Christians & Jews celebrate at Paarl shul

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“Hundreds of Christians and Jews joined together in worshipping the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel at a Chanukah, or Feast of Rededication, service in Paarl last Sunday,” wrote Libby Norton on Gateway News, The SA Christian News portal.
by ANT KATZ with LIBBY NORTON | Dec 21, 2015

Paarl Jewry diminished 

The Chanukah festival is mentioned in the New Testament (many Christian Zionists prefer the terms: Older Testament; and Newer Covenant) in John 10:22-23 “It was winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of the Dedication Celebration. He was at the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Hall.”

Organised by Christians Liz and Jamie Campbell, with Erez Shaked, an Orthodox Jew, of Woven Destinies and Bnoth Zion WIZO in Cape Town, Sunday’s service featured the commanding voice of cantor Barry Braun and others, and was reportedly a deeply spiritual experience.


RIGHT: Dancing during the Feast of Rededication at the Paarl shul last Sunday


Shaked noted that the Hebrew word for miracle is ‘nes’ - and that it is truly a miracle that Christians and Jewish people are meeting in together’nes’, each respecting each other’s beliefs.

The combined Christian-Jewish gathering at the Paarl shul follows the Woven Destinies concert in Cape Town in the magnificent Gardens Synagogue in October during the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Paarl shul was appropriately chosen as this is the “Light of Israel Synagogue” and the feast is also called the Festival of Lights, (with much significance for Christian believers in Yeshua, the Light of the World.) Whilst not among God’s instructed Feasts for observation in the Newer Covenant, it was nevertheless quite likely observed by Jesus, observes Norton.

The distance to Paarl did not deter the scores of people who travelled from Cape Town and surrounding areas to remind the people of the heydays when the shul was full and the Jewish population in the area was far greater than it is today.

Another persective 

Giving the Christian Zionist position, Norton writes: “This festival celebrates the rededication of the Temple on Temple Mount about 160 years before the birth of Jesus. It was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes during the ‘400 silent years’ between the Older Testament and the Newer Covenant. The memorial feast was instituted by Judah Maccabee and his followers who fought and freed the land from the ruling Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks). Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove them from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.”

The Sunday evening festivities concluded on Monday morning, with many of the congregation joyously dancing the hora which lasted until after midnight.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Mervyn Davidson 23 Dec
    I am a member of the Somerset West Hebrew Congregation, another forgotten group of W.C.Jewery, but a strong active Shul.
    Why were we not informed of the Chanukah service?


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