jewish Priest),
Paul (Judah Maccabee, Mattathias' righteous son), Andy (James, the righteous Jew)


The Sixth Night of Hanukkah


Susan lights the Hanukkia for the 7th night of Hanukkah.


Our 2006 Family Hanukkah Photos


All decorated and ready to celebrate with the family!


Curtis helps Savanna light candles for the 2nd night of Hanukkah, as Ali watches.


Opening Hanukkah gifts



Carolyn & Curtis light candles for the 5th, 6th & 8th nights of Hanukkah.


Hanukkah 2007


Friends Gather Together for Hanukkah


(Left) Peter lights candles for the 4th night of Hanukkah.
(Right) Susan lights Shabbat candles & Paul says the blessing over the bread & wine.




The 2007 Hanukkah play cast

(Left to Right)
Susan (King Antiochus Epithanes), Sheryl (our hero, Judah Maccabee),
Allison (Narrator), Doris (our other hero, Mattathias Maccabee), Joe (Narrator),
Laura (King Antiochus' attendant), Carolyn (Narrator), Jane (the righteous Jew, James),
Janice & Christi (two Jews who chose to compromise)


Our 2007 Family Hanukkah Photos


Our granddaughter Savanna told her Mom this year, "I can't wait to get to Nonni & Poppi's house so we can celebrate Hanukkah".


This was the first year 5-year-old Ali got to help light the Hanukkia. 
Ali lit the Shamash and Savanna used it to light candles for the 5th day of Hanukkah.


(Below) Curtis lights candles for the 8th day of Hanukkah...
2 candles, 6 candles, 8 candles


Hanukkah 2008


Hanukkiahs are lit as we gathered as a group. 
Susan lights Shabbat candles and Paul says the blessings over the bread & wine.


The 2008 Hanukkah Play Cast


(Below) Chuck & Janice light the 1st candle of Hanukkah in their home in Lincolnton


(Below) Curtis & Carolyn light the 1st candle of Hanukkah in their home in Catawba



Chag Sameach Hanukkah!



Happy Hanukkah to All!