Halachically there is no Simcha on Chanuka (because we don’t celebrate the victory at war) but the Rebbe so much wants to find a way a bringing Simcha to Chanuka.

Chanuka (hypocrisy and) Alexander and Shimon HaTzadik (5779/ 2018).

A thought on a New York Times article making the Chanukah story into a war between factions of Jews. But he still is lighting the candles. Shimon HaTzadik prayed that Alexander of Macedonia should succeed and what it means to world history from a Jewish (religious) point of view.  

Topsy Turvy 5773/2012.

Everything is upside down in the Chanukah story; the Kohanim are the one’s on the battlefield. But they get to light the menorah also (anyway).


The last day of Chanuka isn’t only the last day but a culminating one.

Rosh Chodesh Teves, the middle of Chanuka. (5772/2011).

Why Chanuka is at the end of the month and actually goes from (the end [disappearing moon] of) one month into (the birth of) another, Rosh Chodesh Teves is where ruchniyus translates into Gashmiyus.

Kislev to Teves.

Chanuka is the only Yom Tov that starts in one month and ends in another. From Kislev (the third) to Teves (the fourth) of the winter months. Short Version. Longer Version.

The third light and the Alter Rebbe's redemption. (5773/ 2012).

Chanukah and Chassidus and oil. A thought on Chanukah Gelt.

Candles of the Menora in the Beis HaMikdash, Chanuka Candles, Shabbos Candles.

Why the RaMbam connects Shalom Bayis of Shabbos Candles to Chanuka.

Chanuka Gelt.

Why gelt and what’s gelt. Why on Chanuka? Some thoughts. Short Version. Longer Version.

Not in desert.

The date of Chanuka (25 Kislev) has an affinity for the idea of renewal. This is evidenced from the fact that in the desert the Mishkan (tabernacle) was completed on 25 Kislev 2449. But it’s construction and use was postponed until (the end of Adar and) Nissan of that year. This date was not celebrated...

Source of Chanuka story (Sforim haChitzonim).

The apocrypha which Yidden once shunned, has the elaborate version of the Chanuka story. The earliest text of all tells the story of the candles.

No Shimush (pleasure) from these candles.

Chanuka candles (as opposed to Shabbos candles) are not for any use. We are not allowed to benefit from them at all. Why?

Listen to what the candles are saying.

The candles of Chanuka are only to be looked at. The Frierdiker rebbe says the candles in their quiescence and peacefulness are saying something incredibly deep. LISTEN. Short Version. Longer version.

Beis Hillel and not Beis Shamai (5777/2016)

Two reasons: 1) In the pre-Moshiach world only actual things matter not potential, not-withstanding the great advantage of the potential over the actual. 2) We follow Beis Hillel who connects it to מעלין בקדש ולא מורידין rather than to פרי החג. All eight days of Chanuka have nothing tot do with Goyim!

Beis Hillel. To grow in holiness.

The well known argument between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel whether to add or subtract the total number of lights each successive night of Chanuka has been resolved like the Beis Hillel. The message in this is that we must grow in holiness. First version. Second version.

A short Chanuka shiur focused standing up for Yiddishkeit.

Chanuka, a holiday of Jewish sacrifice. (5773/ 2012). No Cheshbonos, Not even of Kedusha (5778/ 2017). This short class points out that the miracle of Chanukah is more about Yidden’s Mesiras Nefesh than about the super natural hand of Hashem that their actions inspired.

Two Miracles.

The war and the oil. Some hold we celebrate only the oil. The RaMbaM holds we celebrate both. Some of the ramifications of the RaMbaM’s perspective. Winning means having peace (5774/ 2013). The two levels of ‘Pada BiShalom’ are reflected in Chanuka’s two miracles. Chanuka, the darkness is the truth (5774/ 2013). the darkness of...

Chanuka the day after (5769/ 2008).

The war was won the 24th and the holiday declared the 25th.