"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Don't Distort the Message of Chanukah

Don't Distort the Message of Chanukah

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

These gems of wisdom below (and others like it in many locations worldwide) ...

From "Governer Tweets From Lighting":

"The United States allows freedom of relgion and not freedom from religion. Chanukah delivers the message of religous freedom, where the few believers won over the many oppressors."
From "Arizona Gov. Shows Soft Side":

"The menorah serves as a symbol of Arizona's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely."
... impel me to draw my readers' attention to these past posts: The true message of Chanuka and Chanukah: Absolute truth, not pluralism!

I applaud all those who did not succumb to the temptation to follow this trend, choosing instead to speak words of pure, uncompromised faith. 

Instead of twisting Chanukah into an American holiday celebrating the secular American values of pluralism and freedom of religion, the speakers at these events should have followed the Rebbe's directive to use this opportunity to promote awareness and observance of the Noahide laws out of a pure belief in the Torah:

There is another matter of primary importance in connection with the public Menorah lighting—influencing non-Jews. Lighting the Menorah “in the entrance of the home, on the outside”[1] affects all those on the outside, including non-Jews. ... Therefore the opportunity of the Menorah lighting, which should be held in the most public, central places, should be utilized in order to inspire non-Jews to observe the Noahide Code. It should be stressed that they should fulfill these laws “because G–d commanded them [these laws] in the Torah.”[2] This abolishes rebellion against G–d, which is the theme of the lights of Chanukah.

[1] Shabbos 21b. [2] Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 8:11.

Hisva’aduyos 5747, Vol. 2, p. 133.
Note that the Rebbe says that the message of the lights of Chanukah is the abolition of rebellion against G–d. It is clear that other religions, which reject Torah in one way or another, constitute rebellion against G–d and His Word. Although it is likely counter-productive to attempt to abolish this rebellion through a "frontal attack" of outright condemnation, the desire to avoid doing so does not justify uttering a falsehood. Declaring that Chanukah itself represents some sort of endorsement of the legitimacy of other religions, or using any similar language, G-d forbid, is a hideous distortion of Chanukah into its diametric opposite.


  1. It is a political correct white washing of a message most would consider zealotry or extremism. And I say, so what?

  2. It is a sin to say a falsehood. It is also a sin to misrepresent the teachings of Torah. Again, if one decides that a particular audience is not fit to hear a certain message, one can choose a different message that one thinks is more likely will be accepted.

    In this case, as I quote, we have been specifically instructed by the Rebbe to use these occasions to spread the pure message of belief in Hashem and Torah that Chanukah represents not only to Jews, but also to non-Jews.

  3. Even (or especially?) the sonei-Yisroel get it.

    To quote David Duke:

    "Hanukkah and the Menorah symbolize Jewish separatism. Hanukkah is celebrated as the Jewish holy day representing resistance against Jewish assimilation with the Greeks/Syrians... Radical Jewish elements fomented war and murder to prevent the assimilation from occurring! Hanukkah is itself a celebration of the recapture of the temple (and an accompanying massacre of non-Jews)."


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