The script is the actual book. It contains a lot more material.
You should read it. Really, all the fun stuff is in the footnotes.
How odd is it that I’m the one telling this story? I’m not a Jew. I’m not a Christian. And yet here I am. Why me? Why isn’t a Jew or a Christian telling this story?
Well, Jews don’t know it. Sorry, Jews, but you really don’t. The story of Hanukkah is told in a couple of Bible books, Macabbees I and Maccabbees II, and neither of these Bible books is in the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible.
The only place you can find those two books now is in Catholic Bibles. How weird is that?
So if you’re a Jew, and want to read the story of the Macabbees and the re-dedication of the Temple, the basis for one of the most important celebrations in Judaism, that’s what you need to find: a Catholic Bible.
I personally guarantee that no Jew you know has ever read either of those books. No Jews even have them in their libraries, except for a few rabbis maybe, and not many of those.
Of course no Christian has ever read them either.
Nobody knows this story. And anyone who starts looking into it, frankly, starts getting bewildered. Really fast. His (or her) mind starts doing pinwheels. People today just don’t have the Background for it anymore. When it comes to Old Testament history, people these days, if you don’t mind my saying, are a pretty ignorant bunch.
So I researched the Maccabees for about 8 years before I first celebrated Hanukkah myself. I thought it would be amusing.
Instead, I discovered something truly wonderful.
Hanukkah celebrates re-dedication. It celebrates the miraculous potential to start again, to renew your broken vows. It celebrates how the Lord accepts our failures as well as our success, and is ever-ready to bless us as we try anew.
You cant imagine how unexpected the Hanukkah miracle was to the Jews 2200 years ago. Theyd totally screwed up. Theyd basically stopped being Jews — some willingly, some unwillingly. The famous miracle of the oil only happened because theyd screwed up so much that theyd allowed their Temple — their only place of worship — to be desecrated. When they finally made up their minds to try to start again, they discovered they didnt have the sacred oil they needed — oil that needed to be prepared in the light of the sacred flame of the Temples menorah. It took eight days to prepare it, and they only had enough for one. Their hopes of starting again were dashed.
But somehow — for the first time in their history, actually — the Lord took pity on them. He blessed their desire to re-dedicate themselves, and kept the sacred flame burning.
The real miracle isnt the oil. Its that blessing: a fundamental change in our relationship with our Higher Power. That if we even try to crawl to him, the Lord runs to meet us.
It was such a fundamental change, such a miraculous change, that the Jews started Hanukkah to share it.
Hanukkah isnt meant only for Jews. The lights are lit in darkness and set outside so everyone can share. Unlike any other Jewish holiday, Hanukkah is done in public, so everyone can join in. Its always been that way. Non-Jews have always been encouraged to participate.
Thats the whole point really. Hanukkah is an invitation, to everyone, to celebrate the potential for rededication.
Even if youre not Jewish, I invite you to join me and celebrate Hanukkah this year. So light a candle with me, and re-promise your broken promises. Rededicate yourself.
I spent several years researching its history, and then putting that history into a book, and then (with the help of David Wilcox) an audiobook. Its a great story. The most wonderful story I know, and in the grand tradition of this wonderful fiesta, Im pleased to share all of it for free.
You can listen online or download the audio files here.
PS: You may think you need to have menorah. You dont. Menorahs are [relatively] recent. To learn about the other tradition for sharing the Hanukkah lights, see http://bit.ly/18lG6ak
PPS: It would make me so happy if you shared this site.
A few priorities of Hanukkah:
Longest Jewish celebration (1 day longer than Rosh Hashonah, which is a week + hours to accommodate for sunset in Jerusalem, not for Hanukkahs 8 full days) Only public Jewish celebration. Only time candles are lit after dark, or placed outside. First celebration established by the Jews themselves (i.e., not in the Torah) Celebrated continuously and with little change for more nearly 2200 years.
Established in 164 BCE, so older than -the wedding ceremony (2nd Centutry CE) -the Passover Haggadah (8th Century) -Bar Mitzvahs (16th Century)
The Talmud states that if unable to afford to purchase both lights for Hanukkah and wine for Passover, that a Jew should buy the Hanukkah lights.
The Talmud states that a Jew should sacrifice to buy the lights. Even a Jew receiving charity should buy the lights. “A man should sell his own clothes if need be” to buy the lights of Hanukkah.
The reason for this, according to the Talmud, is that the light is meant to be seen by Jews and Gentiles alike. Thats why the lights are supposed to be placed outside, or at least in a window: so all can share the light.
This is the the true story of Hanukkah, which I call 8 nights, or sometimes: Eight Nights.
This is the Eight Nights audiobook, or the Eight Nights audio book, or the Eight nights book, or the 8 nights book, or the 8 nights audio book , or the 8 nights audiobook, or the Hanukkah book, or the Hanukkah audio book , or the Hanukkah audiobook,
The author of 8 nights is John Speed, John Speed is the author, John Speed is the narrator, John Speed is the reader,