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Even a non- Kohen , even a plain ordinary Jew like me and you can do it. Many of them are plain, ordinary people like you and me. Nevertheless, they are successful. The Rebbe explains that they are successful because the Kohen prepared the Menorah for them. In other words, once the Kohen has done the groundwork, then the ordinary Israelite can kindle the Menorah. Sometimes an ordinary person has difficulty deciding exactly how to go about his work. What about a person to whom only one kind of mitzvah appeals?

Many questions arise in the course of trying to deal with a Jew who is uncommitted and trying to bring them back. For this reason the Torah tells us that the hatavas haMenorah , the cleaning and preparing of the Menorah , must be done by a Kohen. I will tell you what I understand this to be in our modern-day context.

Those of you who come to this class regularly, know that from time to time the Rebbe comes out with a horaah. Why today this? Why today that? Why next week do this? Now, why does the Menorah have to be in the Heichal , and not in a less holy place? Because when we go about kindling another Jew, we should not be satisfied with mediocre results. By hashgachah peratis , they met Rabbi Friedman and started talking with him. They mentioned that they had gotten married only several months previously through a certain rabbi whom Rabbi Friedman happened to know. He asked them in a discreet way if they knew about the mitzvos of taharas hamishpachah , family purity , and he asked the woman if she went to the mikveh.

She looked puzzled and said the rabbi never mentioned this to her. Rabbi Friedman was very puzzled. He arranged for someone to teach her the necessary laws, and they eventually began to keep taharas hamishpachah. They found that it was a source of great strength.

I just want to ask you a question. You know, the wife said that you never mentioned to her about taharas hamishpachah. Can you know what a person is or is not capable of? However, you have no way of knowing from where this neshamah comes. Some of the greatest tzaddikim in Yiddishkeit were born of very simple people. If somebody has a high soul-root, they can go very, very high, so it is not for me or you to determine to what level of holiness an individual should be brought. The way is yafutzu — burst forth to the outside, to army bases where the soldiers are far away from home, to prisons and hospitals and old-age homes, to far-flung corners of the world where Yiddishkeit is scarce.


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In the army they came into real life and death situations, and then they had their first awakening of what life is all about. At that moment somebody came to read the Megillah for soldiers, instead of spending Purim with his own family. This is mesirus nefesh — real self-sacrifice — and those soldiers really appreciate it.

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You can see it on their faces; you could see how happy they are when somebody thinks of them. You have to be there ready to sense that a Jew needs this mitzvah and needs this friendliness and needs this warmth.

You can be critical in kindling this Jew and bringing him very, very close to where he should be. Let me tell you about the shaliach in Hong Kong, Rabbi Avtzon. He goes out to the plane to greet people as they land in Hong Kong, and he gives them candles, or the address of the shul and the times they daven. But someone gave them Shabbos candles and then they went to the hotel and they thought, we might as well light them since we have them. And who knows, they may continue lighting candles for the rest of their lives, which often happens. Please Donate. Please partner with Chabad. Thank you to:.

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AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. The Rebbe gives two examples: There is the way of ahavah love , and the way of yirah austerity, fear, severity.

Everyone is probably familiar with both approaches. The kids love them, they love the kids. Then we have all had teachers that were very strict disciplinarians. If you made one move, you were out of the room, or standing in the corner or writing lines a hundred times. Both of them were teachers, both of them were trying to do the same thing — teach children. But they had different approaches — one with love, the other with fear. Do it with love, do it with fear, as long as you accomplish your goals.

However, the Rebbe says that there is a difference. Even though the way of the person who kindles you with yirah is legitimate, nevertheless, how much better, how much more pleasant it is when your way of kindling is with ahavah. Why should we choose a path which is severe and rigid and instills a feeling of fear and withdrawal when we can also choose the other way which is the way of Ahavas Yisrael? He was the very first Kohen , and the first one to kindle the Menorah , and therefore he is supposed to be our prototype, our example.

It is not a very complimentary name, is it? What are you going to do, call a person a creature? But Pirkei Avos teaches us that there are certain people whom we have difficulty saying something nice about. They have no easily identifiable redeeming quality.

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They are not learned, their behavior is not as it should be, their personality is not as it should be. The only thing we can say in their favor is that HaShem created them. Even such a person was loved by Aharon. Now, what did Aharon do with these people? The Rebbe makes another point: Aharon brought them the creatures closer to the Torah, and not, as many would like to do, bring the Torah close to the people, in the sense of diluting the Torah, watering it down.

That mitzvah is not modern. This mitzvah is not comfortable. You are not on such a high level.

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Just do one or two, and you are a good Jew. Of course, this must be done slowly, bit by bit, not overnight. Tomorrow, another little bit. Every Jew has a part in Torah and every Jew deserves to get closer than he was. There are several other procedures related to the kindling of the Menorah in the Beis HaMikdash. The Rebbe explains how each of these also apply to us when we go out to kindle another Jew. For a start: Every day the Menorah had to be cleaned. The Menorah burned the entire night, and in the morning when all of the candles except one had gone out that one miraculously remained alight until it was time to rekindle the Menorah , the wick and traces of oil had to be removed.

This was called hatavas haneiros — from the word tov — to make the Menorah good and clean. Paradoxically, the cleaning out of the Menorah and preparing the wick and the oil, which seems like dirty work, that had to be done by a Kohen. When Aharon was alive, he was given the mitzvah of kindling the Menorah. Subsequently, however, neither the Kohen HaGadol , nor any Kohen , had to kindle the Menorah , as long as it was cleaned out and prepared by a Kohen.

Furthermore, the place where the Menorah had to be lit was in the Heichal , one of the holiest places in the Beis HaMikdash. One might think that perhaps the Menorah should be lit outside, so that people should see it, like the Chanukah Menorah. Why did it have to be inside, in a hidden place? The Rebbe explains that each of these details has a horaah for us.

A Kohen , in this context, symbolizes a person who is totally dedicated to Torah. Today this is no longer true. Today you have Kohanim in every profession. He was symbolic of a person whose life was totally devoted to and committed to Torah. You do not have be such a person in order to be successful in kindling another Jew. Even a non- Kohen , even a plain ordinary Jew like me and you can do it.

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Many of them are plain, ordinary people like you and me. Nevertheless, they are successful. The Rebbe explains that they are successful because the Kohen prepared the Menorah for them. In other words, once the Kohen has done the groundwork, then the ordinary Israelite can kindle the Menorah.


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  • Sometimes an ordinary person has difficulty deciding exactly how to go about his work. What about a person to whom only one kind of mitzvah appeals? Many questions arise in the course of trying to deal with a Jew who is uncommitted and trying to bring them back. For this reason the Torah tells us that the hatavas haMenorah , the cleaning and preparing of the Menorah , must be done by a Kohen.

    I will tell you what I understand this to be in our modern-day context. Those of you who come to this class regularly, know that from time to time the Rebbe comes out with a horaah. Why today this? Why today that? Why next week do this? Now, why does the Menorah have to be in the Heichal , and not in a less holy place?

    Because when we go about kindling another Jew, we should not be satisfied with mediocre results. By hashgachah peratis , they met Rabbi Friedman and started talking with him. They mentioned that they had gotten married only several months previously through a certain rabbi whom Rabbi Friedman happened to know. He asked them in a discreet way if they knew about the mitzvos of taharas hamishpachah , family purity , and he asked the woman if she went to the mikveh.