Quoting Quiverfull: “Hanukkah” Parenting?

Quoting Quiverfull: “Hanukkah” Parenting? December 9, 2013

by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies – Full Time Hanukkah Parenting

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The word “train” is “hanuk,” the verb of Hanukkah, meaning “to initiate, dedicate, consecrate.” It is not enough to celebrate Hanukkah for eight days. As parents, we are in a FULLTIME HANUKKAH CELEBRATION!

When we understand that to train our children means to dedicate them to the Lord, it gives us new vision. Everything we do is now in the light of dedicating our children to the Lord and setting them apart for His service. It’s not a one-time dedication. It is a verb which requires daily action.

When our children are disobedient or don’t complete what we have asked them to, we can sometimes be lazy and let it go. But, not if we understand we are daily dedicating them to the Lord. How can we let things go when we consecrating them to God’s holy service. We have the responsibility to train and prepare them for Him

As children get older, they can become more worldly and want to do what other more worldly teens are doing. We could think, “Oh that is the stage they are going through.” But, not if we understand that we are daily consecrating them to the Lord. We will pray up a storm. We will fight the devil. We will work with our children to keep them on the narrow road that leads to life. We will do everything to save them from the broad road that leads to destruction. WE ARE HANUKKAH PARENTS!

When we “hanuk” our children, it determines how we educate our children. It would be ludicrous to send our children into a an ungodly education system each day when we are daily consecrating them for God’s purposes.

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • lodrelhai

    Anybody else extremely uncomfortable with the appropriation of another religion’s holiday to discuss something that has NOTHING to do with that holiday?

    I also wonder a bit how these people who claim to love and worship their God justify completely overstepping themselves in his name. How can they let things go? Gee, GOD does it all the time! Every day people want to do things that aren’t good, are repeatedly warned its not good – but if they go with it anyway, they have that choice. And they live the consequences. I’m not saying children should be allowed to do anything they like, but if you’re trying to teach something and the lesson just does not stick, it is time to at least change your approach. Take a while to consider if the lesson is important enough to be worth the struggle, and maybe find a different way to address the issue.

    If the supposedly-omnipotent God of the entire universe thinks it is more important for people to freely choose to follow him than to prevent them from burning for eternity, how do these people justify constricting and undermining that free will in everything?

  • Trollface McGee

    Full time Hanukkah? Presents every day! Latkes!… Well after a while I’d get bored of latkes and go broke buying presents but it’d be fun for a while.
    Also way to not understand the whole idea behind the holiday… just because it has a word in it you can possible twist to your own stupid use, for your agenda does not mean you should.
    Yeah, we get it, you think homeschooling is awesome and perfect, so write that, don’t bring Hanukkah into it unless you come bearing latkes and gelt and dreidels for the cats and kiddies.

  • persephone

    Could one of the Hebrew specialists here tell us what the real word for train is in Hebrew? Nancy has her own special ideas about word etymology.

  • Saraquill

    I refuse to regard her as any kind of authority regarding Judaism.

  • “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The word “train” is “hanuk,” the verb of Hanukkah, meaning “to initiate, dedicate, consecrate.”
    1) Initiating and dedicating is not a full time thing, but a way of beginning something. So her ideas on home schooling because of it fails. I do believe, though, that parents should have told their child about Jesus before school age.
    2) The training is ” in the way he should go” not in the way the parent wants. Parents who are dissappointed that their schooled-to-stay-home daughters rebelled and moved out and works arguably did not train them in the way they “should go” according to God, but in the way the parents wanted.
    3) Even then, the promise is not that he will never depart, but that he will not depart when old. Statistically, it seems the majority of church youth spend time exploring other ideas about God, or not thinking much about him, in the young adult years.

  • Levedi

    Exactly what I was thinking. I’d love to know more about this particular verse’s meaning, but I’m not putting any faith in Nancy’s ability to do basic exegesis, let alone translate ancient Hebrew.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    But dontcha know? Jewish cultural appropriation is all the rage among conservative Christians now! (Not that they don’t still look upon us actual Jews as inferior, of course–details, details…)

    I think Chanukah as it is goes on just about as long as it should. If I ate all those latkes all the time, you’d just have to roll me from place to place…

  • Melissa Jones Hollowell

    Oy it is bad enough she doesn’t understand her own faith can she please leave mine alone?

  • Random girl

    Hi. I’m a random Jewish person who randomly went on this site and saw this. I also happen to be knowledgeable and observant, and I can confirm that the word of this line (verse) is chanuch. I’d translate it as educate or teach, not train, though. In Hebrew that verse is teach a child according to his way (al pi darku) which is very different from this translation. The way I read it and the way I was taught is that we must teach each child according to his unique way of learning, her personality, his gifts and challenges and so on.

    The two words, chanuch and Chanukah, do seem to have the same root, but Hebrew is complex and I should look into it to make sure. The whole way of Jewish education, from biblical sources to later sources of oral law and many years of tradition, involves teaching young children the basics. But starting as soon as children can think analytically, now they start at age 9 or 10 generally, children are taught multiple viewpoints. They learn in pairs, always with a trained teacher (generally not the parent) and are told to read statement, stories and laws, and argue it out with a study buddy. Not much obedience there.

  • Serena763

    It’s called being a helicopter parent but as far as the Jewish deal goes…. Fundie’s have a love/hate relationship with Jews. My mother started out loving Jews as they were God’s chosen people..and even started learning Hebrew, celebrated Hanukkah once…other odd randomness…(as directed by the church) only to then turn around and condemn Jews to hell for not believing in Jesus/New Testament. (As directed by the church) *rolls eyes*

  • Wallydraigle

    Hebrew major here. I’m a little rusty, but I remember enough about my schooling to know that this is a ridiculous way to argue that kids should not be put in school.

    It’s the same root, yes, but just like any other language, you can’t necessarily back-trace a derived form’s definition onto its root. If you think about it, this could produce some ludicrous results. Is there something sinister about framing pictures simply because we also say people are framed for crimes they didn’t commit? No. It’s not that they’re unrelated at all, but you need to be careful how you link them. The writer here in Proverbs probably did intend a religious upbringing, but that’s not because of the word used. From what I can tell (again, this is venturing into rusty territory for me), the verb is used to mean “train” when it refers to people (the same root is used to refer to Abram’s “trained men” in Gen. 14:14; I highly doubt that it really means “holy” or “consecrated men,” as she would argue), and “dedicate” when it refers to objects.

    And the Hebrew Bible was written over many years. Language can change fairly quickly. People often forget this when attempting to wringe meaning from comparisons between different parts of the Bible; again, it’s not a useless practice, but one needs to be careful with it.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Yeah, that’s not loving Jews. That’s loving some fundie biblical fantasy of what and who Jews are that has nothing at all to do with actual Jews and our own self-identity, culture(s) etc. When fundies say they love Jews, they might as well be saying that they love hobbits or elves. We’re not people to them, we just have an exciting role to play in their wacky sci fi worldview. We’re a means to an end. (and, in person, probably cheap, untrustworthy etc., of course.)