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Dearest Friends,

You can be the richest man in the world, you can have everything between heaven and earth, you can be in the same room with the one thing you have been looking for, but if there is no light to show you where it is, then you do not have it. Chanukah is the holiday of the inside light, the hidden light, the light which is burning amidst the deepest darkness. At Chanukah we celebrate the light which gave the Maccabees the strength in the darkest period to believe that they can drive out the Greeks in the Holy Land. You see, my best friends, when we are born, G-d gives us everything, every day G-d gives us everything; only sometimes we turn off the light by our mistakes. Sometines we blow out our own candles, so on Chanukah haShem gives us back the light we need the most.

Chanukah is the holiday when the Talmud says, “Chanukah is a man and his house,” meaning that the whole family has to come together. Because between husband and wife, parents and children, you can stand next to each other for a thousand years and be as far away as two million eternities. Chanukah is the great light when we see each other again; according to the Kabbalistic tradition it is deeper than Yom Kippur. It is the holy of holiest, but not in the temple, in my own house. We kindle the light by the door to tell the people – the outside people – who have not yet found their own house, who have not yet found their own soul, who have not yet found even their own friend. And we share our light with them.

All the hatred in the world is only because people don’t see each other. Chanukah is the holiday that we are closest to the Messiah and, gevalt, do we need the world to see us one time! And gevalt, do we need all the Jews one time to see the holiness of being Jewish! Let it be this year. Amen.

Much love,

Shlomo