The name Macabi is the four letters *Mem*, *Chof*, *Beis* and *Yud* which stand for *
M**i Comocha Bo’ailim Hashem* – Who is like You among the heavenly powers,
Hashem. This is the banner that Yehudah HaMacabi would carry with him to
make sure that he knew Who was orchestrating the war.
One G-d created heaven and earth. Superficially, the creation seems to be composed of many disparate forces. Idol worshipers are blinded by the external appearance of the world and think that these forces have real power, when in truth they are no more than illusions.
Regarding the laws of carrying items on Shabbos, the halacha (law) discusses two domains, the domain of one, the private domain, and the domain of many, the public domain. The domain of one is the domain of holiness, the realm of those that recognize the underlying force of the One G-d in all of creation. The domain of many is the domain of evil; it is the realm of those that see the many forces that seem to be operating as the ultimate reality.
The private domain, a person’s home, is where G-d is manifest. The public domain, the street, is where the multiple forces of evil have free reign.
The lights of Chanukah are kindled at the door, where the private domain borders the public. Light has the power to repel and nullify impure forces. Security must always be most vigilantly ensured at the borders.
The lights of Chanukah safeguard the borders of holiness.
Source: Shalosh Seudos Torah Parshas Vayishlach
Chanukah Gifts from the Heart from Lazer Brody
With the economic squeeze, people are worried about what they’re going to buy their loved ones for Chanukah this year.
First of all, there’s no mitzva on Chanukah to exchange gifts.
The greatest gift you can bestow on another human being is empathy and a non-judgmental, listening ear. People forget material gifts, but they don’t forget the time, patience, and understanding you accorded them. The best gifts originate in the heart, not in the wallet. by a copy of Elyon and book now there or visit here with Totourisrael
I’m going to conclude with an inspirational Chanukah story from “Chassidc
Tales of the Holocaust”, by Yaffa Eliach.
On page 13, she tells a moving story from the Bluzhover Rebbe, Rabbi
Yisroel Spira, zt’l, about the first Chanukah light at Bergen Belsen.
On the Eve of Chanukah a selection took place. Many of the inmates were
tortured and later massacred. When the Nazis departed they left behind
heaps of tortured and twisted bodies.
Then it was time to light the Chanukah lights. Of course they didn’t have a
Menorah, oil or wicks. So they had to improvise. A wooden clog, the shoe of
one of the inmates, was the menorah. A string from the prisoner uniform was
the wick, and the black camp shoe polish was the oil.
Not far from the heaps of bodies, the living skeletons gathered to
participate in the kindling of the Chanukah lights.
The Bluzshover Rebbe made the first two berachos -blessings on the lighting
of the Chanukah candles with his melodious voice filled with sorrow and
pain. Then, before he made the third blessing, he stopped and looked around
as if he was searching for something.
But then he immediately turned his face back and chanted the third blessing
(the “*Sh’Hechiyanu*”), “Blessed art Thou G-D…King of the Universe, Who has
kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.
After the Lighting, a certain inmate who always liked to debate matters of
religion, faith and truth, approached the Rebbe with a question.
He said he understood the necessity of the kindling of the lights
especially in these times. He even understood the significance of making
the first two blessings. He said, however, “The fact that you made the
third blessing is beyond me. How can you thank Hashem for keeping us
alive…and enabled us to reach this season? How could you say it when
hundreds of dead Jewish bodies are literally lying in the shadows of the
Chanukah lights, when thousands of living Jewish skeletons are walking
around the camp, and millions more are being massacred? For this you are
thankful to Hashem? This you call ‘keeping us alive’?”
The Rebbe answered him that he was a hundred percent right. In fact, the
Rebbe admitted that he hesitated and looked around before making the third
blessing because of this very question. He wanted to consult with the other
distinguished Rabbis who were standing next to him, if he indeed was
permitted to make that blessing.
“But just as I was turning my head, I noticed that behind me a throng was
standing, a large crowd of living Jews, and their faces expressing faith,
devotion and concentration as they were listening to the rite of the
kindling of the Chanukah lights. I said to myself, that if Hashem, blessed
be He, has such a nation that at times like these, when during the lighting
of the Chanukah lights they see in front of them the heaps of bodies of
their beloved fathers, brothers, and sons, and death is looking from every
corner, if despite all that, they stand in throngs and with devotion
listening to the blessings…; if indeed I was blessed to see such a people
with so much faith and fervor, then I am under a special obligation to
recite the third blessing.”
Many years later, after the liberation, this fellow sent regards to the
Rebbe and said that the answer he gave him that dark Chanukah night in
Bergen Belsen had stayed with him ever since, and was a constant source of
inspiration during hard and troubled times. [Till here is the story].
Let the Rebbe’s answer be a source of inspiration during our hard and
troubled times, especially here in Eretz Yisroel.
When we see that despite the danger and tragedy we witness constantly, more
and more people pray to Hashem and come closer to Him. Even those that have
been directly affected by these tragedies, turn to Hashem with faith and
fervor, for this alone, we should make our “third blessing” with great
feelings of emotions.
We, in this time which was designated for miracles, should come closer to
Hashem and pray for the ultimate miracle of the complete Redemption and
coming of the Messiah and May Hashem bless His Nation with Peace. Have a Happy Chanukah. (from Rav Shlomo Price)