To Illuminate The Outside
20 Kislev 5736 (1975)
This is to confirm receipt of the correspondence and report of activities. May G-d grant that the past
success should increase the desire to work even more energetically to spread even more light.
This is especially emphasized in the forthcoming days of Chanuka in which Jewish women played a
significant role, as our Sages of blessed memory declared, "They [the women], too, were involved in
that miracle [of Chanuka]," and even more so according to Rashi's commentary: "For a woman was
instrumental in bringing about the miracle."
It has often been pointed out that observances such as Chanuka and Chanuka lights, which are
observed from year to year, are not just a remembrance; their memory and observance should bring
out their intent and purpose in a way that affects one's daily life and conduct in a practical manner.
One of the things Chanuka teaches us, as underscored in the
prayer "Ve'al HaNisim," is that a Jew is never discouraged by the fact that Jews are "weak" and
"few" (physically), facing the "mighty" and "many."
On the contrary, inasmuch as Jews are "pure and tzadikim
[righteous] and dedicated to Your Torah," they overcome all
obstacles without and within which might make them forget
G-d's Torah and mitzvot, until they attain a complete victory, with the lighting of candles, etc.
The Chanuka lights are kindled when the sun has set, when it is dark outside; their light is to be
displayed so as to illuminate the outside.
Furthermore, it is not enough to light one candle.
Although lighting one candle the first night is all that is
required to fulfill the mitzva to perfection, and the person is regarded among the
"mehadrin-min-hamehadrin" [most scrupulous], he lights an additional candle the second night; but
even this additional effort is not sufficient once another day has passed. One must add yet another
candle and more light, and so on,
consistently increasing the candles and the light for an entire week.
The message of the Chanuka lights is clear: In all matters of "ner mitzva veTorah ohr" ("a mitzva is a
candle, and the Torah is light") -- especially in our present time, it is necessary to go about spreading
light in the same increasing manner, to light up one's personal life, and to light up the home and the
street, that those who walk in darkness should see the bright light of the Torah and mitzvot, so that
they, too, will light up their lives and conduct with the Divine Light ever more and more.