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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted:
Friday, December 15, 2006 - כ"ד כסלו, תשס"ז

 
 
 
   
 

Happy Chanukah!
Rabbi Yossi Gorodetsky
About the Author

A fellow about to embark on his first business trip approached the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe known as the Rebbe Rashab, Rabbi Sholom Ber Schneersohn (1860-1920): 

“I want to go into business,” said the fellow. “Shall I borrow money and hire an interpreter who speaks Russian better than I do? Or should I just wing it?” 

“I would suggest not to borrow any money at this time and not to hire an interpreter,” responded the Rashab. “If you do, you will be placing limits on your success. You will be limited because you will have a debt to repay, and you will be dependent on how well your interpreter expresses what you need to say. Go alone and find your best opportunity. Undoubtedly, G-d will help you find a way to communicate and succeed!” 

One has to hope for, believe in, and plan for great success. (The Rashab’s approach, while certainly unorthodox, came along with his blessing which was more powerful than the best of business plans.) 

Chanukah arrives tonight (Friday night). Jews the world over will kindle Chanukah candles to celebrate the victory of the small group of Jewish fighters over the mighty Syrian Greek army in Israel, 2145 years ago. Miraculously, the Jews were able to whip the Greeks and reconquer Jerusalem and the Holy Temple . The Menorah in the  Holy Temple  had been stolen so a temporary wooden replacement was fashioned. 

The next problem was finding pure olive oil that had not been defiled by the invader rendering it ritually impure. Another miracle occurred when a small flask of pure oil was found. As it took eight day to procure new oil and the flask had enough for one day it should have been lights out after one day. Yet another miracle saved the day when the small flask of oil refused to be consumed by the fire until the new oil arrived eight days later. Today we celebrate and publicize these Divine miracles on Chanukah. 

So where does the Chanukah gelt come in? The gelt business started way before, during the lifetime of our Patriarch Yaakov and his rivalry with wicked Eisav. Gelt was a big part of the dispute with Eisav realizing that Yaakov was going to receive more than him. Indeed, Yaakov was very rich. 

Generations later, after having endured Egyptian slavery for hundreds of years, the Jewish People extracted the great wealth of Egypt prior to departure. The wealth remained in Jewish hands until the destruction of the Holy Temple by Nevuchadnetzar of Babylon who made off with it. Eventually, the Baylonians were conquered by the Persians who then owned the Jewish wealth. The Greeks then came and took it from the Persians when Alexander the Great conquered Persia . Ultimately, the Romans came and took it from the Greeks. Until today, much of the Jewish wealth from the Temple era remains in Rome . With the coming of Moshiach speedily, the lost Jewish wealth in Rome and the world over will revert back to its rightful owners. 

The Syrian Greek invader wanted the Jewish People to detach itself from G-d. With the miracles of Chanukah, G-d revealed a shimmer of the great hidden light that awaits us with the coming of Moshiach. 

In order to demonstrate our eager anticipation for his arrival and the restoration of our wealth, we give Jewish children Chanukah gelt. 

Important: The Rebbe instructed adults to give children Chanukah gelt every night of Chanukah and to encourage the children to use a portion for tzedakah. Even money can be used to educate our children by showing them that whatever we receive is from above and we must use this “gift” in the proper way. 

May the wonderful holiday of Chanukah illuminate our homes with an abundance of material and spiritual light and may G-d bless us with good health, joy and happiness until the coming of Moshiach speedily in our day.

Have a wonderful Shabbos.


Read more articles by Rabbi Gorodetsky

 

 
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