Students, parents, educators and friends of Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch in Crown Heights gathered for a Chanukah celebration, with a Menorah lighting, rally, raffle and a variety of hand-on Chanukah activities.
OYYL families and friends gathered to light the 5th Chanukah candle and celebrate Chanukah together with their children. For a few years now, Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch of Crown Heights has gathered their entire school community of students, parents, educators and friends for a Chanukah celebration with a public Menorah lighting. The program included a children’s rally with a raffle and fun Chanukah activity booths.
Each child had an opportunity to decorate doughnuts and edible menorahs, paint wooden dreidels, construct a leather pouch for their Chanukah gelt, make their own beeswax shamoshim, string art their own dreidel design, make beeswax lip balm and a engage in dreidel spinning competition!! The event was accompanied with a milchig buffet served by Mozzarella restaurant.
“Themes of Chanukah are very much connected with purity and staying loyal to our beliefs,” says Mila Schneiderman, OYYL Director, “We are very happy to get our school community together as a family. Chanukah is a special family time to connect and foster deeper bonds with our children. What can be better than spending time with so many hands-on activities and good food and festive atmosphere.
“We are proud to be able to cater to our community a chinuch model which is fully aligned with Chunuch Al Taharas Hakodesh and the Rebbe’s vision. I would love to share with readers a part of the Rebbe’s Sicha on the subject.”
Free translation of an edited sicha, Shabbos Parshas Vayeishev 5756, printed in Likutei Sichos, Vol 2, p 482:
“Chassidus” explains the deeper meaning of the war of the Greeks being about external sciences. Although we do not touch the Torah, we agree that Torah should be studied. However since we put Torah and external sciences in the same room, we compare “Greek” science to the Torah, that Torah is a “seichel” (intellect) like all other sciences, which are tomeh (impure).
Since the whole matter of tumah (impurity) and taharah (purity) is as the Midrash says, quoted in Rambam, “Not the dead renders impure and not the water purifies, but a statute I (Hashem) have instituted and a decree I have decreed”. It is a matter of “chukah” (statute) which is above “seichel” (intellect).
This is the meaning of what is said that the Greeks had rendered impure all the oils. Oil is “Chochmah” (wisdom) as known. Even when the study of the Chochmah of the Torah is allowed, but Greeks are also allowed there, we allow into the mansion of Torah the Greek sciences and we put them both at the same level. This is what is called “they rendered impure all the oils”. And we need to have mesiras nefesh not to allow this.
The lesson of it in our times: There are those who claim that the Torah is a matter of understanding and grasping. “She is your wisdom and intelligence in the eyes of the nations”. So why should one care if we will mix into it other sciences? Several hours of learning Torah and several hours of other sciences (lehavdil) and make from the two a close and single item: what damage could there be in that?
This is what the miracles of Chanukah teach us:
When we follow this path, not only, that the pure oil does not purify the impure oil, but to the contrary, they have rendered all oils impure and the pure also becomes tomeh! And this brings destruction, not only spiritually but also materially, G-d should save us.
As the Rambam tells us about Chanukah, that the Greeks had spread their hands to their property and their daughters, and this all is tied with “that they rendered impure all oils”.
Because in truth a non Jew cannot have any rule over a Jew. And how do they rule? It is when we follow the Yevonim (Greeks) approach: “Your breakers and destroyers will go out from you.”
But when we do not let the Greeks come close, when we do not allow the Greek sciences in the hall of the Beis Hamikdash, then the oil is pure oil!”