To All Jewish Detainees
By the Grace of G-d
15 Kislev, 5738
To All Jewish Detainees, Everywhere
G-d be with you -
Greeting and Blessing:
In connection with the forthcoming days of Chanukah, I extend to each
and all of you prayerful wishes for a bright and inspiring Chanukah,
coupled with the fulfillment of your hearts' desires for good in every
Chanukah brings a meaningful message of encouragement - in keeping
with all the festivals and commemorative days in our Jewish Calendar,
which are meant to be observed not just for the sake of remembrance,
but also for the practical lessons they provide in our daily life.
One of the practical teachings of Chanukah is as follows:
The special Mitzvah pertaining to Chanukah is, of course, the kindling
of the Chanukah Lights, which must be lit after sunset - unlike the
Shabbos candles which must be lit before sunset; and unlike also the
lights of the Menorah that were kindles in the Beis Hamikdosh even
earlier in the day.
The meaningful message which this emphasis on kindling the Chanukah
Lights after sunset conveys is:
When a person finds himself in a situation of "after sunset," when the
light of day has given way to gloom and darkness - as was the case in
those ancient days under the oppressive Greek rule - one must not
despair, G-d forbid, but on the contrary, it is necessary to fortify
oneself with complete trust in G-d, the Essence of Goodness, and take
heart in the firm belief that the darkness is only temporary, and it
will soon be superseded by a bright light, which will be seen and felt
all the more strongly through the supremacy of light over darkness,
and by the intensity of the contrast.
And this is the meaning of lighting the Chanukah Lights, and in a
manner that calls for lighting an additional candle each successive
day of Chanukah - to plainly see for oneself, and to demonstrate to
others passing by in the street, that light dispels darkness; and that
even a little light dispels a great deal of darkness, how much more so
a light that steadily grows in intensity.
And if physical light has such quality and power, how much more so
eternal spiritual light.
What has been said above pertains to our Jewish people as a whole, as
well as to each individual Jew, man or woman, in particular.
The conclusion that follows from it is, that though our Jewish people
is still in a state of Golus (Exile), and "darkness covers the earth,"
a time when "nations rage and peoples speak vain things," etc., there
is no reason to get overly excited by it; we have only to strengthen
our trust in G-d, the "Guardian of His people Israel, who slumbers
not, nor sleeps," and be confident that He will protect His people
wherever they be, and will bless them with Hatzlocho in all things,
and in a growing measure; and that He will hasten the coming of our
Righteous Moshiach to bring us the true and complete Geulo
(Redemption) which is fast approaching.
Similarly in regard to each individual, those who find themselves in a
state of personal Golus - there is no cause for discouragement and
despondency, G-d for bid; on the contrary, one must find increasing
strength in complete trust in the Creator and Master of the Universe,
that their personal deliverance from distress and confinement is on
its speedy way.
All the more so when this trust is expressed in a growing commitment
to the fulfillment of G-d's Will in the daily life and conduct in
accordance with His Torah and Mitzvos - of which the Mitzva of
kindling the Chanukah Lights is particularly significant in that it
symbolizes the illumination of the soul, the "Lamp of G-d," with the
light of the Torah and Mitzvos, "for a Mitzvah is a lamp and the Torah
is light," - illuminating it in an increasing measure from day to day,
to bring about the fulfillment of the prophecy: "The people wailing in
darkness (of the Golus) will see a great light" - the light of the
With blessing for Hatzlocho and good tidings in all above,