As we celebrate Chanukah, we share a letter the Rebbe addresses to the participants of a Chassidic Concert honoring Jews who were liberated from religious oppression in a repressive regime – in which he points to the eternal message of Chanukah and the reliving of the miracles in our days. This letter is from volume 5 of The Letter and The Spirit.
By the Grace of G-d
(Rebbe’s handwriting: by special delivery) Brooklyn, N.Y.
To the Participants in the
Annual Chasidic Concert
Headed by Mr., Chairman
G-d Bless You All
Greeting and Blessing:
I was pleased to be informed of the forthcoming Annual Concert. I send my greetings and prayerful wishes for its success in the fullest measure.
The Concert, taking place only days after Chanukah, will surely find the participants and audience still under the inspiration of Chanukah, the keynote of which is expressed in the concluding words of the special Chanukah prayers: “…To give thanks and praise to Your great Name.”
No doubt this is also the keynote of the forthcoming Chasidic Concert.
Indeed, there is much for which we have to thank and praise G-d. Not only do we take heart in the message of Chanukah not to be afraid of overwhelming odds, but we are actually reliving many of the miracles which gave rise to the Festival of Chanukah when “the many were delivered into the hands of the few…the arrogant into the hands of those who are engaged in Your Torah.”
Jews are still, as they have always been a minority among the nations; and in certain countries, the majority and the arrogant attempt to disturb and prevent the learning of Torah and Torah life. But the festival of Chanukah brings us the eternal message that so long as Jews are imbued with the indomitable conviction that man’s ultimate goal is “to give thanks and praise to Your great Name,” victory is assured. Moreover, the victory in the realm of the spirit brings with it a victory also in other aspects, as was the case in the days of Mattisyohu and his sons, whose battle for the daily Torah life, Torah and mitzvos also won the nation’s freedom from foreign rule and oppression.
The forthcoming Chasidic Concert will fittingly reflect this spirit in song and melody, while the highlight of honoring Jews recently liberated from religious oppression will spotlight the spirit of Chanukah as it is truly personified by these heroic Hasmoneans and Maccabees of our time. After more than half a century of relentless battle against overwhelming odds, these Jews came through with their loyalty and adherence to G-d and to His Torah and mitzvos not only undiminished, but strengthened by the crucible of perpetual self-sacrifice. They and their wives and their sons and daughters, are living “Chanukah Lights” that illuminate and inspire all of us who are privileged to come in contact with them.
I trust that the occasion will serve as a source of lasting inspiration to all participants, an inspiration that will reflect the spirit of “To give thanks and praise to Your great Name” – in their personal daily life, in their homes and in the community at large and reflect it in a steadily growing measure, even as we kindle the Chanukah lights in growing numbers from day to day.
With best wishes for hatzlocho and
With esteem and blessing,