Directives Of The Rebbe MH"M For Chanuka


Once again we must urge others regarding the public menoros:

The remaining days of Chanuka should be light the Chanuka lights in a way that publicizes the miracles in the greatest way possible, so that every city and village, every kfar and moshav, etc., should light the Chanuka lights in the most public place. (If it’s possible to light them in a number of places – even better, for the main thing is publicizing the miracle in the greatest possible manner, as I said, in the most public place.)

And at this opportunity, [it is our goal] to inspire those gathered there by lighting the Chanuka lights in their own homes, including the inner spiritual meaning of the Chanuka lights, to illuminate the house with the "neir mitzva v’Torah ohr" ( a mitzva is a candle and the Torah is light), so that the house is a place of Torah, t’filla, and chesed, a place from which light goes forth to all its surroundings.

Another important matter – regarding gentiles: Lighting the menora "in the doorway of the home, on the outside" affects those on the outside, including the gentiles. Therefore the menora lighting should be done in the most public places in order to inspire gentiles in their observance of the Seven Noachide Laws and to stress that their fulfillment of these laws should be "because Hashem commanded it in the Torah."

(Sicha of the 6th of Chanuka, 5747, Likkutei Sichos vol. 28, p. 419)



In order to increase the inspirational effect of the Chanuka lights, a menora should be lit in shul (where everyone gathers) throughout the entire day, if there is no chance at all that children will play there [i.e., to avoid the danger].

(VaYeishev, 5750)



It is good and proper to suggest and establish that joyful parties take place throughout all the days of Chanuka (starting with Chanuka this year), in a way of increasing, like the lights of Chanuka themselves.

Parties should also be made in private homes, within the family etc., as we know the custom of the Rebbeim that "on one of the nights of Chanuka they had a sort of farbrengen with the family etc."

Additionally, it pays to do this in schools too, and in all work places – depending on the conditions of place and time. Everyone should gather together to speak about Chanuka and to make good resolutions in matters of Torah, avoda, and chesed, and to give out Chanuka gelt.

Based on the above, it is understood that none of this is new, because joy is an essential component of all the mitzvos, especially during Chanuka, when, according to the Rambam, these days were established (also) as "days of joy."

(Sicha of Chanuka, 5746; Sicha Parshas VaYeishev, 5748; Sicha VaYeishev, 5749)



Since everything is completed yet the Redemption has still not come, it would be most proper to be involved in "publicizing the miracles" by publicizing those miracles Hashem does for us today (in our times), knowing that the final Redemption is connected with this!

How much more so during the days of Chanuka, a time of "publicizing miracles," one should see to it that these days are utilized, in addition to the mivtzaim of Chanuka, also for Chassidic farbrengens (or it can be called by a different name, in each place according to its character, as it says, "if you go to a city, follow its customs") each of the days of Chanuka, and to speak words of Torah there, nigleh of Torah (the revealed part of Torah, such as halacha) and pnimiyus ha’Torah (Chassidus), and to undertake good resolutions in all matters of Torah and mitzvos, in a way of increasing and adding light, and most importantly, to speak about the present-day miracles.

(Parshas VaYeishev, 5752)



It is most important to prepare for the true and complete Redemption, as the Rebbe Rayatz put it, "stand ready"... To this extent, the emphasis of "stand ready" on the 19th of Kislev applies to every individual. During the eight days of Chanuka, however, the emphasis of "stand ready" applies to the group, to all Jews collectively.

(VaYishlach, 5749)



It’s a Jewish custom (which is Torah) to give children money on Chanuka. Indeed, the Rebbeim had this custom. The Rebbe Rayatz related that his father gave Chanuka gelt (on the fourth or fifth night), and the Rebbe Rayatz himself gave Chanuka gelt to his daughters even after they were married, and to his sons-in-law, as well.

And concerning the additional effort in chinuch (education), it is worthwhile and proper to give Chanuka gelt (not just once, but) every day of Chanuka (and on Friday or Sunday to give for Shabbos), as it has been said: "to give money to the children at least twice during Chanuka, and ideally, every day except for Shabbos (including permitted things [such as gifts, for example] to avoid the possibility of giving something not permitted on Shabbos, i.e., money).

Also, it is proper to explain to them that the money is being given in order for them to learn more Torah, etc.

In addition, it is proper to explain and stress to the children that the money is theirs for them to do with as their hearts – their Jewish hearts – desire, and certainly they will give some of it to tzedaka (especially since there is a special emphasis on tzedaka during Chanuka).

In order to fulfill the directive of the Rebbeim to give Chanuka gelt "on the fourth or fifth night of Chanuka," including negating the concern that it becomes something ordinary – the solution is to give double on the fourth or fifth night, or three times as much, which sets it apart from the other nights.

(VaYeishev 5748, 5749, Mikeitz 5750)


And to fulfill the custom of each Jewish child giving Chanuka gelt to his friend, or brothers or sisters or relatives.

(24 Kislev, 5742)


Regarding the Jewish custom of giving Chanuka gelt to sons and daughters, those who did not fulfill this custom (fully), should try to make up for it in the days following Chanuka, and whoever takes care of this meticulously is praiseworthy.

(Mikeitz, 5750)



It is proper to have a menora (and candle lighting) in the entrance to the children’s room (in addition, of course, to explaining to them the significance of the lighting of the menora, in a style suitable for them), for this adds to their Jewish education, both regarding 1) the children, who have a strong impression made on their soul when they see the menora in the doorway of their room, and regarding 2) the room, the "Mikdash Me’at," similar to and alluding to the dedication of the Beis HaMikdash on Chanuka.

(VaYeishev, 5748)



A practical directives concerning Chanuka is to increase in tzedaka, for it is known that tzedaka especially pertains to Chanuka, in addition to the unique property tzedaka has in that it "hastens the Redemption."



It would be proper to "restore the crown," i.e., all those who make illustrations of the menora (in order to show how the menora looked in the Mishkan and Mikdash) should draw the branches as diagonally coming out of the middle branch. So too, in the schools, etc., on the sheets they distribute. And if the menora is depicted as a "half-bow" (rounded), the picture should be changed and the menora made diagonal.

Based on this, the menoros used on Chanuka should also be diagonal… Rounded menoros (as they are shown on the Arch of Titus) should actually make us cry out, because (and this is most important) it contradicts Rashi and Rambam, etc., and because it gives a certain approbation, etc., ch’v, to the image on the Arch of Titus, which was made to cause pain to the Jews and to disgrace them!

Instead of the shape of the menora arousing Jews to their task of being a "light to the nations," for "it is a testimony to all that the Divine presence rests on the Jewish people," the shape of the [rounded] menora reminds us of exactly the opposite: how Rome was victorious over the Jews!

(Likkutei Sichos vol. 21, p. 169)


"If the menora is depicted as a semi-circle, the picture should be changed and the menora made diagonal."


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