• Chaya

Educational Lessons Learned from Chanukah

By Rabbi Sholem Blesofsky

This article first appeared in the Lift Magazine, a journal of Torah thoughts written by the Rabbis and students of Kollel Menachem Lubavitch, Melbourne Australia. Design, typesetting & layout by Creative Chinuch. Read it inside here.


Rabbi Sholem Blesofsky is a Melbourne native studied in Kollel Menachem from 1997 - 2001. A master educator, Rabbi Blesofsky directs informal education for Yeshivah secondary and is a much beloved teacher to many.


The word Chanukah comes from the word Chinuch.

Generally there is less emphasis on the Chinuch aspect of Chanukah, as compared to the universal messages of the Yom tov.


Let us examine some educational messages that can be derived from the Menorah.


1. There is a teenage student who is struggling with his Lubavitcher identity. Does he focus on his connection to his Chassidishkeit? Does he spend time with the Chassidishe boys in his class or should he gravitate to other boys? Friendship is so important for a teenager. A school Shliach befriends him and discusses the issues that he is facing. Thanks to the Shliach’s efforts, the student is able to work through his issues in a positive way.

Lesson from Menorah:

We use the Shamosh to light the other candles and help them keep their light burning, just as the Shliach “lights up” the student.


2. Students are Farbrenging with their Shliach on a number of occasions. He talks about the importance of having Frum and Chassidishe values. He does so on numerous occasions. Eventually the messages seeps in and impacts other boys as well.

Lesson from Menorah:

The oil that we use to kindle the menorah eventually seeps through and makes the entire Menorah and all its surroundings full of oil.


3. A student gets inspired by a Farbrengen. He starts to have an extra Shiur and takes on an extra Hachloto (resolution). Unfortunately, the inspiration doesn’t last and he returns to what he was doing before the Fabrengen. One must make sure that the inspiration is ongoing, to have a lasting effect.

Lesson from Menorah:

If you put a little oil into the cup, although it will burn well, it will eventually go out. You need to fill the cup with oil for it to burn for a long time.


4. A student gets inspired to learn Chitas. He is finding it difficult to maintain this extra learning. He decides to learn his Chitas during his Gemoro class. Eventually he stops learning Chitas and his Gemoro learning is affected as well.

Lesson from Menorah:

When you light the Menorah with a faulty wick, not only does it not burn properly, but it also affects the rest of the oil in the cup.


5. A teacher inspires his students by Farbrenging with them. He however disappoints them as he leaves early from the Farbrengen. He only Farbrengs on one occasion and doesn’t repeat it. The impact of the Farbrengen quickly dissipates.

Lesson from Menorah:

The Shamosh has to light the Menorah each night. Ensure the Shamosh lights up the wick fully so that it doesn’t burn out too quickly.


6. A student is struggling in class and becomes disheartened. He quickly gives up, and stops trying, thus giving himself little or no chance for success.

Lesson from Menorah:

Even if the wick begins by burning poorly, the fire can take hold properly and burn steadily for a long period.


There are many more lessons that can be gleaned from the Menorah regarding Chinuch. It now will be the job of the reader to find those connections.

This article first appeared in the Lift Magazine, a journal of Torah thoughts written by the Rabbis and students of Kollel Menachem Lubavitch, Melbourne Australia. Design, typesetting & layout by Creative Chinuch. Read it inside here.