1. Today is the third day of the week; it is the first third day of the week, since Yud Tes Kislev,1 which also occurred, this year, on the third day of the week.

The significance of the third day of the week, can be seen in the Torah account of Creation. There we find the expression: “And G‑d saw that it was good”(1), written twice, concerning the creations of the third day. This implies, that the third day of the week contains, a double “goodness.” This double “goodness” is indicated in the expression “good for Heaven, and good for the creation.” (2)

The third day, was also the day on which the original Yud Tes Kislev occurred — the day the Alter Rebbe was liberated from prison, and on this day, we celebrate our own liberation as well; for “Hashem(G‑d) liberated not only him (the Alter Rebbe,” (3) but, together with him, He liberated every Jew, and all Jews , to the end of all generations.

This liberation is especially connected with all matters pertaining to the spreading outwards of the “wellsprings”2 the dissemination of the esoteric teachings of the Torah” and also, the dissemination of the Torah’s revealed teachings. (4)

[For just as the soul affects the body, so the esoteric teachings of the Torah (the “soul” of Torah), affect. The revealed part of Torah (the “body” of Torah). It follows therefore, that the dissemination of the esoteric teachings, leads to an increase in the dissemination of the revealed teachings.]3

Since Torah study must lead to action, (6) for action is the principal objective, (7) it follows that the dissemination of Torah (both esoteric and revealed), must lead to a ‘spreading outward’ in the actual observance of the Mitzvos. By this we mean that the concept of ‘Hiddur’ (beauty and meticulousness) in the observance of the Mitzvos should reach even the “outside”; even to those Jews who are, as of yet, far from this level of observance of the Mitzvos.

2. The aforementioned concept is especially relevant to the days of Chanukah. For we see, that it is a custom kept by all Jews, (8) to fulfill the Mitzvah of kindling the Chanukah lights in the manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin (in the most beautiful and meticulous manner possible).4

According to the well-known rule, that each Mitzvah encompasses all the other Mitzvos,5 it is understood, that the concept of fulfilling Mitzvos in the manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin, the “general custom” with regard to the Mitzvah of Chanukah, (derivable also, from meditation on the meaning of Yud Tes Kislev), is a pertinent lesson with regard to-all other Mitzvos. It must therefore be applied to all the Mitzvos, performed throughout the year — until next year Chanukah, which will arrive with blessings, for us, and all the Jewish People, when we will add and improve in all that is holy, even more than we have, this year.6

3. This lesson from Chanukah, is also connected with another aspect of the liberation that took place on Yud Tes Kislev: On Chanukah, the Alter Rebbe returned from Petersburg (where he was sent upon his arrest), to his home region of Vitebsk, and this marked the completion of the liberation.7 As it is related in the history of the liberation, (14) he arrived in Vitebsk on the third day of the week — the second day of Chanukah8 and “he remained there for the duration of Chanukah.”

Although the aforementioned concept of Mehadrin etc., is associated with all the days of Chanukah, there is a unique distinction in its association with the second day of Chanukah; for this day marks the actual beginning of its implementation:9

On the first day of Chanukah, it is possible only to resolve to fulfill the precept in the manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin (this could really be done, even before Chanukah10 ). However, as yet, it cannot have been actualized, because on the first day, one kindles only one light.

On the third day (and the rest of the days of Chanukah), there is no novelty in the fulfillment of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin, since this practice was already done on the second day.11

Thus, the second day of Chanukah has the unique distinction of being the beginning of the fulfillment of the Mitzvah, in the manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin — in actuality.12

This fact also bears a special relationship to the liberation that took place on Yud Tes Kislev; as indicated by the fact (mentioned previously) that the Alter Rebbe’s arrival in Vitebsk, coincided with “the third day of the week; the second day of Chanukah.”13

The connection between the two is as follows:

The central theme of Yud Tes Kislev; the spreading of the ‘wellsprings’ of Torah — the esoteric teachings of Torah, brings with itself, the dissemination of the revealed teachings of Torah as well; and therefore, it leads to the spreading of the actual observance of the Mitzvos, with hiddur par excellence Mehadrin min Hamehadrin. This takes place, not only in potential, in one’s resolutions, but in the actual fulfillment of the potential contained within the resolution.

4. The practical lesson from all of this:

The Mitzvah of kindling the Chanukah lights is a clear example of the quality of Mitzvos, expressed in the verse “a Mitzvah is a candle.” (17) (18)

Thus, the Mehadrin min Hamehadrin practiced in connection T with this Mitzvah, observable on the second day,14 should bring with itself, this same practice, as applied in all other Mitzvos.

5. Understandably, we must begin with the general Mitzvos, summarized in the well known, Ten Point Mitzvah Campaign:

1) Love every Jew — “as you love yourself”

2) Education: Ensure a Torah-true education, for every Jewish child.

3) Torah: set aside a time each day, to study Torah

4) Mezuzah: place a kosher, inspected Mezuzah on the doorpost of each room in your house:

5) Tefillin: Every Jewish male, above the age of thirteen should put on Tefillin, every weekday.

6) Charity: Give some charity every weekday, and have a charity box in your house.

7) A house, full of Jewish Holy Books; Yavne and its Sages; In every Jewish home, there should be Jewish Holy Books at least a Chumash (the five books of Moshe), Tehillim Psalms), and a Siddur (Jewish Prayer Book) ); And, the three Mitzvos, that were entrusted especially to Jewish Women and Jewish daughters,15

8) Shabbos and Holiday candle lights: Every Jewish woman and girl (from the age of three), should light candles at the proper time, to welcome in the Shabbos and the Holidays, and accompany their lighting with the proper blessing.

9) Kashrus: The kitchen of every Jewish home should be kosher, with two sets of dishes, for milk and for meat, and Jews should eat only kosher food.

10) Family Purity: The Jewish family should be careful to observe the laws of Family Purity.

This Ten Point Campaign should be publicized until it reaches the outside, and every Jew fulfills his requirements, in a manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin.

6. Since the Almighty Himself performs those same deeds that He commands us to perform,16 our efforts in carrying out this Ten Point Mitzvah Campaign, will bring Him to carry out the Campaign, that only He can bring about — the most important, and most all encompassing campaign of all, the “campaign” of the redemption of the Jewish People. He will increasingly17 hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy “I will hasten it (the redemption)” (24), so that in the immediate future, we will witness the fulfillment of the verse “And you shall be gathered up, one by one, oh children of Yisrael” (26) — the Almighty will attend separately to each and every Jew and will lead him out of exile, to the true and complete redemption — speedily, in our time, in evident goodness, and “with everlasting joy upon their heads.”[27]

7. In order to connect all that has been said with an actual deed, (28) Chanukah Gelt (money) will be distributed to whoever is willing to receive it. This is a Jewish custom, and “Jewish customs have the status of Torah”; this, in addition to the fact that there are many allusions to this custom in the revealed Torah.

This custom is performed with money; and since “one could have purchased life (sustenance) with this money,” (32) therefore, when one gives this money away, in order to observe a Jewish custom (which is Torah), it is the same as one who “gives the life of one’s soul to the Almighty.” (32) This act of charity draws the redemption closer.18

8. Since the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Chanukah has a connection with “The door of one’s house, leading to the outside” (12) — for this is where the Chanukah lights ought to be placed, the Chanukah Gelt will be distributed at the door of this House of Prayer and Study — the headquarters of the leader of our generation, the (Previous) Rebbe (o.b.m.), from where he led the entire Jewish nation, together with his disciples and followers.

His leadership has left its imprint everywhere, for all time until, and even after, the coming of our Righteous Mashiach.

We will give each person one dollar, to be used as one pleases, for a cause that is “good for heaven, and good for the creation.”

Undoubtedly, everyone will add something of his own money, making the addition in a manner of Mehadrin min Hamehadrin.

Since “Charity is great, for it draws the Redemption closer,” (31) this will serve to hasten the coming of the true and complete redemption, through our Righteous Mashiach and — with joy and gladness of heart.


1. Rashi’s commentary — Bereishis,1:7.

2. Kiddushin,40:a

3. Printed in Sefer HaToldos Admur HaZokain,pp.218219. Referred to in many places.

3* Letter of the Baal Shem Tov, included at the end of Bain Porus Yosef, see also “Letters of Besht and his Disciples”(Lvov,5683), also Ginzei Nistor; part of the letter, also included in Kesser Shem Tov, and Likkutei Amarim of the Maggid of Mezritch. See also Likkutei Dibburim, likkut 16-18 for explanation of this story. See also, Likkutei Sichos,Vol.7,p.206, in many places.

4. See Zohar, V. III, pg. 152:a

5. Iggeres HaKodesh of the Alter Rebbe-printed at the end of the Tanya(pg.163:a)

6. Kiddushin,40:b

7. Ethics of Our Fathers, ch. l Mishnah 17

8. Ramah, in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim,ch.671, sect see commentaries there

9. Tractate Succah,25:a References listed there

10. Klal 91, sec.10, see there Sefer HaMaamarim 5666 pg. 68. Referred to in many places.

11. See Sdei Chemed-Klolim, Letter Ayin, Klal 45(and Klal 91, sec.10)

12. Shabbos, 21:b

13. See Alter Rebbe’s Birchas HaNehenin,ch.13,halachah 5.

14. Likkutei Dibburim vol. I, pg. 12:a

15. See Lekach Tov, by R’ Yosef Engel, Klal b, sec.3, Tzaphnas Paaneiach on the Rambam, Hilchos Shavuos, ch. 5, halachah 15

16. See Maamar “Ki KaAsher Ha Shamayim,” 5678

17. Proverbs, 6:23

18. See Tractate Shabbos, 23:b and Rashi there; see Likkutei Sichos, Parshas Tazria, 5737, sec.5

19. Shulchan Aruch — Orach Chaim beginning of ch. 670, and in Mogen Avraham there.

20. See Bereishis Rabba, end of ch. 17. Tanchuma, beginning of Parshas Noach, and end of Parshas Tazria.

21. Psalms, 147:19

22. Shmos Rabba, ch.30, sec.9

23. Hemshech “Samech-Vov,” beginning of pg. 419

24. Isaiah 60:22

25. Sanhedrin, 98:a

26. Isaiah, 27:12. See Rashi Nitzavim, 30:3

27. Isaiah, 35:10; 51:11

28. We call attention to the Ramban’s commentary on the Torah — Lech Lecha, 12:b See also Levush on the Rekanti — Lech Lecha, ibid Rashos HoRan, Drush 2

29. Tosafos beginning “Nifsol,” in Menachos, 20:b

30. See Likkutei Levi Yitzchok Igros, pg. 358

31. Bava Basra, 10:a

32. Tanya, ch. 37 (pg. 48:b and further).