The Victory of Hannukah – Building Yourself with Light

King Antiochus was notorious for conquering countries with a strong hand. When conquering Israel – his objective was not just physical subjugation – but mental subjugation. His war  wasn’t just a war against nations – but a war against spirituality. Spirituality is basically connecting with the Creator of the Universe – Hash-m.

He outlawed Circumcision, Rosh Hodesh / the New Month, and Shabbat. The Jews fought back and after a war lasting almost 25 years – Hash-m gave victory in their hands – they won the war. The major miracle was the Jews’ victory over the superpower of that time – Greece.

We know that in the end – when the Jews come to purify the Holy Temple / Beit HaMikdash -they find one jug of oil with the seal of the Cohen Gadol / Chief. This oil, that is supposed to last one day, lasts eight days.

G-d Loves the Sincere Efforts of the Common Man

The Rambam says that if the Mizbeach / Altar is broken – one is not required to light the Menorah. The Greeks broke the altar  So why did they want to light it? There was no Mitzvah / commandment to light the Menorah. It was just a commemoration – to remember the Mitzvah. So why did G-d make a miracle if they weren’t even doing a Mitzvah? Apparently, G-d appreciates even the small, sincere efforts that a person makes to establish a connection with him.

My friend told me a story of a woman who ordered a “Kosher” Hot Dog for her son in Manhattan on Passover. On Passover we are forbidden to eat bread. She was very adamant that the vendor not put the Hot Dog on the bun. “Don’t Touch the Bread with the Hot Dog!” I am sure that Hash-m had satisfaction from that woman’s sincere effort to avoid allowing her son to eat Hametz – leavened products on Passover.

Build What Others Want to Break

I was listening to Rabbi Shaked Bouhdana. He mentioned an interesting point. Antiochus outlawed Circumcision, Rosh Hodesh / the New Month, and Shabbat. The Jews fought hard to have the freedom to do these Mitzvot and others. It turns out that Hanukah Lasts 8 days – the same amount of time a child born waits to be circumcised. Since Hanukah lasts Eight days – it is sure that at least one Shabbat will fall during Hanukkah. There is always a New Month that falls on Hanukkah. When we fought for a Mitzvah that others wanted to outlaw – we won by having a greater level of sanctification for these three Mitzvot.

If we use our forces for the positive growth spiritually we gain in a greater way than what we originally had.

Building Your Personality

Some people are fragile. Send one word out of place – and here comes the fire. Someone asked me how to deal with difficult people. I said – we shouldn’t look at people who upset us as our enemies. Ultimately – our deeds that we sent out are boomeranging back to us.

The Boomerang Principal – Midah Keneged Midah / Measure for Measure

If we got angry at a spouse – this anger will find it’s way back. So the smart thing to do is to recognize this principal and when someone lashes out at us – realize that that might be the fruit of our previous misdeed. So if we lash back at them – it is akin to a (pardon the comparison) dog biting a stick that was thrown at him. We bite at the stick – the person who lashed at us – but we forget that we were the one who initially threw the stick.

Fight fire with water – not fire. Calm the situation. Don’t fuel the fire.


The Jugs of Oil that Yaakov Went Back For

Yaakov / Jacob took the right of the first born & blessings from Esav / Esau, his brother. Esav wanted to kill Yaakov. He went to make peace with Esav. The Night before his meeting with Esav – Esav’s Angel encountered Yaakov and wrestled with him till the morning. The Angel encountered him when Yaakov was going back over the river to get some small jugs he forgot.

By Morning time the Angel had to leave to sing praises to Hash-m. Yaakov – told him to bless him and also asked his name. The Angel told him he would no longer be called Yaakov – but Yisrael – for he wrestled with the Divine and won. When asked about his name he responded “Why do you ask my name?”

The Angel was the Evil Inclination – the Satan. Why did he come to attack Yaakov at this time? He had many other opportunities to attack.

Yaakov was going back to retrieve the small jugs of oil. It represented the spark in each and every Jew that cannot be tainted. Some say that the Jug of oil was the actual Jug of oil that was used for the miracle of Hanukah. The angel wanted Yaakov to give up hope on this spark of holiness. Yaakov struggled for all the sparks of holiness – even in a Jew that is very far from Judaism. He still had hope.

When the Romans conquered the Jews and wanted to ransack the Holy Temple in Jerusalem – they were afraid to enter. They sent in a Jewish Informant against the Jewish people. They told him – anything he found he could take. He went in and took the Menorah. They said that is a prize of war that they wanted to keep to show their victory. They told him to take something else. He refused – he said I angered my G-d once – I don’t want to anger Him again. They threatened him with death. He died as a Martyr not to anger Hash-m.

How is this? Several minutes before he was willing to ransack the Temple – in one moment he changed to become a Very Righteous Jew – who gave his life for the Sanctification of Hash-m’s name? The answer – the holiness of the Temple inspired him and removed all of the coverings of impurity that covered that Holy spark within him.

Every Jew has a holy spark within him or her. They just have to uncover it. A Jew should never give up on spirituality – a connection with Hash-m. They are closer than they think.


This is Chanukah! A day for Prayers to be Answered.

This is Chanukah! / Zot (in Hebrew means this) Hanukah.

Starting today (Tuesday) at night,
From the lighting of the eighth and last candle of Chanukah,
And until Wednesday when the stars came out,

There is a possibility for every man and woman to change everything that was written and decreed for them on Rosh Hashanah and signed on Yom Kippur!

This is what the Ari HaKadosh and the students of the Baal Shem Tov, on the last day of Hanukkah, call it “Chanukah,” because we read in the Torah reading (of Hanukkah) that “this is the dedication” of the altar is given blessing and success in material & spiritual matters.

The kabbalists said that every person on this day has power in prayer that will be received in heaven just like the prayer of a perfect tzaddik (righteous person)!

And for those who have a lot of prayer and supplications on this day of Chanukah, the Book of Psalms says:
“From Hash-m was “this” it was wonderful in our eyes”
In other words, HaShem gave us this Chanukah as a gift so that we could carry on miracles and wonders!

Therefore, it is fitting for each and every one after lighting the candles to sit next to the menorah and ask the Creator for all that is missing and give thanks for what you have.

And try to find free time on this day to pray from the bottom of our heart to Hash-m / G-d and ask for livelihood, a good marriage mate, health, etc. Everything can be achieved on this holy day in prayer Amen.

זאת חנוכה!

החל מהיום (שלישי) בלילה,
מהדלקת הנר ה-8 והאחרון של חנוכה,
ועד ליום רביעי בצאת הכוכבים,

יש אפשרות לכל איש ואישה לשנות לטובה את כל מה שנכתב ונגזר עליהם בראש השנה ונחתם ביום הכיפורים!

כך גילו לנו האר”י הקדוש ותלמידי הבעל שם טוב, שביום האחרון של חנוכה הנקרא “זאת חנוכה”, מפני שקוראים בתורה פרשת זאת חנוכת המזבח ניתן לזכות לשפע ברכה והצלחה בכל הענינים בגשמיות וברוחניות.

ואמרו המקובלים כי כל אדם ביום הזה- יש כוח בתפילתו שתתקבל בשמים בדיוק כמו תפילה של צדיק גמור!
ועל מי שמרבה בתפילה ובקשות ביום הזה של זאת חנוכה נאמר בספר התהלים:
“מאת השם היתה זאת היא נפלאת בעינינו”
כלומר שהשם נתן לנו את זאת חנוכה במתנה כדי שנוכל להמשיך על עצמינו נסים ונפלאות!

לכן ראוי לכל אחד ואחת לאחר הדלקת הנרות, לשבת ליד החנוכיה ולבקש מהבורא כל מה שרק חסר לך ולהודות על מה שיש לך.

ולנסות למצוא זמן פנוי ביום הזה להתפלל מעומק הלב ולבקש פרנסה, זיווג, בריאות וכו׳ הכל אפשר להשיג ביום הקדוש הזה בתפילה אמן .

Take Hannukah Lights with You – Put Light into Your Life

I Love Hannukah. I wish the candles would remain lit the whole year.

The Lit Menorah

I heard in a Shiur / Lecture of Rabbi Akiva Tatz on Channukah, that when H’izkiyahu hamelech / the King knew that our enemies were going to destroy the Temple, he hid the Menorah and other utensils of the Beit Hamikdash / Holy Temple for the time of Mashiach / Messiah. He said that the Candles of the Menorah remain lit till Today.

For me it’s always Hannukah. my name is the same as that of the Cohen Gadol / the Chief Cohen – Matatia – that started the rebellion against the Greeks. So I have Hannukah with me all year round.

The Year Hannukah Menorah Candle

I usually use a lot of olive oil – allowing the candles of Channukah to remain lit for hours. I figured out about 1.5 ounces of olive oil burns with a small wick for about 12 hours. So 3 ounces would last one day. Multiply that by 365 or 360 (for Hebrew Year) and you get about 1095 ounces. One Gallon is 128 Ounces. That Comes to about 8.55 Gallons. I am considering getting a 10 gallon fish-tank for next year to let at least one Hanukah light burn the whole year. (If “the boss” lets.). Even better, would be to get 9 tanks (One for each Menorah Branch). But I guess its better to start small.

That’s one way for you to keep the light of Hannukah with you.

Hannukah Lights Light the Soul

Rabbi Reuven Elbaz said a Jewish Law – “What can’t be lit with Shabbat – can be lit on Hannukah.”

It means certain types candles that cannot be used on Shabbat – can be used on Hannukah.

But it has a deeper meaning that a soul – searching for spirituality – that cannot be inspired by the Shabbat or other holidays, can be lit up by Hannukah.


Because the lights of Hannukah have a certain Kedusha / Holiness that emanates from the candles of the Beit Hamikdash. Just looking at them one gains holiness. (see segulas)

Holiness brings Happiness

Spirituality is closeness with G-d. G-d gave us the path to spirituality through Torah. Holiness is acting in the ways of G-d. Holiness allows us to be connected with Him. Holiness is Light. Holiness is Happiness. Anyone can do it.

We learn:

Ner Mitzvah ve Torah Ohr./ A Mitzvah is a candle and Torah is Light.

Ner Hash-m Nishmat Adam. / A candle of G-d is the Soul of man.

One Candle can light another candle. The Candle of a Mitzvah can ignite the soul of man.

Holiness of Hannukah candles can ignite the candle or soul of man.

A person feels greater happiness on Hannukah – because holiness brings happiness.

So what can you take with you?

A Mitzvah.

A dark room can be illuminated by one small candle.

A Mitzvah will help to ignite a dark soul.

Doing one Mitzvah brings light to the soul.

A person can choose a small one. But better something regular. Saying Morning Blessings. Saying Shema Yisrael Before sleeping or upon awaking. Say the Blessings on food. Or the Blessing of Good Health – Asher Yatzar. (all cards are available free by emailing or through freebies / store page).

Learning Torah brings light to soul.

This allows a person to take light with them throughout the year.

Share Your Joy. Share your Mitzvah with others.