1. The Chanukah lights should be kindled “at the outside of the entrance to one’s home” and must burn “until the foot of the Tarmudites disappears.” The Tarmudites are associated with the concept of “rebellion.1 “ The Chanukah lights illuminate the public domain to the extent that the influence of the Tarmudites is nullified. Although by nature, the public domain is their place, through the Chanukah lights we negate their influence.2

This is not to say that the public domain is nullified. It remains the public domain and all the Shabbos laws which pertain to it must be observed. Nevertheless, the light and the influence of the Chanukah candles is felt within it and the influence of the Tarmudites are nullified.

Moreover, the word translated as “nullified,” kalia, also relates to the word kilayon meaning “pleasure,”3 i.e., not only is the negative influence of the Tarmudites nullified, it is transformed into pleasure.

The darkness illuminated by the Chanukah lights is representative of the darkness of exile. For the majority of our national history, our people have lived outside our native land.4 Nevertheless, with the coming of the Redemption, the advantage of this service will be revealed.

2. In truth every moment of a Jew’s life is eternal. Furthermore, even when a Jew has lived seventy, eighty, or even 120 years, he can still hope for G‑d to grant him long life5 as Yaakov, our Patriarch, lived for 147 years.

147 reflects a very high level. In regard to the 127 years of Sarah’s life, it is explained that 100 refers to the level of Kesser, twenty to the intellectual attributes and seven, to the emotional attributes. Forty6 can be interpreted as referring to a twofold level of intellectual fulfillment as will be manifest in the Era of the Redemption, for this will be the era of the service of intellect.

These levels are transmitted by Yaakov to every one of his descendants, the Jewish people in our time. Furthermore, in the immediate future, we will also see the ultimate expression of life. For “I will cause the spirit of impurity to depart from the earth,” and the opposite of life will no longer exist. On the contrary, “You will be granted life from the source of life.” Each Jew will reach a higher level of life than Yaakov our Patriarch.

The concept of proceeding to a higher rung after reaching the level of 147 was reflected by Yaakov himself who asked to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. Although he had reached the elevated peaks of service described above, he wanted to be taken to Eretz Yisrael which would bring him to an even higher level. Indeed, he considered this so important that he troubled Yosef, who was a king,7 to bury him there.

The mention of Yosef relates to this week’s Torah reading which begins describing how Yehudah approached Yosef. The Rabbis relate this to the obligation for “redemption [in halachic terms, the blessing Go’al Yisrael,] to be directly connected to prayer.” We have just recited prayers, may we proceed immediately to the Redemption. For this is the final generation of the exile and the first generation of the Redemption. The generation in which everyone, men women, and children, will soon proceed to the eternal life of the World to Come.

This will be hastened by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah, for “tzedakah brings the Redemption near.” Furthermore, Chanukah gelt will also be distributed. May this cause G‑d to give the Redemption as Chanukah gelt to the Jewish people who are described with the verse “Israel is a youth and I love him.”

The Rebbeim would give Chanukah gelt to the members of their household. Indeed, even after their children were married and had children of their own, the Rebbeim would continue to give them Chanukah gelt.

This should also serve as a prompt for anyone who has not yet fulfilled the custom of giving Chanukah gelt to do so at present, in the hours of Chanukah that remain. May the giving of Chanukah gelt promote happiness — which as the Rambam writes is intrinsic to Chanukah. And may this lead to the ultimate Redemption in the immediate future.

[The suggestion was made that the Rebbe Shlita distribute the Chanukah gelt from his office. The Rebbe replied:] It was suggested that the distribution take place above. Even though that would involve making an ascent, to prevent discomfort to the community, the distribution will take place here, in “the Sanctuary in microcosm.” For from here, it will be easier to make the transition to “the Sanctuary of G‑d established by Your hands.” May this take place in the immediate future.