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Weekly D'rash Mikets Chanukah

This week to commemorate Chanukah, there is a special Haftorah reading which includes the fourth chapter of the prophet Zechariah. This chapter is in a section of the book that is highly autobiographical. Zechariah is describing a vision that he has had about a brightly lit menorah that has a never ending supply of oil. The angel explains to Zechariah that the vision is a message that the Second Temple would be built despite a 'mountain’ of difficulties. The victory would not come as a result of human ingenuity or power: “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of hosts (Zech 4:7). This was a great word that Zechariah was to give to Zerubbabel the leader of the nation. The circumstances seemed insurmountable. It would be by the faithfulness and power of God that the Temple would be rebuilt.

In the Torah portion, Joseph would not have had success if not for the faithfulness of God. The history of the Jewish people is filled with great trial and difficulty. It is by the power of God that Israel is preserved to this day. In your own life, God is at work even though it might not be evident to the naked eye. Circumstances can make us feel hopeless, but our hope is in God and we know that he is always at work to bring his will to pass. Sometimes we try to orchestrate God's work. Our role is to obey him and be sensitive to his leading. Focus on God and on King Messiah—he will indeed bring victory. He is the light of the world that finds its source in the neverending oil of the Ruach HaKodesh. Be encouraged, as the last chapter has yet to be written. The mountain may seem insurmountable, but keep praying and fixing your eyes on Yeshua, and you will never be without hope.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Howard

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