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Thread: How's this for dedication?

  1. #1
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    Default How's this for dedication?

    In case anyone is interested, I thought I'd mention that Hanukkah ("The Festival of Dedication;" cf. John 10:22) begins tonight. Here are a couple of interesting things in that regard.

    I remember a Talmudic passage I once read years ago (30+ years ago, to be more precise) that enjoined celebrants to light their Hanukkah candelabra (Menorah; actually a nine-branched Menorah called a Hanukkiyah) b’pharhessia (publicly, out in the open, as in, in their windows and/or assorted other public places). I’ll never forget reading that passage as long as I live because the word b’pharhessia is not an Aramaic word; in fact, it is a loan word from the Greek. That stuck with me all these years. I have never forgotten the word b’pharhessia.

    Anyway, here I am, intending to preach on John 10:22 ff this weekend. I cannot begin to tell you my surprise at finding this same Greek word in that passage, which takes place at Hanukkah. (Joh 10:24 BGT) ἐκύκλωσαν οὖν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ ἕως πότε τὴν ψυχὴν ἡμῶν αἴρεις; εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, εἰπὲ ἡμῖν παρρησίᾳ.

    Tell us plainly, openly, publically. Wow, awesome that the word was used in connection with Jesus on the festival of Hanukkah!

    Another interesting fact concerns the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah upon which there are eight branches and then a ninth. The ninth is called the shamash (candle), or the “servant” candle. All the other candles are lit by this one servant candle. Is that not a wonderful picture of our Messiah Jesus? For he came as the “light of the world” (John 8:12), came as a servant (Mk 10:45) to give light to everyone (John 1:4–5), so that we might be lights to others (Mt 5:14). And we are to let our lights so shine before men; b’pharhessia, as it were. Our light is not to be hidden, but plainly visible. (Mat 5:14-16) 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    Amazing. God never ceases to amaze.
    Last edited by ISalzman; 12-11-2009 at 01:02 PM.

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    Thanks for the info Salzman!

    Do you happen to know where in the Talmud your quite is from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Luna View Post
    Thanks for the info Salzman!

    Do you happen to know where in the Talmud your quite is from?
    Unfotunately, I don't. It's been 30+ years since I read the said passage. I tried to do a brief search of my digital Babylonian Talmud (Soncino), but couldn't locate the phrase. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Luna View Post
    Do you happen to know where in the Talmud your quite is from?
    "Our Rabbis taught: It is incumbent to place the Hanukkah lamp by the door of one's house on the outside; if one dwells in an upper chamber, he places it at the window nearest the street. But in times of danger it is sufficient to place it on the table. Raba said: Another lamp is required for its light to be used; yet if there is a blazing fire it is unnecessary. But in the case of an important person, even if there is a blazing fire another lamp is required. What is the reason of Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislew commence the days of Hanukkah, which are eight on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit the lamp therewith for eight days. The following year these days were appointed a Festival with the recital of Hallel and thanksgiving." Shabbath 21b

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    "Our Rabbis taught: It is incumbent to place the Hanukkah lamp by the door of one's house on the outside; if one dwells in an upper chamber, he places it at the window nearest the street. But in times of danger it is sufficient to place it on the table. Raba said: Another lamp is required for its light to be used; yet if there is a blazing fire it is unnecessary. But in the case of an important person, even if there is a blazing fire another lamp is required. What is the reason of Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislew commence the days of Hanukkah, which are eight on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit the lamp therewith for eight days. The following year these days were appointed a Festival with the recital of Hallel and thanksgiving." Shabbath 21b
    Good job, Scott. I actually was looking at that very passage earlier today. Pages 21-23 in the tractate 'Sabbath' deal with Hanukkah. I have the Soncino Talmud which I purchased from Davka Software many moons ago, and its fully searchable in both Hebrew (Aramaic) and English. The trouble was, I didn't find the word I mentioned above (b'pharhessia, which means publicly, visible, or in plain sight). The Aramaic term in the said discussion in tractate Sabbath was pirsummei nissa. I can't help but remember the term b'pharhessia, which was drummed into us by one of my rabbis at the Yeshivah (rabbinical academy). It may be that the term was used by Rashi in his commentary on the said passage. Rashi tends to have an affinity for using foreign language terms in his explanations. I have seen many a French word (Rashi was born and lived in France) and even Greek words used by Rashi to explain Hebrew and Aramaic terms. It's always kind of interesting when you find those terms in his commentary because they are in transliterated Hebrew characters. I remember him once using the term okeanos, which is the Greek word for "ocean."

    Anyway, I went to a traditional Jewish website this afternoon, where they have an 'Ask the Rabbi' area. I submitted the question, "Where can I find the Jewish text which uses the term b'pharhessia with respect to the placement of the Hanukkah menorah? I will update this thread if and when I receive an answer from there. But, interestingly, as I mentioned in my earlier post, the Jewish leaders asked Jesus (Jn 10:24), "If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." The word plainly or publicly is the Greek word paressia. I just thought that was so cool, since it occurs in a text whose whole context is Hanukkah (there called "the feast of Dedication").

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    Quote Originally Posted by isalzman View Post
    in case anyone is interested, i thought i'd mention that hanukkah ("the festival of dedication;" cf. John 10:22) begins tonight. Here are a couple of interesting things in that regard...
    לאַנג לעבן זאָלסטו
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    לאַנג לעבן זאָלסטו

    Brian qnad ~[nyyv a

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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post

    Brian qnad ~[nyyv a
    נישטאָ פֿאַרוואָס

    You're welcome
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    נישטאָ פֿאַרוואָס

    You're welcome
    Very good, Brian! As if you didn't already have my full respect and admiration! (Don't worry, you did!) Now, you're really impressing me. Where did you learn Yiddish like that? When I attended the Yeshivah in my youth, we actually used to translate the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud into Yiddish, believe it or not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    It may be that the term was used by Rashi in his commentary on the said passage.
    Hello Friend,

    I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the passage you were thinking of but
    פרסומי and פירסום which can mean advertising or publicity (at least in modern Hebrew) is the only thing in this section that looks close.


    (Abbreviated)פרק שני - במה מדליקין


    ואין מורידין ת"ר נר חנוכה מצוה להניחה על פתח ביתו מבחוץ אם היה דר בעלייה מניחה בחלון הסמוכה לרה"ר ובשעת הסכנה מניחה על שלחנו ודיו אמר רבא צריך נר אחרת להשתמש לאורה ואי איכא מדורה לא צריך ואי אדם חשוב הוא אע"ג דאיכא מדורה צריך נר אחרת

    (RASHI/Abbreviated)

    מבחוץ - משום פרסומי ניסא ולא ברה"ר אלא בחצרו שבתיהן היו פתוחין לחצר

    ואם היה דר בעלייה - שאין לו מקום בחצרו להניחה שם

    מניחה - מבפנים כנגד חלון הסמוך לרה"ר

    הסכנה - שהיה להם לפרסיים חוק ביום אידם שלא יבעירו נר אלא בבית ע"ז שלהם כדאמרינן

    בגיטין פ"ב דף יז
    ....
    בנר חנוכה פטור - חנוני שברשות פירסום מצוה הניחה שם
    Last edited by bkMitchell; 12-13-2009 at 07:24 AM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


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