Monday, December 14, 2009

חנוכה

The קדושה of the Days
At a farbrengen (ש"פ וישב תשמ"ח), the Rebbe spoke about the days of חנוכה as an opportune time to increase in תורה ומצוות, since the נס was related to רוחניות'דיקע matters, allowing the Yidden to learn תורה and keep מצוות. This is especially so with regard to adding in Yiras Shomayim, which is the purpose of תורה ומצוות, and particularly what the יוונים were opposed to.
(התוועדויות תשמ"ח ח"ב ע' 67)

The War of the יוונים
In a שיחהl (כ"א כסלו תש"מ), the Rebbe explained how the goal of the יוונים and the מתיוונים was to remove the separation that exists between Yidden and goyim, educating children to be similar to the other nations. This is worse than גזירות on תורה ומצוות, because its effect remains even after the גזירה is over. It begins with something 'small', when one 'lights up' the way for a child with 'oil' that is contaminated with goyishkeit, claiming that the light itself is the same. When one is מחנך children improperly, drawing 'light' from a source which is not טהור, this leads a child to become a מתיווןl(ר"ל).

The lesson from חנוכה is, that when lighting up Yiddishe homes, one must use only pure Yiddishe light, uncontaminated by any goyishkeit. By doing so with מסירת נפש (not giving in to the majority, who also appear to be stronger), we will be victorious, for Hashem is on our side.
(לקו"ש ח"כ ע' 438)

The עבודה of חנוכה
Since the primary נס of חנוכה was a רוחניות'דיגע one, ending the גזירות of the יוונים against observing אידישקייט and offering קרבנות, we commemorate it in a רוניות'דיקע way, by saying הלל and praising Hashem. However, it is also customary to increase in סעודות during חנוכה to remember the נס of winning the war and the completion of the משכן on כ"ה כסלו. During these סעודות, one should sing praise to Hashem about the נסים that He did, thus making it a סעודת מצוה.l
(שו"ע או"ח סי' תע"ר ובהשלמה לשוע"ר שם)
It was customary for the Tzemach Tzedek to have a sort of farbrengen on one of the evenings of חנוכה with his family, including his daughters-in-law. This was called 'לאטקעס אווענט' (latkes evening). This was also the practice of the Alter Rebbe and the Mitteler Rebbe. Among the stories the Rebbes told at this סעודה were some which were widely talked about every חנוכה, though they had been discussed the year before. The Rebbe Rashab would also set aside time to speak to the children
(היום יום כ"ח כסלו, רשימות היומן חנוכה תרצ"ג)
After kindling the חנוכה ליכט, the Rebbe Rashab would sit near the ליכטלאך for half an hour and learn (at a slight distance, not to benefit from its light). He would learn גמרא, not necessarily about חנוכה, rather wherever he was holding in his סדר הש"ס. This is related to the special connection of תורה to light, and is a הוראה for every person to increase in learning during the days of חנוכה.l
(התוועדויות תשמ"ב ח"ב ע' 618)
Once, by הדלקת הנרות, the Rebbe Maharash told the Rebbe Rashab, "We must listen to what the ליכטלאך are telling us."
(סה"ש תש"ו ע' 22)
There is a minhag to give חנוכה געלט to children and the Rebbe Rashab would give חנוכה געלט on the fourth or fifth night. The Rebbe explained that the main reason of this minhag is to enable the children to give צדקה, for what else does a child need money for?...
(התוועדויות תשמ"ט ח"ב ע' 63)
At a farbrengen (ב' דחנוכה תשמ"ד), the Rebbe explained that from חנוכה we learn the necessity to continuously add in תורה ומצוות, just like we increase in lighting an additional candle each night. During חנוכה, one should add in צדקה and learning תורה. Thru the מצוה of נרות חנוכה, one merits the light of תורה.
(התוועדויות תשמ"ד ח"ב ע' 596)

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