Tuesday, November 30, 2010



The Sefat Emet (a previous Gerrer Rebbe Yehudah Aryeh Alter) is providing us with a few Chanukkah insights:

Generally speaking, Chanukkah is seen as a time of renewal. When the Jews fought the idol - worshipping Greeks, "Klal Israel - all Jews" found a closer connection to its / their national ties. The miracle of the Menorah was a demonstration of G - d's pleasure and a rededication of the Second Temple.

Every individual Jew perceiving the Chanukkah miracle enjoys the annual opportunity to start fresh, to begin anew. The Second Temple was defiled but a miracle happened. So, too, every Jew, no matter how much he has gone astray, can return to his heritage every Chanukkah.

The light of Torah is unable to fully penetrate certain souls even on Shabbat. These Jews who are not inspired by the weekly Shabbat are spiritually moved by the yearly observance of Chanukkah. A certain spark, an inner purity, always remains burning bright in the heart of every Jew. This spark, knows as the "Nekudah HaPnimit", constrained all year from permeating the Jewish psyche, is liberated on Chanukkah through the power of "Hallel veHoda'ah", praise and gratitude for the miracles that occurred at this time.

The same progress of renewal and growth that occurred at the time of the Chanukkah miracle will also occur prior to Meshiach's arrival. Certainly, Meshiach's arrival will hasten this progress. Despite our shortcomings, when the Final redemption (Ge'ulah) will occur, a radical transformation will take place. Meaning, we will gain spiritual perfection.

Chanukkah also serves as an ideal occasion to teach once again the need for conscientious observance of the Mitzvot. The previous generation, heavenly influenced by Hellenistic values, had become lax in its commitment.

By observing Chanukkah, Israel not only prepares for Meshiach's arrival, but also for the festivals associated with that era. The Midrash (Yalkut Yeshayahu) relates that during the messianic era, the Jews will visit the Third Temple very Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the new Jewish month). In preparation for these future festivals, G - d initiated the contemporary holiday of Chanukkah.


"Days of Joy"
Ideas and Insights of the
Sefat Emet on Chanukkah and Purim

Author: Rabbi Yosef Stern

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