Tzedaka on the last day of Chanukah

The special mitzvah to give tzedaka on Chanukah

It’s stated in the halacha that on Chanuka, it’s the custom for poor people to go around the houses and to request tzedaka. As the BACH writes, since we were negligent in the Temple’s work, we were punished by the Temple service being lost, and the rectification for this is to raise up (i.e. light) the candles, as though it was the Beit HaMikdash.

The Pri Megadim, another commentator, writes that one of the important ways of achieving this rectification on Chanuka is by doing chesed, and particularly by giving tzedaka. How much we can merit, spiritually, if we wake up and grab this mitzvah, especially for such an outstanding Tzaddik like Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita!

Rav Berland lighting menorah in South Africa
Rav Berland lighting menorah in South Africa

As Chazal say in the Gemara, Masechet Shabbat, 139a, “Jerusalem will only be redeemed via tzedaka.” Chanuka is the most fortuitous time for awakening the Geula, because the days themselves are from the source of redemption. As we see, the Chanuka candles themselves are rooted in the work done in the Beit HaMikdash.

That’s why on Chanuka, we should increase the amount of tzedaka we give, because this brings our personal redemption, and the redemption of our people.

Am Yisrael! We’ve already reached the holy Chanuka festival. Let’s not be ungrateful and forget all of the self-sacrifice that the Rav has undertaken on behalf of us all. Even those of us who don’t know the Rav personally, in truth we’re still all obligated in the mitzvah of helping the Tzaddik, who has been sacrificing himself to sweeten the judgments hovering over all of Am Yisrael.

It’s written about Yaacov Avinu, in Parshat Vayishlach, [we need to counter the dark side] with prayer, gifts and war. That’s why it’s necessary to give tzedaka when the forces of evil are attacking the Jewish People (Yaacov) from all corners of the earth.

Everyone who possesses a Jewish heart, please get involved and donate. It says in the Gemara, Masechet Shabbat, page 156, ‘tzedaka saves from death’.

Anyone who gives tzedaka will be saved from death, mamash.

So great is tzedaka, that it cancels Hashem’s anger against the world, and draws kindness into the world instead, until the revealing of our holy Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash, Amen.

As Rebbe Nachman once said: “Nobody ever lost out by giving money to the Tzaddik.”

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Rav Berland light Chanukah Menorah in his home in Jerusalem
Rav Berland light Chanukah Menorah in his home in Jerusalem


“As he is now in a very difficult situation, we are obliged to remember: ‘One who helps his friend to make teshuva, He owes him his soul’ – the words of Rav Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, shlita

As we’ve already written elsewhere the words of the Rabbi’s, each of us is obliged to open his heart to the plight of our saintly teacher, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, as Chazal writes: “One who makes an opening for his friend (i.e. helps him to make teshuva], he owes him his soul.”

Rav Grossman explains: “I’ve known Rav Berland, shlita, for 40 years, and I know how much mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice) he’s put into helping Am Yisrael. He’s been engaged in helping people to make teshuva and to bring Jews closer to Hashem. He’s sacrificed himself for every Jew, so now we’re obligated [to help him], as it says: ‘He owes him his soul.’

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