soulofchanuka-200x300These thoughts were based on the book Soul of Chanukah — teachings of  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and compiled by Rabbi Shlomo Katz

In the holy Temple there was a Menorah. The Kohanim kindled its lights. On Chanukah, my own house becomes as holy as the Holy Temple. I kindle a great Light. I am kindling G-d’s Light.

On Chanukah, one little bit of oil gave us so much Light and Hope. One little bit of oil can bring light to the whole world.

In these days, with so much evil in the world. We need hope. We need peace.

Chanukah is the holiday of Peace. What is so special about Peace? Everyone can ask G-d for certain things. I can ask G-d to make me rich. I cannot ask G-d to give me peace, if I don’t care for the rest of the world, because peace is only given to the whole world together.

Hashem created the world . Within the world he formed evil. G-d created light and darkness. The only way to drive out evil from the world is his Torah. In order to do drive out evil we need to get the light of the Torah. What is the light of the Torah? What is the light of Chanukah? Chanukah comes from the word Chinch – Education. Education is connected to newness. We are inspired and learn when something is new. Something is fresh. We need keep the light of Torah alive .

Every person has something which is special about them. We search our whole lives to find out what is unique about me ?
For us Jews our holiness is to connect to the Torah – to connect to G-d

So what is the answer? How do we connect to the Torah? How do we drive out evil?

A simple way to look at this is as follows . When I do wrong I disconnect from G-d. I can still do every mitzvah (“good deed’) in the world, but I am disconnected from myself and G-d. In order to rectify this we need to  do Teshuva (‘soul searching’) – to connect to G-d and to find the one thing that is so deep and unique about me.

So this brings us back to the light of the Chanukah  candle — what is considered to be the great light in my life?

There is an idea about Chanukah that everybody wants to light their own candle – light . My own light is my little path which leads to me G-d, to be kind and considerate to my wife or husband, family and acquaintances. To have compassion. To do good deeds

This is the secret of driving out evil in the world . Starting with the small things we can do and influence. One candle at a time. One good deed at a time

May the light of Chanukah shine and eradicate the evil in this world.