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The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

How to Celebrate Chanukah


Thoughts on Chanukah

   Short tidbits

Long(er) Essays

   The Heroines of Chanukah

The Secret of Chanukah

The Greatness of Peace - The Purpose of Light

Being P.C. or C.P.

The Big Collision

The Shape of The Menorah

Let There be Light

Two Miracles: Two Modes of Commemoration

A New Level of Awareness

The Message of The Chanukah Lights

Why The Maccabees Rebelled

Increasing The Amount of Candles Lit on Chanukah

Reliving Chanuka

Chanukah and Moshiach

Chasidic Discourse - Mai Chanukah

Q & A

Letters From the Rebbe

Children's Corner

The Significance of Chanukah

 Increasing The Amount of Candles Lit on Chanukah Chanukah and Moshiach

Reliving Chanuka

When video recorders first came out, taking one along on vacation almost meant bringing a luggage carrier just to shlepp the equipment with you. Today, you can fit a camcorder or viewcam in any decent-sized briefcase or even a purse. Now it's easier than ever to capture for posterity those memories in progress, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be saved in your mind, your heart and your audio/video storage cabinet. Months or years later, you can watch the "home videos" and remember the good times.

Nowadays we have ways to keep memories alive. But can we actually relive an experience?

Haven't we all wished, at one time or another, that we could capture a moment and actually relive it at a future date?

"These days are remembered and experienced." A basic Jewish teaching is that not only is a holiday or holy day a commemoration of an event that took place many years ago, but the actual event is re-experienced yearly on the anniversary of its happening.

The upcoming festival of Chanuka is no exception. The same "spiritual energy" that was present at that time is in the world once again. This means that we can tap into those forces and make them "work" for us in our lives today. We can actually relive the miracles and lessons of Chanuka.

What Chanuka energy are we able to remember and experience?

One of the Chanuka miracles was that a small band of Jews who were devoted heart, body and soul to G-d and to the Torah were able to vanquish the strongest army of the day. On Chanuka we experience this same devotion and enthusiasm about Jewish life and living. We can devote ourselves heart, body and soul to a special mitzva we have long wanted to do, and we will successfully integrate that mitzva into our lives.

The second miracle of Chanuka was when a small amount of oil kept the rededicated Temple menora lit for a wondrous eight days until more oil could be produced. There was, in fact, other oil readily available. However, it had been tampered with by the Greeks and though permissible to use, the Jewish victors would not accept compromises for the rededication of the Temple. They wanted no traces of corruption or decay.

We relive this Chanuka miracle when we refuse to compromise our Judaism, even under extenuating circumstances. The Maccabees' resolve to use only pure oil gives us the strength to enhance our Jewish living by being uncompromising in our performance of mitzvot, whether it's putting a few coins in a charity box daily, befriending a lonely person, affixing mezuzot to our doorposts, speaking only kindly of others, or setting aside time for Jewish learning.

As one of the Chanuka blessings states, G-d performed miracles for us "in those days at this time." On Chanuka we can expect that G-d will perform miracles for us in our days at this time, culminating in the ultimate miracle-the peace, plentitude, health and Divine wisdom for the entire world that will be experienced in the Messianic Era.

Looking to the Horizon

There are eight days of Chanukah. In several sources, the number eight is associated with the era of Mashiach. According to the Kabbalah, the Jewish mystic tradition, there is an obvious connection. The number seven is associated with the natural order, while the number eight with the transcendent and the miraculous.

Thus the eight days of Chanukah are associated with miracles.

Similarly, the coming of Mashiach will be characterized by miracles, with the fulfillment of the prophecy: "As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders."

 Increasing The Amount of Candles Lit on Chanukah Chanukah and Moshiach

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