The word, "Chanukah" has several different, yet related sources. It comes from "Kah," the Hebrew equivalent of 25 and "Chanu," meaning rest. The word "Chanukah" is also connected with the words "dedication" (chanukat) and "education" (chinuch). On the twenty-fifth day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the Maccabees rested from their battle. They marched victoriously into the holy Temple in Jerusalem, ready to rededicate the holy service. They would forever serve as role models — educators — to future generations.


What does a soul look like? Look at a flame on a candle. The flame is bright, jumping, never resting. The soul's natural desire is to "jump" up to G‑d, to leave the physical. It is the wick and candle that hold the flame down, forcing it to do its job, to give light and warmth.

The human body is likened to the Holy Temple. The Baal Shem Tov always advised against asceticism, fasts and hurting the body. Better, he would say, to use it to do a deed of kindness. Goodness is contagious. When our soul tells our body to do a kind deed, both are affected. What's more, other souls around us take note and tell their bodies to do the same. Before long, we create an international epidemic of kindness, what the Prophets alluded to throughout the Bible.