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Chanukah with the Rebbe

Watch talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Chanukah and vintage footage of the Rebbe participating in Chanukah rallies.

Chanukah celebrates the Jews’ battle for G‑d’s Torah to prevail. But the mitzvah which they established to immortalize their triumph—the kindling of the Chanukah menorah—sheds light on the true nature of “Jewish victory.”
Children’s Rally, 25 Kislev, 5741 • December 3, 1980
The Chanukah candles evoke the memory of the small group of Jews who fought those who had opposed the Torah. Today, we each battle our own evil inclination as well. Our current mission and battle is for the coming of Moshiach, as we request three times a day during prayer.
7th Night of Chanukah, 5748 · December 21, 1987
When a Jew celebrates Chanukah, he may be confronted: “You Jews are so few compared to the nations of the world. Yet you hold fast to your customs and commandments, ignoring what the billions of non-Jews around you think and do… Wherein lies your strength to stand in the face of such odds?”
On Chanukah, Jewish children increase in spiritual light, adding an additional candle in the menorah, and inspiring their neighbors to join in illuminating the world.
There are two approaches to Judaism, increasing the good or decreasing the bad. On Chanukah, and particularly on the fifth night of Chanukah, we emphasize the former by adding an extra light on each new day.
1st Night of Chanukah, 5752 · December 1, 1991
An address at the Chanukah Live worldwide satellite hookup at 770: The ultimate purpose of science is to discover new ways to facilitate and increase our ability to serve G-d. This we see clearly here at this gathering: Jews in every corner of the globe were able to tune in, via satellite, and watch as a little child kindled the Chanukah flames.
Chanukah reminds every Jew that it is G-d’s eternal mandate to carry the torch of His “Mitzvah-candle and Torah-light.” With most Mitzvos, the “candle” and “light” are not physically visible. But with the Chanukah candles we see how fulfilling the Mitzvah creates actual physical light that illuminates all one’s surroundings.
Chasidism is often challenged based on the fact that it’s a relatively new path in the service of the Almighty. But the laws of Chanukah actually provide an important answer for this question. The Torah and Mitzvos are our best weapon against the darkness of the world around us. As we get closer to the end of this exile and the darkness increases, it’s also necessary to add more light as a counterbalance. Jewish observance has minimums set by Jewish Law. Then there’s going beyond these minimums, to “beautify” it, which can be done in various ways. The lesson of the Chanukah lights for the year ahead is to strive to be the best Jews we can possibly be.
It is customary on Chanukah to organize special gatherings for children. It is also the custom to make family gatherings which include activities such as playing dreidel, staging plays and distributing Chanukah gelt.
Main Synagogue, Final day of Chanukah, 5739 • December 31, 1978
At a children’s rally the Menorah is lit, the children sing the prayer after the lighting and recite the 12 Torah passages. The Rebbe tells the children to “listen to what the candles have to tell us.”
8th Night of Chanukah, 5748 · December 22, 1987
Children’s rally at 770 on the last night of Chanukah, 1987.
Night of Chanukah, 5741 • December 10, 1980
At a Farbrengen on the last night of Chanukah, Chassidim sing Haneiros Hallalu.
Chanukah, 5731 • December, 1970
The Rebbe joins in a Chanukah rally at 770 for public school children.
1st Night of Chanukah, 5741 • December 3, 1980
The words of this Niggun recount the miracles of G-d, which are evoked by the Chanukah lights. It is sung each night of Chanukah, after lighting the Menorah.
Kislev, 5750 • December 26, 1989
There is a special lesson when both the first and last days of Chanukah fall out on Shabbos. It teaches us that every aspect of a Jew’s life must be completely permeated and saturated with “the Shabbos spirit,” with extra holiness and transcendence over the mundane.
The festival is called, “Chanukah – dedication” for it recalls the rededication of the Holy Temple after the Macabees’ victory over the Greeks. The Temple was purified and made holy, and the Jewish people renewed its service with greater love and passion than before.
During Chanukah in 1985, a joint rally was held at 770 for groups of seniors and young children. Addressing the gathering, the Rebbe explained their shared lessons and the rally’s special connection to Chanukah.
We all know the story of Chanukah: With all the odds against them, the Jews were victorious over their enemies. However, when they returned to the Holy Temple, they found that all the oil for the Menorah was defiled. God made a miracle and the oil lasted for eight days until they could procure new oil that was pure.
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