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Wednesday
Dec022015

BEHIND THE SCENES OF MIVTZA CHANUKA

By Y. Schreiber

 3:00 The phone rings:

Sholom: Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach, hello.  Who is this?

Yossi: Hi Sholom.  This is your friend from high school, Yossi Cohen.

Sholom: Hey, Yossi! How are you? We haven’t seen one another in ages!

Yossi: True, but a few days ago I came here on shlichus to the neighborhood next to yours.  I want to discuss with you how to go about doing Mivtza Chanuka with the soldiers, policemen, and firemen.

Sholom: Gladly! Welcome to our area.  It’s wonderful how you’re jumping right into work when you just arrived a few days ago. 

Yossi: That’s the way it should be, why are you so impressed? In any case, I would be happy to meet you today at your Chabad House.  We’ll get the main things down in writing and start organizing.

Sholom: Great.  Let me give you the address…

8:00 Text message:

Good evening Sholom.  This is Yossi.  Unfortunately, we need to postpone our meeting because the firemen’s rep invited me to a little party today at the fire station.  You can come too and we can farbreng with him a bit about Chanuka with mashke and mezonos.  Let me know, thanks.  Moshiach now.

Sholom responded with a brief text:

Thank you Yossi for the invitation; sounds wonderful.  Do you have menorahs? I can bring some with me.

Yossi also answered briefly:

Excellent! My menorahs will be arriving in a few days and yours must be leftovers from previous years, thanks.

The next evening – the shluchim meet.

Sholom: It was very successful last night with him at the fire station.

Yossi: I’m so happy we were able to arrange a party there at the station every night of Chanuka.

Sholom: We’ll have to think about what we can do that is special each night.  I have some ideas for you, from my experience.  We can work together the first and second nights and then each of us will continue on his own in his neighborhood, okay?

Yossi: Yes, for sure.  Go ahead, I am listening to every word and writing.  Please, don’t leave out any detail.

Sholom: Number one, the first night of Chanuka we need to put up a big, diagonal shaped menorah in the fire station yard and honor the firemen’s rep with the lighting of the first light.  We will bring menorah kits with a color brochure that has the brachos, and we will give it out to all the employees at the station.  This way, they will be able to light the menorah at home the very first night.  Passersby will also get menorah kits.

Yossi: Nice, but what about a party?

Sholom: Patience…  Right after the lighting we will go to the station lobby where the keyboard player will be waiting.  He will be a bachur from yeshiva who will play Chanuka songs.  It will be cold outside and it’s better to just do the lighting outdoors and have the party in the lobby.

Yossi: And we’ll bring doughnuts there…

Sholom: Right.  But that’s just refreshments.  The main thing to remember is to talk about lighting the menorah at home every night of Chanuka.  The Rebbe spoke about this countless times and this is our job, as the Rebbe’s shluchim, to make sure that every home under our jurisdiction has the menorah lit in it every night of Chanuka.

Yossi: Then we need to prepare divrei Torah…

Sholom: Right.  Prepare things that the Rebbe said to publicize particularly on Chanuka and as a good start, talk to them about the imminent hisgalus with the Geula and how our lighting the menorah on the street is something we are doing to hasten the Geula.

Yossi: We need to say l’chaim before that.

Sholom: Of course.  We will bring a bottle of mashke, at least for ourselves…

Then we will honor the firemen’s rep with saying a few words in honor of the holiday.  Ask him beforehand to also mention about lighting the menorah at home and then we will explain why our menorah has straight arms and is not rounded.  The Rebbe said an entire sicha on this.  That will draw them close to the Rebbe and we want to connect as many Jews as possible to the Nasi Ha’dor who is the Moshiach Ha’dor.

Yossi: Very good.  That’s the first night.  What about the second night?

Sholom: For the second night we will invite all the firemen’s children to the Chabad House and make them a party.  We need to work out the details later, together with our wives.

Yossi: Okay.  I made a note on the side about working out the details of a children’s party.

Sholom (enthusiastic): We can invite not only the children of the firemen but all the children in the neighborhood.  But we will put the firemen’s children on the stage and they will light the menorah, announce the p’sukim, sing the Chanuka songs, and that will be the attraction of the evening!

Yossi: Nice.  We can also have them wear crowns with the symbol of the firefighters and call the evening, “Putting Out the Fire, Lighting the Light!”

Sholom: You’re creative Yossi.  I’m telling you now, you’re going to be successful in shlichus, with Hashem’s help.  You are talented and you will give a lot of nachas to the Rebbe.

Yossi: Amen!

Sholom: Obviously, the party doesn’t contradict the fact that the same night we will be lighting the big menorah in the yard of the fire station.  It’s just that this time we will bring someone to represent the neighborhood from the municipality.  Just as with the lighting of the Chanuka menorah there is a light added every night, so too with your outreach.  Every day you need to add ideas and attractions for the public.

Yossi: You’re right.  100%. You’re really a big help.  Thank you so much!

Sholom: That’s why I’m here, to help you, especially when you’re first starting out.

The third night of Chanuka

12:36 – a text message:

Sholom, thanks so much for your help in the Chanuka mivtzaim last night and two nights ago.  You have no idea what a help you’ve been.  You are a real shliach of the Rebbe.  Thanks to you, we were able to light up the neighborhood.  The idea of working with the fire department was a significant boost to our outreach.  A freilichin Chanuka and hatzlacha in your work.  Yossi.

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