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The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

How to Celebrate Chanukah


Thoughts on Chanukah

   Short tidbits

   Menorah For Dummies

The Effects of Chanukah

Two Menoros

The Fire In The Flint

Chanukah Mnemonics

To Burn or Not to Burn (or both!)

Customs of Chanukah

Long(er) Essays

Chanukah and Moshiach

Chasidic Discourse - Mai Chanukah

Q & A

Letters From the Rebbe

Children's Corner

The Significance of Chanukah

 Thoughts on Chanukah The Effects of Chanukah

Menorah For Dummies

The miracle of Chanuka occurred in the holiest place on earth: in the Holy Land, in Jerusalem, in the Holy Temple where G-d's Presence was revealed.

The miracle of the oil involved the menora, which in the times of the Temple was lit specifically by a kohen. Nowadays, however, the mitzva of lighting the menora is no longer expressly connected to the Temple, and everyone, even a small child, may do so. We light the menora in our homes, "at the entrance of the house facing outward," so that its light can illuminate our surroundings.

G-d has given us a truly an amazing capability. Just think about it: Everyone, not only a kohen, can transform his home into a Holy Temple by lighting a Chanuka menora! By kindling the menora's lamps, which remind us of the lights of the Temple that illuminated the entire world, we suffuse our surroundings even in exile with holiness and purity. Furthermore, the menora's light accompanies us throughout the year, until the following Chanuka, when we can observe the mitzva anew.

Every year before lighting the first candle we recite the "Shehecheyanu" blessing, "Blessed are You...Who has kept us alive and sustained us, and allowed us to reach this time," thanking G-d for enabling us to perform this mitzva and turn our own private homes in to Holy Temple. And when a Jew transforms his home into a Temple, G-d does everything - even performing miracles, if necessary - in order to enable him to continue bringing light into his personal life and the world at large.

 Thoughts on Chanukah The Effects of Chanukah

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