In synagogue every Shabbat I see a woman who is totally bent over because she has some problem that does not allow her to ever straighten her back. I think to myself: every day we say the blessing “zokeaf kefufim” (Hashem straightens the bent) and it never had as much meaning as it does when I see this particular woman. As I watch her every week I think to myself. “ she is in a perpetual state of bitul, being prostrated in front of the Creator”. But I also noticed that she is always happy.
The more a govt tries to be politically “correct”, the more they tend to become morally wrong. Politically correct basically means politics first. But usually morality, decency and kindness suffer and are put on the back burner. And innocent people suffer.
One lesson we can learn from the Chanukah lights is the following:
Many Jews are afraid that if they do not observe all the mitzvoth they are not worth much and they are afraid to learn more, afraid that they will be obligated immediately to jump into doing everything.
But from Chanukah we learn to start with one light, and then you add more.
Every Jew has to know that even one mitzvah has value. Even one tradition has value. Doing one mitzvah attaches you to G-d and is on its own of great value in G-d’s eyes and for the person’s neshomah (soul).
Wishing everyone a happy Chanukah!
It is very interesting to note that the only holiday that we publicly publicize the miracles that occurred to us is Chanukah. The jewish people have experienced many miracles and salvations. Purim we celebrate the miraculous nullification of Haman's decree to annihilate all the Jewish people. On Pesach we celebrate the miraculous liberation from slavery in Egypt. But we do not publicize to the outside world these miracles.
only on Chanukah we publicize the miracles to the outside world, in public places. Why?
Today is the holy day of Yud Tes Kislev, the day that the first Chabad Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe, was released from prison in czarist Russia. Hence the name chag hageulah: the holiday of liberation.
It is also considered the Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus because once the Alter Rebbe was released from prison he was able to spread the teachings of Chassidus. And we know from the Baal Shem Tov that when the wellsprings of Chassidus are spread to the entire world Moshiach will come.
So today is a day connected with Moshiach and redemption and tremendous light.
Hashem created the world in such a way that there was darkness and then light . Because the light that comes after darkness is much brighter . Perhaps the month of Kislev is the month most connected to light. We have the yom tov of Yud Tes Kislev, the chag hageulah (redemption from prison ) of the Alter Rebbe which indicated that permission was given in the heavenly realms to spread the light of Chassidus to the whole world (chassidus is compared to oil).
Pure evil reared its ugly head again and one evil man shot and killed 11 innocent Jews praying on the holy day of Shabbat. As we near the final redemption with the imminent coming of Moshiach, things seem to get darker and darker and harder to even try to comprehend. But our role now is to add light. Because ultimately light prevails over darkness and banishes darkness.
This year there are two months of Adar because it is a Jewish leap year.
And we know when there are two months of Adar, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, the idea of simcha is even stronger. The Rebbe said that simcha poretz geder, breaks barriers. And since there is a concept of botul bshishim (nullification within 60, as, for example, when something non kosher is nullified with 60 times of kosher food) then also in a leap year, all negative thingsand undesirable elements are nullified within the 60 days of simcha in Adar.
We are now past the wonderful inspiring days of the month of Tishrei and back to “real” life. But in all honesty, what is more real to a jewish soul? The uplifting spiritually fulfilling yomtovim of Tishrei? Or the mundane life of work and day to day chores?
Wishing everyone a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetukah!