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Cosmos, Kochva and Chanukah

In Hebrew planets are known as כוכבי לכת, or walking planets while the rest of the constellations are known as כוכבי שבת, or resting [sitting, stationary] planets.

Does the 8+1 Chanukah menorah have a connection with the [8+1'ish] planets revolving around our cosmos? Rabbi Akiva gave Shimon bar Kozba [שמעון בר כוזבא] the name Bar Kochva, Son of Stars citing [Numbers 24:17] that Israel's savior will rise from Jacob's star. אֶרְאֶ֙נּוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א עַתָּ֔ה אֲשׁוּרֶ֖נּוּ וְלֹ֣א קָר֑וֹב דָּרַ֨ךְ כּוֹכָ֜ב מִֽיַּעֲקֹ֗ב וְקָ֥ם שֵׁ֙בֶט֙ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֔ל What I see for them is not yet

What I behold will not be soon:

A star rises from Jacob,

A scepter comes forth from Israel; About 50 years following the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, circa the year 132 CE, Shimon bar Kochva mints a coin in defiance of the Roman empire calling for the liberation of Jerusalem and depicts a star referred to as Shimon's star, suspended above the Aron HaKodesh.

Bar Kochva and the Maccabees was a response to increased antiSemitism, an uprising that endured three years of resistance from 132 - 135 against the Roman rule. By the year 135, Hadrian and the Roman army imprisoned Bar Kochva in Caesarea, where he was ultimately martyred. This marked the end of the Maccabee revolt. Shimon Bar Kochva's offense is recorded as having been his continued public teaching [of Torah] rather than revolutionary activity [src: Encyclopedia Britannica] How then, is public teaching, or spreading knowledge a threat to the ruling empire? Perhaps only if the ruling empire's foundation is based on false knowledge, then knowledge itself is viewed as venomous. With today's rise of antiSemitism, ethnic intimidation and hate speech, the antidote to antiSemitism may be the same as it was 2,000 years ago -- to spread knowledge seeded within ourselves and allow our pens and candles be our swords. We can either be stationary stars like Kochvei Shevet, and not take action, or be like walking stars, Kochvei Lechet, and mirror the cosmic luminaries above us and increase the reflection of light and truth in the face of hatred and negativity. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks [OBM] said the prescription for antiSemitism is pro-Semitism, engaging mindfully in Jewish mitzvahs. When we ignite the lights of the Chanukah Menorah we take direct action against ethnic intimidation, especially in public centers, and become the continuation of the revolution that martyred our sages. Lighting Chanukah candles is a public display that we are not to be "othered" by any other, and we are strongest when we are together, as one. You may be wondering the answer to our original question, if there are 9 planets, and 8+1 candles, what is the connections between our Shemesh [sun], Shamash [the igniting light] and the actual order of the moving planets? If lighting candles make for happier planets, can coloring planets make for lighter humans? Print a Happy Planets coloring page and find out for yourself...

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Color more Chanukah-themed line art pages here: read more about the Bar Kochva revolt here:


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