The Fourth Candle
Wednesday, December 25: Tonight, we will join our Jewish friends in lighting the fourth candle. Through study, I have learned that the number four (4) is significantly recurrent in Jewish tradition. There are four (4) parts to the Passover Seder. ‘The Four Questions’. ‘The Four Sons’. ‘Four Cups of Wine’. Four cardinal directions. (Exodus 27:13; Genesis 24:62; Numbers 34:6). Four Matriarchs. Four Angels surrounding the ‘Throne of Glory’. (Numbers 2:10) Four Kingdoms of the Eschaton. (Daniel 2: 31-41; Daniel 7:23-24) Four Sages who enter Paradise. (Chagiga 14b, Zohar I, 26b and Tikunei Zohar, Tikun 40).
As we light the candles tonight, we will meditate on Israel’s deliverance from the four (4) exiles (represented by the ‘Four Cups of Wine). The first candle honoring God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt. The second candle for God’s deliverance of His people from Babylon. The third candle for God’s deliverance of His people from the Greeks. The fourth candle for Israel’s hope for deliverance from the ‘current exile’ by ‘Moshiach’ (or the Messiah).
We are continuously thankful for a God who faithfully delivers us from our oppressors. (Genesis 50:20; Deuteronomy 20:4; Psalms 59:1; Psalms 18:48; Psalms 44:7; Psalms 68:20; Psalms 138:7; Judges 2:8).
Praise be to God.