1) Hanukkah's very existence shows that prophesy in the Hebrew Bible is historically verifiable.
The actual Feast of Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, (which Christians call the "Old Testament") but the eventsthat Hanukkah commemorate certainly are! They were borne out in history 237 years after they were prophesied by Daniel, in such detail and elaboration that anyone will an open mind would have to conclude that the Bible is accurate where it predicts future events, including those about he Maccabean Revolt and the defeat of the Seleucid emperor Antiochus Epiphanes, the "Haman" of Hanukkah, who defiled the Temple and lost his war with the Jews. (Daniel chapter 8, Daniel chapter 11).But Daniel spoke about more than just that: he went into detail about the identity, the advent, the life and the death of the Messiah, who could only have been "cut off" around AD 30 or 33. (Daniel 9:24-27) However, the Jewish community has historically denied that this Messiah could have been Jesus of Nazareth. To them: Hanukkah was historically verified to happen when it did, but not that their Messiah was "cut off" (Dan. 9:26) in 30-33 AD. Go figure!
2) The only place in Scripture where Hanukkah is mentioned is in the NEW Testament, not in the "Old"!
The Jewish community relies upon certain books of the Apocrypha such as I Maccabees and II Maccabees for a history of the events that surround Hanukkah. The Synagogue never accepted these books as part of Scripture, but rather as generally reliable history. The churches of the Protestant Reformation held to the same view. But only in the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verses 20-22 is the "Feast of the Dedication" mentioned, and it's mentioned in connection with Jesus. The Hebrew word for "dedication" is "Hanukkah".
3) Christmas is always on December 25th, and Hanukkah is always on Kislev 25th. Coincidence?
Kislev is a Jewish calendar month, equivalent to November-December, and Hanukkah is always celebrated on the 25th day of that month. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, unlike the Christian calendars, both Julian and Gregorian. By strange coincidence, Christmas has been celebrated in the western churches on December 25th since the days of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor in the Fourth Century AD. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated then. What does that have to do with Hanukkah's Kislev 25? One theory (and it's one of several!) is that the Church was trying to pre-empt Hanukkah's observation among new pagan converts. who might have become Jewish otherwise! In the 4th Century AD, Judaism was a proselytizing religion, just as Christianity was. Both Church and Synagogue were in severe competition for credibility among the pagans. As the Church grew more influential, it legislated anti-Jewish laws to reduce Jewish influence in the Empire. And this date could have been one such example. It is highly unlikely that Jesus was actually born on December 25th, but the early Church wanted His birth celebrated then, and it's easy to see why they might've wanted to "pre-empt" Hanukkah.
4) Since the founding of the State of Israel, Israeli dreydels have had their lettering changed.
Judaism is a religion of many traditions, some biblical, some not. During the Middle Ages, a Hanukkah game was invented that used a spinning top called a "dreydel". The game is still played today. On the four sides of the top are four Hebrew letters that stand for the four words "Naise Gadol Haya Sham" (transliterated from the Hebrew) which means "A Great Miracle Happened There", referring to the legend of the one day's worth of oil lasting for eight days after the Jerusalem temple had been cleansed from defilement. But since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948, it doesn't make sense for dreydels made there to say "Sham", meaning "there". So instead, the "Sham" has been changed to "Poh", meaning "Here", so that it reads "A Great Miracle Happened Here." (What does that have to do with the price of tea in Tel Aviv? Nothing, really.)
5) The Jews wanted to know from Jesus if He was a Messiah like Judah Maccabee once was.
Re-read John 10:22-42, which begins with "Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon's porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him. How long do you keep us in doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly ..." Hanukkah is the time when they'd remember the national "savior" of his day: Judah Maccabee, who led the revolt and war against insurmountable odds, and threw off the yoke of an oppressing pagan Greek power. Jewish tradition invests the concept of "Messiah" mainly with political and ethical changes in the earth, as Judah produced. It does not invest Messiah with the dying of a substitutionary death to pay the penalty for his peoples' sins. For that matter, the apostles themselves didn't even expect that, at least not while He was alive!
6) John 10:22-24 is a little-known witnessing tool in sharing about the Messiah with your Jewish friends.
You can use John 10:22-24 as a witnessing tool with your Jewish friend or relative: Ask "Do you know the only place that Hanukkah is mentioned in the Bible?" It's almost a sure thing that they don't. Most Christians don't even know it. This can open up a whole discussion about messianic prophesy in general, and the reliable verifiability of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves, which many Jews believe to contain holy legends, but are not to be taken seriously. One key in Jewish witnessing involves getting them to view their own Scriptures with a more serious attitude. This verse can be that key.