The Message of the saving our children with Dreidels and The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h

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The Message of the Dreidel and Doobie Dreidel

History travels, seemingly aimlessly. Generations come and go. As a wide circle, history repeats itself. Is there an objective? Is the world aiming toward a goal?

On Chanukah we turn the dreidel. The Nun, Gimel, Heh and Shin engraved on the dreidel come and go as it spins. The dreidel seems to be spinning aimlessly. However, the Bnei Yissaschar points out that Nun, Gimel, Heh and Shin are gematria Mashiach (they both equal 358).

It’s true; world history – as symbolized by the dreidel – seems to be spinning aimlessly. However, there is a center point around which it all turns – the world’s redemption through Mashiach.
Source: Shalosh Seudos Torah Parshas Vayeishev

New Chanukah Shiur!
1) Mesiras Nefesh – 19 Kislev at Chabad gathering (complete shiur great sound quality)



by Chana Katz

As we walk down the hillside of Tsfat’s historic Old Cemetery, we approach a mother who is buried along with her seven sons. For some, it may be viewed as one of the greatest stories of martrydom in Jewish history, perhaps even greater than the famous “Akeida” in which our forefather Avraham was all set to sacrifice his only son, Issac.

At least that’s the way Chana felt, because as the cruel gentile king ordered the death of her final and youngest son, she requested permission to give him one last mother’s kiss. Granted this permission, she embraced her son and whispered in his ear instructions to be carried out after

his soul left his body:

“Go to Avraham Avinu,” she said, “and tell him he was told to

offer one son –I’ve offered seven sons.”

It’s no light story to ponder the pain this mother felt as one by one,

her sons refused to bow down as the king demanded, each coming up

with his own verse from the Torah to explain why it was

more important to sacrifice the mortal body rather than harm

the soul’s essential,

eternal connection to its source.

But something here was more powerful than pain.

It was the unfathomable level of happiness this mother felt when

her children,

on their own strength and desire, were willing to give up their very lives in

order to cleave to G-d.

Perhaps that is why, after the last of her seven sons was tortuously killed,

she went to the roof and jumped to her own death, and,

as the story is related in the Gemara, a heavenly voice called out that

she’s an “Eim Simaicha” (a joyful mother).

Still, it’s a hard story to grasp. And in her final resting place —

by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

In fact, if one never looked at Chanukah in another vein besides

the miracle of the oil and the brave battle of Judah the Maccabee,

this tape will draw a direct connection

between Chana and Chanu-kah! Ginsburgh goes as far as to say that perhaps

the story of Chana and her sons who refused to bow

to Antiochus is the very basis of this weeklong celebration of one of

the Jewish people’s greatest victories and

why the last day of Chanukah,

known as “Zot Chanukah” uses the feminine word

“Zot.” Each candle, Ginsburgh says, serves as the “ner neshama”

for Chana and her seven sons.


According to the Gemara volume


the king asked each son to bow down to an idol.

Each son, starting from the oldest to eventually

the youngest, refused, each quoting a different

passage from the Torah.

The first son quoted the first commandment,

“How can I bow down?” he asked, “when

it says in the Torah, “I am the L-rd your G-d.’ ”

The second son stated the commandment:

“You shall have no other gods beside Me.”

Said the third: “How can I? Whoever sacrifices

to a foreign god will be wiped out of the

Jewish people.”

Quoted the fourth son: “You shall not bow

down to other gods.”

The fifth son quoted the “Shma” —

“Hear O Israel, the L-rd G-d, the L-rd is One.”

The sixth son explained: “You shall teach today your heart that Hashem is the only

G-d in the heavens and earth and there is no other.”

Finally, the merciless king turned to the seventh and youngest son who

quoted the longest passage:

“We have sworn to Hashem not to change Him for any other god and

G-d has sworn to us not to exchange us for any other people.”

The king was taken aback. This boy was the youngest, yet the most clever —

and also willing to give his life. Nonetheless, the king tried to deceive him:

“I’ll throw my ring down,” he said, “and so people won’t ridicule me it will

look like you’re bowing down but really you’ll only be picking up the ring.”

No luck, Antiochus. The brave lad said,

“If your honor as a human being of flesh and blood is so important,

than how much more so is the honor of the King!”


Flashing in time through the years to our generation, bound by cumulative

merit yet set back by incomprehensible capitulations and compromises,

whatever feelings one carries to Chana and

her Seven Sons, they must certainly include awe and admiration.

The most direct approach to Chana is to take HaAri Street as far as one can go, which will take you past the top of Old Cemetery until a flight of steps leading down the side of the mountain to the famous Ari Mikveh and to a path that will go directly to the entrance of Chana’s cave. The other path to Chana is more winding and longer, but it will offer the chance to stop by the resting sites of the Holy Ari (Rabbi Issac Luria), Rav Moshe Cordovera, R. Shlomo Alkabetz and other great Torah figures.

The entrance itself is not very high, perhaps only four-feet at most. In fact, the entire cave ceiling itself is very-low lying. It is quiet and dark inside but the just like the story itself, the illumination burns bright when it is viewed in its spiritual light.

“Chana and her Seven Sons sacrificed their lives on earth to establish and reveal to the eyes of the entire world the essential bond of the Jewish soul to eternal life, unbounded by the limitations of time and space…

to illuminate the darkness of the world around” proclaims

Rav Ginsburgh in his final words on the tape.

Now, it doesn’t really seem so dark in here, does it?

[Chana Katz, a former South FLorida journalist, lives in Tsfat.

Her articles on life in Israel have reached publications throughout the world.]

The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h A dedication to her!
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rebbetzin Chana Sara Shifra Taub a”h,

the Kaliver Rebbetzin, wife of the Kaliver Rebbe of Eretz Yisroel. She was 94.

The Rebbetzin passed away this afternoon at Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Yerushalayim.

She had suffered from serious illness in recent years.

She was a daughter of Rav Pinchas Shapiro of Kechnia and was a descendant of

Rav Meir Premishlaner.

The Rebbetzin was a true ishah chashuvah, who, with humility, aidelkeit and grace,

served as a right hand to her husband in his avodas hakodesh.

The Rebbetzin would encourage her husband to engage in activities that bring estranged

Jews closer to their Father in Shomayim, stating that while she didn’t merit to have

biological children in this world, “at least we will have children in Olam Haba.”

The levaya is being held this evening at the Kaliver Bais Medrash on Rechov Chana,

followed by kevurah on Har Hazeisim.

Yehi zichrah boruch.


11 thoughts on “The Message of the saving our children with Dreidels and The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h

  1. Chanuka Fun

    The bright light of the candles chase away the darkness; our happiness chases away darkness too.

    One of the reasons we speak so much about physical health and nutrition here at the Beams is because a healthy body is conducive to a happy soul and bubbly emotions. For example, the overweight people stuffing their faces at the buffet of the wedding aren’t the ones who are enjoying themselves. Neither are the drinkers and the smokers. Substance use and uncontrolled eating are signs of depression and other big-league hangups. The ones dancing the most are having the best time. If you’ve never done any serious Chassidic dancing, then don’t try unless you’re in good shape.

    For those who think that Chassidic Jews are wimps, check this out…

  2. Inspiration in every way e.g. I just donated 36 wishing us all Happy Chanukah, you can light us up too!
    PayPal style

    Hello JIM = Jaffa Institute & Midnightrabbi eli goldsmith

    This email confirms that you have donated $36.00 USD to American Friends of the Jaffa Institute ( using PayPal.

    Donation Details
    Donation amount: $36.00 USD
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    Purpose: American Friends of the Jaffa Institute
    Contributor: eli goldsmith
    Message: This is for Eli Goldsmith for all his inspirational work , he truly makes a difference and the Jaffainstitute is blessed to have him, happy chanukah for the Ethiopian Bar Mitzvah now!

    Mention eli in comments when u donate your 36!
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    Help For The New Year- Ethiopian BarMitzvot Now See links and Donate generously leave in comments eli!

    Midnightrabbi inspires

    • Together Again

      What people call a “family celebration” or simcha is a lot less joyful when the bride, groom, Bar Mitzva boy or Bat Mitzva girl are the children of divorced parents. At a Bar Mitzva I attended recently, which involved the son of divorced parents, there was an atmosphere of tension and awkwardness. On the men’s side, the Bar Mitzva boy’s natural father and grandfather sat at the head table, while the stepfather and his friends sat a side table; it was embarrassing to see how they chattered while the natural grandfather spoke words of Torah and blessed his grandson.

      On the women’s side, things were even more awkward. The boy’s natural mother sat at the head table, while the father’s second wife sat at a side table with her friends. The atmosphere was like two columns of opposing armies facing one another right before they charge and attack.

      The happy occasions of married couples are often nightmares for divorced couple – who invites who, who pays what, and a dozen other reasons to argue and disagree.

      What about the children that suffer the tragedy of not being able to grow up with two parents under the same roof? Divorce devastates children emotionally more than almost anything else.

      With all the above in mind, think about what a monumental mitzva one performs by making peace between a sparring husband and wife or by getting a separated couple back together. That’s why letters like the following are priceless for me… from Lazer brody

  3. […] The Message of the saving our children with Dreidels and The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h […]

  4. *

    What should we learn from the story of Chana and her sons?
    The story of Chana and her seven sons–how one son after the other was tortured to death because he refused to bow down to the idols of the Greeks–was just one of very many. This story is told not for itself. It’s a model of the Jewish people. (Tape #148, Chanukah 1)

    For The Bracha And Health Of Yehudit Bas Chana & Meirov Tikva Bas Gittel

  5. […] Tolna Rebbe has been really inspiring us these year with the great story of Chanah and her seven sons. (Chanah is part of the word Chanukah /chen = grace). The inspiration lives on for us as all 8 days […]

  6. The final day of Chanukah is customarily called Zos Chanukah, “This is Chanukah.”[1] The simple reason for this name is that the Torah reading for the final day of Chanukah contains the passage “Zos chanukas hamizbeiach,” “This is the dedication of the altar”[2] – and the word Chanukah is rooted in the word “chinuch,” or “dedication.”

    However, since Jewish custom is itself Torah,[3] and the entire eighth day of Chanukah is termed “This is Chanukah,” we also understood that this day “is Chanukah,” i.e., that the last day of Chanukah encapsulates all of Chanukah.

    What is so significant about the eighth day of Chanukah that it is considered to embody the entire festival of Chanukah?

    We find[4] that Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel – the Torah academies of Shammai and Hillel – differed with regard to the manner of kindling the Chanukah lights. Beis Shammai maintained that the lights should be lit in descending order: on the first night, eight lights are lit, on the second night seven, and so on until the final night, when only one light is lit.

    Beis Hillel, however, maintains that the lights are lit in ascending order: on the first night one light is lit, on the second two, etc., until on the final night all eight lights are lit. The halachah favors Beis Hillel.

    The reason for the disagreement is as follows:[5] Beis Shammai is of the opinion that we look at matters as they are in their potential state. Thus, on the first day of Chanukah eight lights are lit, for this day encompasses, in potential, all the days of Chanukah that follow.

    Beis Hillel, however, maintains that we look at things as they exist in actuality. Therefore, the number of lights lit are in accordance with the actual number of days of Chanukah – i.e., on the first day only one light is lit, for in actuality it is but the first day of the festival, and from that day on an additional light is lit each day.

    Our Sages relate[6] that the word “Chanukah” is an acronym for “Eight lights are to be lit, and the law is in accordance with the opinion of Beis Hillel.” That the name of the holiday itself is said to emphasize the opinion of Beis Hillel clearly indicates that on Chanukah, particular emphasis is placed on the actual rather than on the potential.

    What is it about Chanukah that emphasizes the superiority of the actual over the potential?

    The argument as to whether one should lean towards potentiality or actuality is in truth a dispute regarding Torah and mitzvos in general. G-d gave His Torah and mitzvos to the Jewish people. Torah and mitzvos therefore reflect aspects of both the Giver and the recipient, G-d and the Jewish people.

    We thus find that on the one hand Torah is not subject to impurity even when studied by an impure individual, for it remains G-d’s Torah – it retains the aspects of the Divine.[7] On the other hand, a Torah master may forego his own Torah honor, for the Torah is considered to be his property – it possesses the aspect of the recipient, the Jewish people.[8]

    As a result, there are two ways in which Torah can be manifest within this world – reflecting the perspective of the Giver, or reflecting the framework of the receiver, the Jewish people.

    Beis Shammai holds the view that Torah primarily reflects the perspective of its Giver. They therefore say that matters of Torah and mitzvos should always be viewed in their potential state, since from the perspective of the Giver, all of actuality already exists within the Divine potential.

    Beis Hillel, however, is of the opinion that most important is the consideration of how Torah and mitzvos affect the Jew as he actually exists as an imperfect created being within this world. Therefore, until a matter has obtained its actual fulfillment, nothing has been accomplished – we must look at matters of Torah and mitzvos as they exist in actuality.

    If this is so regarding all other aspects of Torah and mitzvos, says Beis Hillel, how much more so with regard to Chanukah, for Chanukah is particularly connected with the recipient, which is man. This is because Chanukah differs from all other Torah festivals in that it is of human, Rabbinic origin. Thus, Chanukah in particular reflects Torah and mitzvos from the perspective of the recipient – the aspect of the actual rather than the potential.

    This is why it is only on the final day of Chanukah – when all eight days and lights have been actualized and lit – that we say: “This is Chanukah.”

  7. […] Everyone should grow from the peak of the cold of winter and live inspired to warm the hearts of man kind with kindness Midnightrabbi inspiresd style! […]

  8. […] The Message of the saving our children with Dreidels and The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h […]

  9. […] The Message of the saving our children with Dreidels and The Kaliver Rebbetzin a”h […]

  10. Reblogged this on midnightrabbi inspires and commented:

    enjoy an old Midnightrabbi inspires post for chanukah that will renew the-message-of-the-saving-our-children-with-dreidels-and-the-kaliver rebbetzin-ah! Can’t believe Doobie is making his Chumush Seudah 5 years old before Chanukah 5773

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