A Prayer written by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlita  for Chanukah.

We have also provided a few Chanuka Songs for you to listen to, or even sing along with.

1.  Master of the Universe, full of mercy, You are the One “who gives power and strength to His people” (Tehillim 68:35). You bestow power and strength upon us from the sefirah of Netzach, from the forty-nine channels. They are the forty-nine permutations of the sefiros that shower the oil of Chochmah, Binah, and Da’as onto the seven branches of the menorah. I beg of You, Hashem, grant us the understanding and knowledge that we need to seek out the true Tzaddik who is like Matisyahu, the one who bestows the light of Chanukah on each and every generation.
2.  Please, merciful Father whose mercy is unending, make me worthy of all the amazing rectifications that one can achieve during the days of Chanukah. Help me to raise up the two hundred and eighty-eight Divine sparks that are alluded to in the verse: “The olive leaf was torn off (taraf = 289) in her mouth” (Bereishis 8:11). This is the mystery of the light of Chanukah that repairs all the two hundred and eighty-eight lost Divine sparks in every generation and during every year. Make me worthy of the “olive leaf torn off in her mouth” that hints to us that if Noach had only fortified himself to pray with all his strength, then he would have overturned the scales of judgment and saved his generation from the floodwaters. With his prayers, he could have inspired them to thoughts of repentance until they would have repented completely. He would have been worthy of bringing down the Torah for them amid thunder and lightning.
3.  Please, Hashem, help us to hear the thunder and lightning that radiate from the Chanukah candles during these holy days of Chanukah. Then we might “hear the visions”—for we are not allowed make use of them for any reason but the enjoyment of their light alone. Make me worthy of seeing and hearing the amazing sounds that burst forth from the Chanukah candles, sounds that are like the thunder of the giving of the Torah.
4.  Master of the Universe, You bestow power and strength. Grant us the heart to know and fulfill all that You ask of us. “Ascribe strength to G-d, His majesty is over Yisrael, and His strength is in the clouds” (Tehillim 68:35). As much as we discover the glory of each and every Jew, and judge favorably each and every Jew on whom Your majesty and glory rests, so do we empower You to perform miracles and wonders for us. We can reawaken Your love for Your Jewish people, and Your everlasting desire to perform miracles and wonders for us always. Please, make us worthy of fulfilling the verse: “On that day, I will seek out Yerushalayim among the candles” (Zefania 1:12). This is the mystery of the Chanukah candles. With them, one can merit to reveal Yerushalayim once again, restoring her to her Father in Heaven and re-establishing within her the Kingdom of David, on whose throne no stranger may sit.
5.  Master of the Universe, “You who choose songs and praises.” I beg of You, help us to draw the spirit of the “sweet singer of Yisrael’s” (Shmuel II 23:1) prayers and songs upon us. Help us feel the holiness of his joy and the charm of the humility of David “the small one” (Shmuel I 17:14). He merited to sit on Your throne and restore the Kingdom of the Jewish people to its source with his powerful joy in You. Please, Hashem, make us worthy of the sweetness of his melodies and the power of his songs and praises that he sang before You. He praised and sang before You from midnight until the morning light, the fresh morning of the Jewish people, when he said, “Stretch forth your hands against the legion (gedud).” This is part of the mystery of “Hew down the tree” (Daniel 4:11), that is said regarding the end of the rule of the gentile nations. Please, Hashem, in the merit of Your true Tzaddikim, make me worthy of the stone which David merited, which is the secret of—“the shepherd, the Stone (even) of Yisrael” (Bereishis 49:24), “father and son” (av v’ben, see Targum Onkelus on that verse), fathers and sons (avos u’banim), which unites the period of after Creation (the aspect of ben)  with that which came before (the aspect of av), and expresses that there is “none but Him” (Devarim 4:35). Please make me worthy of the stone from which the entire Universe spun forth, “the stone that the masons rejected” (Tehillim 118:22). Make me worthy of David’s stone, the one with which he subdued Goliath who cursed the legions of G-d. “And David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone” (Shmuel I 17:50).
6.  Fearsome G-d, awesome and mighty One, warrior and a man of war, Lord of wonders and Master of salvation, help Your nation Yisrael. Make Your children, Your treasured people who are called after Your Name, worthy of this stone. “And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). This is the stone that Daniel saw in his prophecy, when he had a vision of Matisyahu and his sons prevailing over the wicked kingdom with their prayers and their cries to You. They prevailed over the king of Greece about whom it was said: “And his power will be mighty, but not by his own power. And he will destroy remarkably, and will prosper and practice, and will destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Daniel 8:24).
7.  I beg of You, Hashem, grant us the knowledge to understand and remember that “his power will be mighty, but not by his own power” (Daniel 8:24). For the power of the kingship of the gentiles is not a product of their own might or advantage, but is a result of our deficiencies, our sins, and our blemishes. Especially the defilement of our eyes. With our defilement, we give power and strength to the kingdoms of the gentile nations. With our sins, we grant them the portion of our lot. With our foolishness, we make them wise and grant them the light of consciousness and awareness. “And the serpent was more clever than all the beasts of the field” (Bereishis 3:1)—he was clever enough to cause Adam HaRishon to stumble into defiling his eyes, so that he might steal the incredible Divine wisdom from him. Please, Hashem, You are the One who grants knowledge and desires the repentance of the Jewish people. Save me from the corruption of the serpent who has gained all his power from our sins. Our wisdom has been diminished and we have been drawn down into the klippot, under the rule of the gentile nations. We face the weapons of destruction that could destroy us completely, may Hashem save us.
8.  Master of the Universe, we have come to the end of the generations and we are still with You (Tehillim 139:18). We have fallen to the aspect of the “heels” of Adam Kadmon about which the verse says, “They have insulted the footsteps (the heels) of Your anointed one” (Tehillim 89:52). We have not a drop of the lifeblood of holiness in us, nor the least scrap of a mitzvah. Instead, we are surrounded by endless flaws and sins. “And I was thrown into the whirlpool in the heart of the seas, rushing water surrounded me, all Your breakers and waves crashed over me. The water has surrounded me so that I am nearly drowning, the depths encircled me, the reeds enwrapped my head” (Yona 2:4-5). Our Father in Heaven, we know that You caused all this to happen in Your mercy, so that we should cry out to You. When Yonah cried out from the belly of the fish in the depths of the sea, it was then that You revealed the secret of the Foundation Stone to him, the stone that is the root of the entire Universe and all souls. Anyone who merits entering into it by walking between the two poles of the Ark of the Covenant, like the Kohen Gadol, has the secret of the light of Chanukah revealed to him. The word “Chanukah” is an acronym for the words of the verse: “Please forgive the sin of this people, in accordance with the greatness of Your kindness, just as You bore this nation from Egypt until now” (Bamidbar 14:19). This light is revealed to the Kohen Gadol and to all those who are connected to him in their prayers on Yom HaKippurim. It was then that You revealed this light to Yonah; it was only then in the pit of hell that he understood that You are prepared to have pity even on the nations of the world, who do not know their right hand from their left.
9.  Master of the Universe, forgive all of our sins, grant us atonement for them, and purify us of any trace of them. For You revealed to us through Your true Tzaddikim that on Chanukah, when the light is drawn down from Yom HaKippurim, you forgive everyone in the world, especially Your Jewish people, Your beloved children. Nearly all of them in this generation are like children who were taken captive by gentiles—they do not know their right hand from their left. Please forgive us. Help us atone for our sins now, and renew our days as of old. You sent Yonah down to the deepest depths in the heart of the seas so that he would cry out to You over his trouble and the loss of his world. It is for this reason that You brought us down to the physical and spiritual depths that are deeper than anywhere that the Jewish people have fallen before. It is only so that we will cry out to You, and You will redeem us. For You are close to all those who call out to You in truth (Tehillim 145:18). You only send us these signs and severe warnings of harsh and frightening decrees day after day so that we will come closer to You. These warnings threaten us every moment, every hour, with complete physical and spiritual destruction. We know, our Father in Heaven, that these troubles and decrees and the fear that consumes us are pursuing us relentlessly just so that we will open up our sealed hearts. They force us to remove the foreskin of our hearts which prevents us from screaming and crying out to You. For You do not wish Your treasured people Yisrael to be destroyed, nor do You long to see the loss of the world and its destruction. Every revelation of Your judgment is only a manifestation of incredible loving-kindness, designed to draw us back to You. This is meant to force us to call out to You from the depths of our hearts, to rend our hearts and come before You without anything to stand in the way, with a powerful attachment to You.
10.  I beg of You, merciful and compassionate Father who longs to hear the prayers of Yisrael, help us to beg for our lives. Help us to beg for our spirits and souls, for our existence, for our portion in the Land—that it not go to strangers. Please give us the strength to pray to You just like all of the Tzaddikim and prophets who raised their eyes to Heaven and begged for Your mercy. May we be like Daniel who said: “And I prayed to Hashem, my G-d, and made my confession and said, ‘Oh Hashem, the great and dreadful G-d, who guards the covenant and does kindness to those who love Him. We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, and have turned aside from Your precepts and from Your judgments. We have not listened to Your servants the prophets who spoke in Your Name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the Land. Oh, Hashem, righteousness is Yours, but shamefacedness is ours, as at this day. To the men of Yehudah, and to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and to all Yisrael who are near and who are far off, throughout every country—wherever You have driven them because of their betrayal which they have betrayed against You. Oh, Hashem, shamefacedness is ours, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. Mercy and forgiveness belongs to Hashem, our G-d, for we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of Hashem, our G-d, and followed His teachings which He set before us by His servants the prophets. All of Yisrael has transgressed Your Torah and has turned aside so as not to obey Your voice. Therefore, the curse is fulfilled upon us, and the oath has been carried out, as it is written in the Torah of Moshe the servant of Hashem, because we have sinned against Him. He has confirmed His word which He spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing a great evil upon us. Under the whole heaven, there has not been done the like of that which has been done against Yerushalayim, as it is written in the Torah of Moshe. All this evil is come upon us, yet we did not offer our prayer before Hashem, our G-d, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Your truth’” (Daniel 9:4-13).
11.  Father of wisdom, full of mercy understanding and knowledge, through Your prophets You revealed to us that it is impossible to repent unless we first understand Your truth. You revealed to us through Your true Tzaddikim that it is impossible to understand Your truth without repenting first. We have no idea from where we are to begin, and how to understand Your truth and repent. That is why You allow the lights of Chanukah to emanate down to us. The order of lighting them is the focus of the argument between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel—one says that we begin from the sefirah of Binah, the other says that we begin from the sefirah of Malchus. This is the secret of “sons of Binah established eight days.” According to Beis Shammai, we begin from the light of Binah, the eighth sefirah when counting upward. We slowly, slowly, diminish the light until we reach the sefirah of Malchus, the one at the bottom. Beis Hillel, on the other hand, know how small we are and how little we are worth. They are the Tzaddikim of every generation who descend to the lowest level, to the humble place of each and every one of us. “He remembered us in our low state, for His loving-kindness is everlasting” (Tehillim 136:23). They reason that we must begin with Malchus and add on and raise up every day, until we reach to Binah. One needn’t worry about over-exposing people on a lower level to the light—it is proper to raise them, to magnify their holiness every day, and to reveal a greater level of light to them every day, “increasing and continuing.” Now, merciful Father, please look upon us favorably and give hope also to the outcast and lowly souls like us. When the children of Yisrael reached the abyss when they were in Egypt, when all hope was nearly lost, it was precisely then that You turned Your attribute of stern justice onto the Egyptians and decreed harsh edicts upon them. You gave the undeserved gift of high levels of G-dly consciousness to the Jewish people in order to make them worthy of the positive decrees You wanted to enact on their behalf, in the aspect of “To Him who divided the Sea of Suf asunder, for His loving-kindness endures forever” (Tehillim 136:13). So too, now, Hashem, enlighten us with the light that “increases and continues” until we are worthy of having all the edicts that You decreed in Your endless mercy upon the Jewish people overturned onto the heads of our enemies who conspire to destroy us, G-d save us. I beg of You, Hashem, cancel the evil decrees, even if they are already signed and sealed. In the merit of the lights of Chanukah, bring us from sadness to joy, from slavery to redemption, from darkness to a great light.
12.  Master of the Universe, “You who alone perform great wonders” (Tehillim 136:3). You made known to us through Your true Tzaddikim that in every generation there are Tzaddikim who are like Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef, David, Shlomo, Matisyahu and his sons, and all the rest of the holy and awesome Tzaddikim. Please, Hashem, help us to find the Tzaddikim who can save our generation from destruction. Help us to find the Tzaddikim who are like Matisyahu and his sons, who scream out: “Whoever is for G-d, come to me!” (Shemos 32:26). Their whole purpose and desire is to act “for Your sake alone” (Shemos 22:19). They have no other interest at all. All of their deeds, their speech, and their thoughts are like the attachment to You that David HaMelech experienced. He said: “And singers and dancers alike will say, ‘All my springs are in You’” (Tehillim 87:7). All the springs of the interest of their hearts and their thoughts are focused on You alone. They are like David and Matisyahu and his sons who merited restoring the Jewish people to their abode, the Levi’im to their songs, and the Kohanim to their Divine service. They made each and every Jew worthy of finding his soul’s source and the way out of his own darkness. They lit up all the dark places and cancelled all the harsh decrees with their songs, with their prayers and cries to You. They cancelled out all of their own ulterior motives, even the shadow of their own bodies, and merited to reach the level of, “My heart is a void within me” (Tehillim 109:22). They brought down the light of repentance from the sefirah of Binah and revealed the essence of repentance—supernal repentance. This is the constant and never-ending attachment to You. They merited binding themselves to You with one solid connection that lasted their whole lives long, from the day they reached maturity until the end of time. Their souls hover about us in every generation and look for a person in whom they can become manifest. “There is no generation that doesn’t have a Tzaddik like Avraham” (Bereishis Rabbah 56:7) For Your entire wish is that we will feel ashamed of our evil ways and waywardness. This is expressed in the forty-four candles (44 = DoM = Be silent), as the verse says, “Be silent to G-d” (Tehillim 37:7,) so that our blushing (DaM = blood) shame will become silent contrition before You (see Likutei Moharan I:6.) We will then be worthy of the Divine Name EHYeH, (Shemos 3:14) the Name that is the secret of the redemption, “I will be what I will be.” Moshe Rabbeinu alone was worthy of this Name, and so the level of EHYeH that we merit to attain in every generation determines the level of Moshe’s countenance that we are worthy of receiving. The face of Moshe was like the light of the sun, “And the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun;” (Yeshayahu 30:26,) “And his loved ones are like the sun rising in its power” (Shoftim 5:31.) This is the aspect of Matisyahu and his sons, who were the living examples of these amazing levels.
13.  Master of the Universe, during these days when the lights of the Days of Awe conclude, we stand before You with a plea that You seal us for good. We believe in You, that You are a “strong redeemer who alone judges all of creation” (Yom Kippur prayers.) Everything is in Your hand and under Your authority. Who can tell You what to do? Who can withstand Your great mercy and Your overpowering forgiveness? For I am full of sin and iniquity, and You are full of pity, mercy, and forgiveness of sinners. Hashem our G-d, our Redeemer and the Redeemer of our forefathers, Whose Name is “I will be what I will be,” have pity and be compassionate with us, save us and redeem us through this holy Name, just as You redeemed us from Egyptian slavery. With Your great hand, You extracted the treasured nation, and Pharaoh with all his forces sank into the depths like a stone. Please, Hashem, hear our voice even now during these days of Chanukah, and make us worthy of being the treasured nation through this Name of “I will be what I will be.” You revealed that You loved us and chose us not for being the most numerous of peoples—for we are the least of the nations, (Devarim 7:7) but rather because we were attached to the Name “I will be what I will be,” and because we diminish ourselves before others. Please, Hashem, help us to focus on the Divine Name EHYeH during every day of Chanukah, and to truly become a part of that Name. Help us to become absolutely nothing, like the striped coat that Yosef HaTzaddik wore. (Passim = “efes mi” = who is nothing). This is what made Yosef worthy of having children like Efrayim (“Efer Mi” = who is ashes) and Menashe who epitomized the falling away (neshiyah) of his self-consciousness and the forgetting of his labor—“he was like a newborn baby, like a weaned baby upon his mother” (Tehillim 131:4).
14.  Master of the Universe, please have mercy upon us and draw us close to You in complete repentance. Sprinkle us with pure waters, and cleanse us of all our impurity and sins, for we can endure no more. May the verse be fulfilled in us: “And I will save you from all your impurities, and I will call to the grain and increase it. I will not put famine upon you, and I will increase the fruit of the tree and the yield of the field, so that you will no longer be shamed with famine among the nations. You will recall your evil ways and your betrayals that were not good, and you will hate yourselves for your sins and for your disgusting deeds. Not for your sakes will I do this, says Hashem. Let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Yisrael” (Yeheskel 36:29-32). Please, Hashem, help us to repent of our evil betrayals and to feel the shame of our disgusting deeds. Help us to confess all our sins and to drawn down upon ourselves the highest level of shame that is the very source of all of creation. “Bereishis,” “Yorei Boshes,” heavenly awe and shame. May we be worthy of feeling this shame every single moment, and may the strength of our shame and heavenly awe bring us to praise You with every single breath.
15.  Please, Merciful Father, remember the covenant and pay no attention to our evil inclination. Even if we are the way that we are, please do not ignore us. Send down, even to the lowest level, the Tzaddikim of all the generations. They will gather and raise up every single good point even from such small people as we are. People like us who have fallen time after time, level after level, lower and lower into unmentionable places. For it is in just such places that are less than ten handbreadths from the ground—the lowest levels within all the impurity that is found in the treacherous waters—that the true Tzaddikim try to reach. They try with all their might to draw us out of there, out of their great kindness and humility, and they attempt to gather even from there every single good point of each and every person who truly regrets his flaws. The good points of those who merit to truly feel the overwhelming pain of sin, a pain which is fiercer than any other hurt. They try to rescue those who cry out terribly from the intensity of the pain of their bodies and souls—for the pain of sin surpasses the compounded suffering of all the troubles that ever were since time began. The pain that the soul feels over the most minor of sins, even one done inadvertently, is beyond compare. How much more so is the pain of someone like me who transgressed the entire Torah thousands upon thousands of times! Oh my G-d, my Father, there is no pain like mine! There is no hurt like mine!
16.  Therefore, we thank You, we praise You and glorify You, Hashem. May Your praise fill our mouths always, for in Your great mercy, You have given us these eight days of Chanukah that are drawn down from the sefirah of Binah. You established the law in accordance with the opinion of Beis Hillel, that we might be able to receive the light even from a single candle. “If there will be a single advocate out of a thousand” (Iyov 23:3)—if there will be even one out of a million…The true Tzaddikim who are like Hillel can descend to each and every good point of every single Jew. “Blessed is Hashem each and every day” (Tehillim 68:20). This is true even if the good point is found in the thickest darkness and obscurity, and is sunk in the mire. When a Jew awakens spiritually, even momentarily, even in the slightest way, the true Tzaddik can draw down to him all the lights of the candles of the menorah. “Blessed is Hashem each and every day.”
17.  I beg of You, Hashem, merciful Father. You pity people poor in knowledge. You dwell with the downtrodden one. Send us a Tzaddik like Hillel who will teach us to seek within the forty-four candles all of the good points in each and every Jew. Through remaining silent  (DoM=44) when being embarrassed is the only way to find them. Forgive us, Father, for our distance from love of our fellow Jews and from the light of this love that the great ones of Yisrael have planted within us. Great ones like Hillel who reasoned “increasing and continuing”—which implies that one must increase and always draw another new soul closer to her Father in Heaven. Please, forgive us for our flaws in our love of our fellow Jews, and help us to always transcend the corrupt small-mindedness of conflict and baseless hatred. This hatred has caused us to lose the twelve candles that parallel the twelve tribes. They hint to us that we do not yet know how to incorporate the twelve tribes together and transform them into an organic whole, a single entity with a single purpose. Moshe Rabbeinu was worthy of this when he brought the nation “Yisrael to camp there across from the mountain” (Shemos 19:2), and this is what allowed him to draw down the Torah for them amid thunder and lightning. “All the people saw the thunder” (Shemos 20:15). They saw sounds. Now we will thank and praise You, and we will glorify and exalt our Creator who then gave us these days of Chanukah and these eight candles. They are a manifestation of “hearing the sights,” so that through them we will once again hear the giving of the Torah amid thunder and lightning. These eight candles are drawn down from the sefirah of Binah, “Sons of understanding established eight days of song and rejoicing.” Hashem, make us worthy of singing and rejoicing a great deal, for in these generations that is the only way to receive the Torah. Make us worthy of the harp of David. With it, he drew down the five books of Tehillim that parallel the five books of the Torah. With it, he was able to discover and gather up all of the good points of each and every Jew, which were used to build the Temple. I beg of You, Hashem, make us a part of the levels of the Tzaddikim who gather up the good points that are in every Jew. With this gathering, they build the Tabernacle and the Temple. Please, Hashem, connect us to the level of Matisyahu and his sons who purified the Temple in this same way. They did this with their “holy chutzpah” that is a product of the light of Chanukah, of the sefirah of Netzach / victory—“I have been victorious, and I will be victorious!” The true Tzaddik attains this level in such a way that no darkness or obscurity in the world can hide the good point that is within each and every Jew from him. With these good points, he draws down in each and every generation the light of the Temple and the light of Chanukah. In every generation he renews this light so that it shines ever brighter, thousands upon thousands of times brighter, every single year.
18.  Master of the Universe, full of mercy, light of lights and source of all joy, please help us become a part of the fifty gates of Your holiness as we light the forty-four Chanukah candles. Together with the fifty-six candles of the menorah that they lit for eight days in the Temple, they come to one hundred lights. Which hint to our being redeemed from the fifty gates of impurity, and brought into the fifty gates of holiness. Please, Hashem, make us worthy of the purity of the oil of the menorah which was sealed with a seal within a seal—with two seals of the Kohen Gadol which counteract all of the seals of the other side and do not allow any stranger to contaminate it. Help us so that the pure and sealed-in oil will protect us, even if we are already sealed with all of the seals of the other side. Purify us and sanctify us from the touch of anyone or anything that is estranged from Your service or Your Will. Purify us with the holiness of the Kohen Gadol who is found in every generation, who seals us every year with seals of holiness. With his merit and his power, make us worthy of escaping from all of the seals of the other side, of the public spaces, of all of the ten sefiros of unholiness into which we have fallen. It is because of them that we are exiled from our Land and driven from our place, and we can no longer ascend to be seen and bow down before You and fulfill our obligations in Your chosen House, the great and holy Temple, which is called upon Your Name. Because of the magnitude of our sins, iniquity, and rebelliousness, the Land of Israel is still in the hands of the klippot. “Slaves rule over us and no one can save us from their hands. Our hearts are sick over this, our eyes are dimmed. Over Mount Zion which is desolate—foxes tread upon it” (Eicha 5:17-18).
19.  Master of the Universe, You informed us through Your Tzaddikim that this punishment and destruction is a product of the sin of Adam HaRishon. When he sinned, his limbs disintegrated and were dispersed throughout the entire world. His light was dimmed so that, even now, the more holy a thing is, the more desolate it is. The Land of Israel that was sanctified with ten levels of holiness has fallen under the rule of ten terrible klippot. Even Yehoshua was only able to subdue these ten klippot through the sounding of the shofar. Even now, You revealed to us through Your servant David that the only way to redeem our portion, the “pride of Yaakov whom He loves” (Tehillim 47:5), is with the sound of the shofar. “G-d is gone up with a shout, Hashem with the sound of a shofar” (Tehillim 47:6) with the sound of the shofar, and with song. “Sing praises to G-d, sing praises. Sing praises to our King, sing praises” (Tehillim 47:7). I beg of You, Redeemer of Yisrael, make us worthy of the sound of the shofar and the sound of song and rejoicing so that the verses will be fulfilled in us: “For Hashem most high is terrible, He is a great King over all the earth…He subdues people under us, and nations under our feet. G-d reigns over the nations; G-d sits upon the throne of His holiness” (Tehillim 3-4, 8-9.) Please, Hashem, bring us to the level of the secret of Maskil (the six orders of the Mishna which was transmitted during forty days). Bring us to study the Oral Torah diligently, for it awakens the soul to sing melodies and songs, to rejoice and shout. With them, one makes the King of Kings the ruler over all the universe, and sanctifies the Name of Heaven like Matisyahu and his sons. “Oh clap your hands, all you people. Shout to G-d with the voice of triumph…G-d is gone up with a shout, Hashem with the sound of a shofar” (Tehillim 47:2, 6).
20.  I beg of You, Hashem, for You know all hidden things and You reveal that which is deeply hidden. Help us to discover the true Tzaddik who will show us the shofar, and teach us how to call out. This is the secret of the simple, doubled, tripled, and four-fold song which can only be reached by singing “a Maskil psalm.” The song of the harp emanates from the Chanukah candles; they can bring a person to hear the sound of melody and song. “Sons of understanding established eight days of song and rejoicing.” It is then that the song and rejoicing can be heard, the sounds that burst forth from the Chanukah candles. “It is good then to praise Hashem and sing to Your Name, most high. Upon an instrument of ten strings and upon the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For You, Hashem, have made me glad through Your work, I will triumph in the works of Your hands” (Tehillim 92:2, 4-5). It is then that we will understand, “How great are Your deeds, Hashem, Your thoughts are so very deep. When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is so that they will be destroyed forever” (Tehillim 92:6-8). And then “Surely You do set them in slippery places, You do cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, so, Hashem, on awaking will You despise their image” (Tehillim 73 18-20).
21.  Master of the Universe, “the Eternal One of Yisrael does not lie” (Shmuel I 15:29). Remove the evil from us and save us quickly. For, “Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place, they set up their signs for signs. They have burned Your sanctuary with fire to the ground, they have defiled the dwelling place of Your Name. They have said in their hearts: Let us destroy them altogether. They have burned up all the meeting places of Hashem in the land. We see not our signs. There is no longer a prophet, nor is there any among us that knows how long” (Tehillim 74:4, 7-9).  For the hand of the Hellenists that strikes us body and soul is only getting stronger, and there is no one among us that knows how long it will last. They say that there is no prophet in the land who can be the vehicle for signs and wonders as Matisyahu and his sons and the rest of the Tzaddikim were throughout the generations. “Hashem, how long will the oppressor insult? Will the enemy blaspheme Your Name forever? Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Take it out of Your bosom! Destroy! For Hashem is King of Old, working salvation in the midst of the earth” (Tehillim 74:10-12). “Do to them as to Midyan, as to Sisera, as to Yavin at the wadi of Kishon, who perished at En Dor. They became like dung on the earth” (Tehillim 83:10-11). “But I am continually with You, You hold my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel and afterwards, receive me to honorable state. Who do I have in heaven but You? And there is none on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but Hashem is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Tehillim 73:23-6).  “My soul longs, indeed, it faints for the courts of Hashem. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living G-d." (Tehillim 84:3).
22.  High and exalted G-d, You provide abundant salvation. Save us quickly, just as You saved our ancestors during the days of Chanukah. You heard their cries and groans, and You saved them from the hands of the Hellenists and the wicked Antiochus. I beg of You, Hashem, save us from destruction and redeem us in this generation as well, just as we are today. Even if we are unworthy of any miracle or change in the natural order, even so, nothing is beyond You. You perform countless miracles and wonders in every generation and every single day for those who are deserving and even to the undeserving, provided that they cry out to You honestly and in simplicity—as long as they seek out the true Tzaddik with all their hearts and souls, the Tzaddik who is like Moshe, who was “the most humble person on the face of the earth” (Bamidbar 12:3). This Tzaddik is like Avraham who called himself  “dust and ashes”—he was the one who threw straw and it turned into arrows. He threw dust, and it turned into swords. When such a Tzaddik will be revealed, our lives will be precious to You. When we see how small we are—that our existence truly is like dust and ashes—then You will save us. Our humility and smallness will cause You to shine the light of Your countenance towards us and redeem us. The verse will be fulfilled in us, “Then Hashem awoke as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouts because of his wine. And He struck His enemies backward. He put a perpetual reproach upon them. He chose the tribe of Yehuda, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth which He has established forever” (Tehillim 78:65-6, 68-9).  Then You will return and rebuild our Temple, and restore us to our Land and our holy city. “Draw in our dispersed ones who are among the nations, and our scattered ones from the corners of the earth. And You will bring us in triumph to Your city Zion, and to Yerushalayim Your holy Temple with everlasting joy.” May we come to this through the Chanukah candles, for they publicize Your miracles, magnify Your faith, and shine the light of holiness and self–sacrifice throughout the world.
23.  Master of the Universe, full of mercy, we are still stuck within the ten sefiros of unholiness. All that we pray for is that the lights of Chanukah that are less than ten handbreadths from the ground will light up all the dark places that are devoid of knowledge and far from rectification. Father, merciful Father, even though we are in the deepest darkness and obscurity, despite everything, please, in Your great mercy, make all the thirty-six candles that parallel the thirty-six Tzaddikim in every generation light up all the pathways that we have lost. All of the holy ways that we, in our arrogance and sinning, have veered from. Please have pity on us, for our eyes are turned to You alone. Straighten out all these pathways for us and repair them until we discover the true Tzaddik. This is the secret of the shamash, that stands and serves above. It lights all the thirty-six candles. With his prayers and his Torah, he lights up the other thirty-six Tzaddikim of the generation, so that they can enlighten the rest of the Jewish people.
24.  Master of the Universe, please help us to seek out these Tzaddikim of the generation and receive their light. Enlighten us with the Parsha of the week, with the search of the brothers for the Tzaddik so that we will also seek him out with all our hearts, souls, and might, so that we will sacrifice our lives to kill and be killed, until we find him. He is hidden because of our sins; “he is bound in chains” (Yirmiyahu 40:1). Oh G-d, without the head of the house, we crown ourselves king and say, “G-d is in the work of our hands” (Hoshea 14:4).
25.  Master of the Universe, make us worthy of this Tzaddik who is the light of lights so that he can empower us to shine the light of Chanukah into the hearts of all of the children of Your people, however distant they may be. For the Jewish spark that is hidden within the soul of every Jew bursts into flame before the light of the candles, and inspires the soul to long for G-d’s light, the light of the redemption. I beg of You, merciful and compassionate G-d, give us pure and clear awareness so that we will fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the candle with all its holy intentions. That way, it will illuminate all of the holy Names—especially the Name “I will be what I will be.” When that Name is doubled, it equals “Truth”—because the only way for us to attain any point of truth is when we first realize that we have yet to begin to exist. Our distance from You means that we still have no existence in the eternal world. Please, G-d of knowledge, who grants knowledge to human beings, educate us during these days of Chanukah and bestow true knowledge upon us. Do it in such a way that we really will begin to exist and be inaugurated into our true purpose in life, that we should bask in the light of life. Bring us to experience the lights of Netzach, in Your great mercy and power, until we merit to discover the good that is hidden within us, and allow it to shine. In the merit of the thirty-six lights of the Tzaddikim that are hidden in each and every era, and especially in the merit of the true Tzaddik who stands and serves above to shine into all the lights, help us to bring out all of the good that is hidden in our souls. Even the good that is hidden in those who are the most far from You, and from the children of the nations of the world. Let such good emerge so that they will no longer be able to harm us with their negative character traits, for they will all return to You and rejoice when they see the ones who fear You. They will rejoice because the evil inside of them will disappear—it will cease to exist. And the Divine spark within them will be revealed and illuminate the image of G-d that is in man. This pure and bright inner-light will be redeemed from its obscurity and shine with the most powerful and amazing light. The dark exterior wrapping will peel away, and the letters of the Torah that are enclothed within all the people of the world will shine with a holy glow. The light of Chanukah of this world will become one with the letters that enliven all of creation. An intense light from above will join it, until we will merit to build holy structures out of all the good that was hidden within all the world’s creatures. The light will continue to shine more brightly, and the good will continue to be revealed, until Your holy sanctuary will be built from it. Then we will ascend to the House of Your glory, and we will set up the candles of Your holy menorah for Your honor. The flame will then rise of its own accord, and through the windows its light will spread throughout the entire world. It will call all of humanity to the Temple and “it will be called a House of prayer for all the nations” (Yeshayahu 56:7).
26.  I beg of You Hashem, for You are full of great mercy—You pity the poor, You hear the groan of the downtrodden, You see the shame of the insulted, You long for the repentance of the wicked and not their demise. You  know my shame, “insult has broken my heart and I am sick. I hope for escape but I cannot, for comforters but I find none” (Tehillim 69:21). Behold, I stand before You like a vessel full of shame, full of insult and scorn. What can I say and how can I justify myself? I am ashamed when I see the magnitude of the abundant kindness that You bestow and the great lights that You have sent down to this dark world. I see Your glory and Your splendor that joyfully shines out to greet us from the flames of Chanukah, that emanate during the eight days. They shine like the World to Come in the merit of Matisyahu your righteous one, leader of all Yisrael. It is like Rosh Hashanah, the light of whose power of repentance continues to shine until the twenty-fifth of Kislev, when the weather gets colder and the light of day begins to increase. Please, Hashem, set our hearts aflame with Your lights, and magnify the light of pure faith within us. Help us see with our own eyes how, as the coldness in our hearts increases from day to day, the light that counteracts it increases too. It grows until it breaks through our sealed-up hearts and its warmth melts the frost within us. The light of “the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the sun’s light will be sevenfold—like the light of the seven days of creation” (Yeshayahu 30:26). The rain, and all the material things of this world will become amazing vessels, holy lights of salvation. We will have an abundance of blessed rain that will soak the parched earth, the ground that cries out for a taste of purity and holiness. And the material that fills all the world will be transformed into chanukiyot of silver, menoros of refined gold, and oil cups of beauty. It will become clean and pure, olive oil that is sealed with a seal within a seal, oil that sheds the most amazing light. It will be light that can brighten the deepest darkness that we are in, until night will be as bright as the day. The darkness will be like light, and we will all shine with the light of life, of eternity which is neither day nor night, with the power of the sefirah of Netzach that shines during the days of Chanukah.
27.  Master of the Universe, in Your loving kindness, please help us to truly become close and attached to true Tzaddikim. “They do not rest by day or by night” (Bereishis 8:22), and the light of their Torah and prayer illuminates all the dark places. Make me worthy of drawing close to the Tzaddikim that are the source of all Jewish souls, to speak to them face to face and hear holy words from their holy mouths, words that the heart can accept. I will then merit to bind my heart to the words of their holy mouths—to their holy good points—and their holy good points will rule over me and will shine from their mouths into my heart. They will nullify all of the shameful things in my heart and the foreskin of my heart, all of the obtuseness in my heart. And then my heart will be straight with You always.
28.  Master of the Universe, You gave us the eight days of Chanukah that parallel the eight days of the circumcision. During them, You help us and give us the strength to circumcise the foreskin of our hearts, with light and joy, with song and triumphant rejoicing. For this is what You really want, that we should always draw closer to You with song and rejoicing, that we should praise You with the lyre and the harp, with singing and dancing, for dancing is the root of all forgiveness of sin. Beloved One of my soul, merciful Father, draw us after You until our souls will be bound to You with an unbreakable bond. May all of our Divine service and Torah study be a product of our desire, our longing for You. May we learn and pray with a yearning that burns both day and night. I beg of You, Hashem, help us to strengthen ourselves and pray to You until we nearly expire from longing. Help us sing and dance before You with the most lofty self-sacrifice, the way that one must really be prepared to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of every single holy effort. Help us to sacrifice ourselves body and soul in our prayers, in our songs and dances, just as Matisyahu, his sons, and all those who were with them did. May our prayers always be spoken with true self-sacrifice until we reach a point where we are willing to literally cease to be and become nullified within You. Help us to honestly, and in total innocence, accept upon ourselves the four types of death penalty every time we recite every prayer service and every time we recite the Shema. Help us to believe that prayer and singing with complete self-nullification is the only way to bring the light of the redemption closer at this time. May we beg for Your forgiveness with absolute honesty, and never return to our foolishness. Hashem, help us to truly regret all of our sins from the very depths of our hearts. Please, Hashem, help us to remember and know the source of the matter: to know that it is our sins that harm us—they are the barriers that have sprung up between us and You. Our sins caused the Hellenists to rule over us; they gave the sword into the hands of our enemies and incited the rest of the world against us. That is why we have come to beg You, Master of mercy. Please strengthen us so that we will pray and beseech you with a lofty power and refuse to be silent before You until You favor us. We will call to You until You answer us, until Your true mercy is aroused to come to our aid. Make us worthy during these days of Chanukah which derive from the sefirah of Netzach, to win You over with our prayers and pleas, until You turn Your face to us once again and act mercifully with us, restoring us to You in true repentance that comes from our very hearts and souls. We will then be worthy that all of the holy good points that we have merited our whole life long and throughout the entire history of our incarnations, in every aspect of our souls (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida), will shine through us with the most precious light. They will release us from the darkness of our exile and light the way for us to bask in the light of life. Then, we will no longer desire any of the worldly vanities that hide the Divine light from our vision, for a small coin, when placed over the eye, can block out all the light of the sun. All of the base desires that exist are like that small coin—they are like the ephemeral veil of a spider’s web, an illusion that the corruption of our eyes has produced. Please, Hashem, help us to repair our vision, to look into Your holy Torah with passion and endless yearning. Help us to see the holy good points in both ourselves and in all of the Jewish people. Then these good points will shine ever more brightly to one another, and all the darkness that surrounds us will cease to be. All the darkness of the world will become limitless splendor when all of the holy good points of the Jewish people join together in infinite combinations during these days of Chanukah.
29.  G-d of Yisrael, You choose Your people Yisrael with love. Please make me worthy of the light of love and loving-kindness, the light of purity and holiness. These lights are showered down every single day upon Your people Yisrael. The entire world was lit up by the seven branches of the holy menorah whose candles Aharon HaKohen would trim and set up every single day, morning and evening. Please help us to build a sanctuary in our hearts and minds, and to trim the candles of the menorah in our own heads. Help us to purify and refine the oil within our minds, and to sanctify the light of the candles—the eyes, the ears, the mouth, and the two nostrils. Help us to trim them, to refine them of any trace of arrogance, of any trace of forbidden gazing, hearing, and speaking. Then we will come to the true humility of Moshe Rabbeinu who manifested an aspect of the “nose.” His nostrils didn’t “flare with anger” when he was insulted, and it was this element of his character which made him more praiseworthy than any other person on earth. It elevated him above all other mortals.  Through this he merited having Your Torah revealed through him, with Your wisdom and Your Will. You allowed him to see the future actions of all of humanity until the end of time and hinted to him that Aharon and his sons would be worthy of drawing down the light of the holy menorah throughout all the exiles, in every age until the end of time. You showed him that they would be worthy of drawing down the light of holy love through the light of Chanukah. “Love covers over all sins” (Mishlei 10:12). And they will atone for Your people Yisrael with love and mercy.
30.  Master of the Universe, You revealed Your love to Matisyahu and his sons and to all those who were together with them. You forgave them all their sins and made them worthy of entering into the inner chamber of Your House. You permitted them to clear out Your Temple and light the candles in Your holy courtyard. In Your great love, make us worthy of perfect repentance also. Forgive us and accept atonement for all of our sins, and remove all of our shame. Stand by us from now on, so that we will never again sin either willfully or accidentally. Save us from all the kinds of flaws in the world, and we will be worthy to become exactly the way You want us to be. We will then merit to draw down the light of the eight days of Chanukah throughout the entire year. And may the power of Yosef HaTzaddik, which is revealed during the days of Chanukah, help us to “increase and continue” our hisbodedus every day. May we continue to increase our prayers, our confessions and multiply our pleadings before You, our “struggles that we struggled with G-d” (Bereishis 30:8), until we are worthy of the sweet honeycomb of Torah and prayer. The words of Torah and prayer will fatten our bones; our bones will blossom like grass, and all our bones, sinews, and senses will say, “Who is like You among the powers, Hashem?” (Shemos 15:11).
31.  Master of the Universe, You performed wonders for Yehudah HaMaccabi. He etched, “Who is like You among the powers, Hashem?” (Shemos 15:11) (initial letters MaCaBI) on his flag, and he fought his battles with his prayers and cries. You showed him, his brothers, and all of the Jewish people Your great and powerful hand. You showed them that there is no force in the heavens and on the earth that can perform Your deeds or acts of might. The weak stood against the strong, the few against the many, and the pure against the defiled. You handed the wicked over to the ones who study Your Torah. So even if we are what we are, please Hashem, perform miracles and wonders now just as You did then. Lay Your enemies down before us, and those who rise against You beneath our feet. “He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, the pride of Yaakov whom He loves” (Tehillim 47:4-5).
32.  Master of the Universe, if our mouths were full of song like the sea, if our tongues were filled with joyful melody like the clamor of the waves, if our lips were filled with praise like the expanse of heaven, if our hands were spread out to You like the eagles of the skies, and if our legs were as swift as hinds, we would still be unable to praise You sufficiently for even one of the myriad acts of goodness that You have done for us until now. Even if we were to thank You thousands and tens of thousands of times with blessings and praise, we would not be able to praise You enough for even a single drop of rain, or a single letter of Torah, or prayer that you have graced us with throughout our entire lives. What can we say? Even after all of the good that You have done for us, our hearts are still blocked-up and sealed in so many ways, with an infinite number of walls that encircle us so that we are unable to see the incredible amount of good that You do for us at all times. If we could only sense just the faintest hint of Your true love for us, we would immediately expire in our soul’s endless longing for You. For we do not have the vessels to contain the abundance of Your kindness or the intensity of Your love for us. We do not have the good deeds to our credit that could allow us to see and feel the sweetness and the pleasure that showers upon us from Your endless love. “Hashem did not give you a heart to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear, until today” (Devarim 29:3). And if this was said about the generation of the wilderness, who merited a vision of You “face to face,” what can be said of us who came after them? We are full of purposeful and rebellious sin. I am like a fool who is crushed in a pestle who still refuses to let go of his foolishness (Mishlei 27:22). I am like “a dog that returns to his vomit” (Mishlei 26:11). But You are good and do good to all; You are good and do good always. You are good and do good to the wicked as well as the righteous.
33.  Master of the Universe, please do good with someone who is as far from good as I am, someone who has rebelled against Your good both willingly and unintentionally. You have done me endless favors, both spiritually and physically. You have bestowed true and eternal good upon me countless times, and I have rejected this true good with my own hands so many times, without even realizing what I was doing. Please, Hashem, You are a G-d of good that never ends, help me in the merit of the days of Chanukah that shine anew in every era and every single year. Help me to be satisfied by Your eternal goodness. Help me to truly become a part of Your oneness and to know that there is nothing but You. Help me to keep only You before my sight always, Your unique and awesome Name. “I have set Hashem before me always” (Tehillim 16:8). In the merit of these days of Chanukah, I will not fear any creature, and I will not make any move to find favor in the eyes of any mortal. Rather, let all my movements and thoughts, my words and meditations, be devoted to You alone. May I not waste the years of my life in empty vanity, in thoughts of nothingness and forbidden desires. May my heart never stray to desire anything of this ephemeral world that is full of empty illusions and mirages that stem from the corruption of our vision.
34.  Help me to strengthen myself once again during these days of Chanukah. Help me to strengthen myself—my two hundred and forty-eight limbs, my three hundred and sixty-five sinews, and all my senses to be strong with Your holiness. You added the letter “heh” to Avraham’s name when he merited to rule over all his senses and limbs. The creation of the whole world was worthwhile just for his sake, in the aspect of “these are the generations of heaven and earth in his creating them “B’HeBaRAM” (Bereishis 2:5), and it was sustained in his merit. So too, help me to rule over all my senses and limbs. Please, Hashem, may the merit of the seven branches of the menorah help me to escape from all the seven levels of “nothingness” of the other side, and attain the seven levels of “nothingness / breath” of the side of holiness. These levels are a product of the charity one gives in the Land of Israel—the money we give away on Chanukah which must be given in abundance. This charity draws down the “breath that bears no trace of sin” which includes all the “breath” of the side of holiness. With it, one is worthy of holy yearning and holy words of prayer that never end. Please, Hashem, bring us to these seven levels of holy breath with which Shlomo HaMelech merited to build the sanctuary and subdue the seventy nations. Hashem, help me share this holy breath with all the nations of the world, and they will become nullified before our people. When Shlomo HaMelech set up his ten menoros, their seventy branches spread G-d’s light to the seventy nations of the world and filled them with longing for You and a yearning for Your sanctuary.
35.  Master of the Universe, holy and pure King. Please, enlighten our eyes with the seven “breaths” of holiness that cancel out all the “breaths” of the other side. Bring us to know clearly and unequivocally that everything but You is vanity of vanities. May we never have, G-d forbid, longing for any sin or for anything that is not Your Will. Rather, may all of our desires, our heart’s interest, be in You alone. May all of our longing and desire be only to do Your Will with absolute self-nullification, a nullification of our senses and feelings. If we do, then all of the Your Jewish people and, with them, all of the seventy nations of the world, will also come to long for You alone. They will yearn to nullify their will before Your Will. “And it will come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of Hashem’s House will be established on the top of the mountains, and will be exalted above the hills. And all the nations will flow unto it. Many people will go and say, ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of Hashem, to the House of the G-d of Yaakov. He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion will go forth Torah, and the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. And He will judge among the nations, and will decide among many people. And they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift sword against nation, neither will they learn war any more” (Yeshayahu 2:2-4).
36.  Please, merciful Father, You do the will of those who fear You, and You grace the humble with charm. Please make us worthy of true humility and self-effacedness so that we will be able to draw the entire world to You with the power of the true Tzaddikim. Your great and holy glory is to be found among them, they who are pure of all ulterior motives. Their holy longing and desire is to magnify and make Your great Name exalted, just as Matisyahu and his sons did. They sacrificed their own flesh and blood—their lives and all their might—so that they would publicize Your G-dliness among the masses. For that is what Chanukah is all about—publicizing the miracle, publicizing Your G-dliness among all the nations of the world who are found in the public spaces and within the ten sefiros of unholiness. This is the secret of “And I have raised up my children, Zion, against your children, Yavan” (Zecharia 9:13). For the battle between the other side and the side of holiness, between light and dark, goes on during every era. It intensifies from day to day with terrible challenges and awful dangers. One’s capacity to endure falters when faced with this never-ending war that does not let up for a single moment. Master of the Universe, great and awesome G-d, only You know the intensity of this war.  That is why You are called a “man of war” (Shemos 15:3). You act mightily each and every day, and You do that which has never been done: You are the Master of war. You are the One who grants strength and power to anyone who wants to enter this great battle, and You send incredible Tzaddikim in each and every era who are like Matisyahu and his sons, Tzaddikim who fight the wars of Hashem with the most lofty self-sacrifice without stop. They teach the art of war to all those who follow their path. Please, Hashem, who acts mightily, You are the Master of war. Hashem, just as You allowed the Tzaddikim to prevail over the wicked—the pure to prevail over the impure—so too, in this weak and lowly generation, reveal Your might! Empower us and magnify our strength, shower us with power from above to overcome the forces that constantly work to repel us from that which is holy. These forces drive people away from Hashem and from the true Tzaddikim. I beg of You, Hashem, You stretch forth Your hand to the penitent, and You want them to become righteous. Help us in this great battle, for You know how many souls are stuck in this fight. So many have already lost both worlds. The forces that repel them and separate them from the true Tzaddikim have also driven them away from You and deprived them from their share in this world and the next. And I, an orphan among orphans, what can I do, what can I accomplish? Who will fight for us and subdue, break through, and destroy this force that stands between us, our Father in heaven—this force that doesn’t allow us to submit to the natural attraction of the true Tzaddikim?
37.  Master of the Universe, mighty G-d, we have thrown our entire burden upon You. Fight for us, Hashem. Fight our battles and wage our wars for You are forever on high, Hashem. Your hand is always supreme. Pity us, have mercy on us, save us, and purify us in the merit of the true Tzaddikim who are like the dynasty of the Chashmonaim. They have this magnetism that draws people to You, like their banner, “Whoever is for G-d, come to me!” (Shemos 32:26). In their merit, help us to topple all of the barriers of the other side that surround us. You helped Yehuda the Maccabi and his brothers so that no wall could stand against them. So, too, assist us even in this generation, now, during these days of Chanukah. Help us to throw down all the walls of the other side that surround us, to break down all of the iron barricades that stand between us and You, and between us and the true Tzaddikim. In the merit of these days of Chanukah, may all of the barriers be transformed into pure light, may all the obstacles be transformed into sweetness. May all of them become amazing vessels that can hold infinite light. For You revealed to us, through Your true Tzaddikim, that the multitude of obstacles we run up against will make us worthy of receiving light that will be many times the number of obstacles. This happens when we stand firm in the face of all of our challenges, when we refuse to despair even if we find that the obstacles are multiplying from moment to moment. Even so, we mustn’t despair for an instant. We must know and believe that, “The burden is only as heavy as the camel can bear” (Kesuvos 67a.) The challenges grow from moment to moment because You want to make us worthy of lofty worlds and endless supernal light.
38.  Master of the Universe, Your true Tzaddikim rectify and shield us from the Adversary, the one who came to tempt Adam and Chava while riding on a serpent that took the form of a camel. This camel is part of the mystery of the camel that was bearing flax, that goes out during the days of Chanukah to tempt the entire world. For flax was Cain’s sacrifice—he had thought that he would rectify the world in his spirit of arrogance. This sacrifice weakened all of the heavenly host and intensified the darkness in the world. His descendents came later, however, and contradicted him. They said, “The palace does indeed have a ruler!” For during the days of Chanukah, the fire of the candles kindles the flax borne by the camel. Their light shines throughout the entire palace with the most precious glow. This is part of the mystery of the spark that escapes from beneath the hammer’s blow. It was the “light of the hammer” that set the whole world aflame with negative desires and forbidden thoughts. On Chanukah, that flame is transformed into pure and clear light. Please, Hashem, help  us to see this spark in its elevated and rectified state during Chanukah. May we see it light up the world with the light of truth until the Master of the house peeks from behind the latticework, until He looks out from the windows and announces, “I am the Master of the palace! There is a ruler in the world!” (Bereishis Rabbah 39:1)
39.  Master of the Universe, You are full of great mercy. Have mercy on us just as You did on Yaakov Avinu. Immediately after his thigh was wounded—the thigh which symbolizes the sefirah of Netzach—You helped him to prevail over Esav’s guardian angel. You made the sun—the hidden light, the lights of Chanukah—shine for him. Even so, he was worried and heartsick over the future of his descendants until he built a monument and poured a libation of oil upon it. Anyone who could measure the amount of water in the sea of Galilee could know how many libations Yaakov poured at that hour. For he poured out as many measures of oil as there are measures of water in the sea of Galilee. The sea is the Kineret–kinor (harp) of the Land of Israel, which draws down everlasting melodies. These melodies are the source of all the seven branches of wisdom that were drawn down from the seven branches of the menorah. These seven branches parallel the two sets of seven mentioned in Parshas Parah (Bereishis Rabbah 19:2). These aspects of consciousness are the soul; they are the “surrounding lights” that renew themselves every day within all those who are humble and contrite. They purify a person from all of his impurity, and they raise up the “seven breaths” from the depths of a person’s heart so that they become “a powerful wind that can break mountains and shatter rocks” (Malachim I 19:11). They destroy all of the nations that want to harm the Jewish people. And with “the voice of Hashem on the waters” (Tehillim 29:3), when a person’s heart is spilled out like water before Hashem, the voice of the breaths of holiness becomes, “The voice of Hashem that splits the heart of the flame” (Tehillim 29:7). That flame consumes all of the evil in all the worlds.
40.  Master of the Universe, You save a person from destruction and redeem Your people Yisrael in great mercy. Please, fill us with a spirit from above and awaken us to be zealots for the sake of Your Name so that we can fight Your battles like the holy Kohanim who sanctified Your Name and redeemed Your people. Help us to act completely for the sake of repairing the world, so that the complete redemption will come quickly. For the Chashmonaim did not manage to complete the necessary repair within the sefirah of Netzach, which is needed for an eternal redemption. They remained at the level of “Yaakov’s thigh which had been dislocated” (Bereishis 32:26). They only drew down the illumination from the sefirah of Netzach to the sefirah of Hod—and only enough to last for a single generation. That is why, afterward, “all the day we are ill” (Eicha 1”13).  “All of my Hod (splendor) has become a destructive force” (Daniel 10:8). Master of the entire universe, You speak and uphold Your words so that they are all true and just. Please, raise us up to the sefirah of Netzach in a complete way. This is what You desire: “The Eternal One, the Netzach of Israel will not lie nor change His mind” (Shmuel I 15:29). You will not contradict all of the promises that You made to us so long ago through Your servant Moshe, through Your holy prophets, and all of Your Tzaddikim throughout the ages. All those promises will come to be without an iota of alteration. For the redemption is ready to arrive at any moment, at the instant that we will be ready to come before You with absolute humility. The sefirah of Netzach is acquired with clarity, by overcoming one’s drive to win. “To the Menatzeach, a song of David” (Tehillim 13:1). As the Sages said, “Sing to the One who rejoices when he is won over” (Pesachim 119a.) This aspect will cause the light of the sefirah of Netzach to shine upon us in completion. Then we will be able to draw down the light of redemption, the light of Moshiach. For Moshiach stands at the gates of Rome and waits to be revealed every day. So much so, that he only unbinds, cleans, and rewraps his wounds one at a time so that when the time comes to reveal himself, he will be ready immediately. Every moment, he is prepared to come out to greet even one deed, even the smallest one, that is truly done for the sake of heaven.
41.  For this is the secret of the creation of the heavens and earth that renew themselves each and every day. The universe can renew itself and be redeemed even through a single act of true kindness, through the person whose heart is truly shattered to pieces within him. With a truly broken heart, a person can raise the entire world up to the highest heavens, to the place where the manna is ground to pieces for the Tzaddikim, to the place of eternal laughter and joy.
42.  I beg of You, Hashem, You are merciful and full of mercy. You are a savior and a powerful redeemer. You plan all events so that not a single soul will go lost forever. Stand at my right hand and support me, just as You stood to the right of Matisyahu and his sons and supported them! You raised them up to the sefirah of Netzach, and from it, they drew down the light of Chanukah. Please, merciful Father, who pities the poor and provides abundant salvation, help us to complete all of the rectifications that have not yet been completed. For even though they ascended to the sefirah of Netzach, they did not manage to raise up the sefiros of Rachel to Netzach as well, and they remained in Hod. This is the secret behind all of the destructions and holocausts throughout our history, of all the seven waters that have passed over us until now. Their rectification is achieved through the seven branches of the menorah, upon which the forty-nine permutations of the sefiros draw down the light. The knob that sits above them is the symbol of the fiftieth gate that will be revealed, speedily and in our days. It is ready to be revealed during these days of Chanukah that are especially suited for the repair of Cain and Hevel’s sins. According to Rabbi Eliezer, they sinned during the days of Chanukah. One sinned because of too much light, the other because of too little—and both these states are the cause of all sin. Master of the Universe, Father of mercy and Master of forgiveness, protect our souls and save us from all sin. For we are struck by the sins of “too much” and “too little”—both the sins of Cain and of Hevel. At every moment, we stumble into “too much light,” or we slacken and get lazy, and fall into “too little light” by imagining that every spark of light is too much. Save us from the oppression of sin and iniquity; save us from these two flaws during these days of Chanukah. Save us through the wicks and oil that descend into the space that is less than ten handbreadths from the ground and light up all the dark places. They bring light until they burn up the camel and destroy his flax. They burn up the camel which is the serpent that caused Adam HaRishon to sin, and they consume flax that alludes to Cain’s sin. For You revealed to us that, during the days of Chanukah, one can draw down the light from the seven branches of the menorah and nullify the flax. This flax diminishes the power of the earth for seven years, and this alludes to the seventy years of Adam that Shlomo HaMelech rectified with the seventy branches of his ten menoros. Then the light of the moon was like the light of the sun, and the moon came into its fullness. This is the nullification of all negative desires. In his generation, the verse came to be fulfilled: “For our sons are like plants grown up in their youth; our daughters are like corner stones, polished after the fashion of a palace” (Tehillim 134:12).  About this, the verse says: “Fortunate is the people for whom it is thus; fortunate is the people for whom Hashem is their G-d” (Tehillim 134:15). Cain’s sin was rectified completely during the days of David and Shlomo. This is the secret of “the Psalm of the Shabbos Day” (Tehillim 92:1) that rectifies the souls of Cain and Hevel. Just as we ascend to the world of Atzilus on Shabbos, so too on Chanukah we receive spiritual garments from the world of Atzilus. They are alluded to in the word "ner” (candle), which is the gematria of the combination of three holy Names. With them, one rises to Keter, like Elkanah who “went up”—who raised Chanah up until Keter. This is the secret of the word Chanukah—“Chanah, twenty-six”. She ascended until the Name that has a gematria of twenty-six. This is what Leah saw with her spirit of prophecy, and what Chanah saw with her song. They saw that the Kohanim would descend from Levi. They saw that with their self-sacrifice they would draw down the lights of the seven branches of the menorah with the eight lights of Chanukah to all future generations. They would do it in such a way that all truly worthy souls would be able to draw down these lights every day, at every hour of the day until we merit the light of the redemption and the building of the holy Temple in which the Kohanim “will wear linen garments” (Yecheskel 44:17). They will reveal the secret of the “primordial vacated space,” the secret of flax itself. All of us will then ascend to the sefirah of Keter to see You face to face. “For they will see eye to eye when Hashem returns to Zion” (Yeshayahu 52:8).
43.  Master of the Universe, please bring us to all of the levels that can be attained by every single Jew. I beg of You, make our souls primary and our bodies secondary, for that is what the light of Chanukah is about. Then we will be worthy of the level of Matisyahu and his sons who nullified their bodies completely, and then we will be worthy of peace in the wider sense. All types of conflict, wars, and decrees of physical and spiritual destruction will be completely cancelled. Anything that has even the most remote connection to judgment will be mitigated through the power of the incredible illumination that shines during the days of Chanukah. Please, Hashem, help us to nullify ourselves to this amazing illumination, to attach ourselves to the endless light, so that we will be able to honestly see our own lowliness. So that we will be able to believe that we are even lower than the level that we think we are on. Then all of our ulterior motives will cease to exist, and we will be like the banner of the Maccabi’im that said: “Whoever is for G-d, come to me!” (Shemos 32:26) We will then be, body and soul, “for Hashem alone!” (Shemos 32:19).
44.  That is why we have come to beg and plead before You, to prostrate ourselves in the face of the splendor of Your holiness, during these days of Chanukah. Pity us in Your mercy, and grant us knowledge and intellect through the illumination of the amazing aspect alluded to in the word Chanukah, “Chanu–Kah.” Please, Hashem, give us the gift of grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. Grant us the genuine charm that will purify us from all kinds of false charm and conceit. “He gives grace to the humble” (Mishlei 3:34). Bless us, Father, with the blessing of “Koh / Thus will Your children be” (Bereishis 15:5), the blessing that Avraham Avinu received. Fill us with a spirit of might from above, and kindle our hearts with the flame of the self-sacrifice of the binding of Yitzchak, for it is from there that the light of Chanukah on “KoH” (the twenty–fifth of) Kislev emanates, as in “we will go until there/koh” (Bereishis 22:5). It is the light that the one who bound and the one who was bound bequeathed to their children until the end of time.
45.  I beg of You, Hashem, make us worthy of seeing a revelation of this amazing light of self-sacrifice which the holy Patriarchs planted within us. This light makes us ready and willing to be martyred to sanctify Your holy Name. We will know and believe that this is our purpose until Moshiach comes. We will feel in all our limbs and sinews that this is our only desire. We will be like Rabbi Akiva who said: “When will the day come that I will fulfill the command to love Hashem with all my soul?” This longing will fill us so that when the time comes for our souls to depart and we are able to sanctify Your Name, we will not suffer at all. Our souls will leave us with the most lofty attachment to Your endless light. Please, our merciful Father, You love Your children and bestow Your eternal good upon them at all times. Please make us worthy of drawing down this light, the light of self-sacrifice, during the days of Chanukah. Then our souls will become a part of Your pure light when they depart to sanctify Your Name. Our soul’s departure from the body will be more delightful to us than any worldly pleasure, for we will long to sacrifice our bodies and souls at all times, like Matisyahu and his sons. Especially when we accept the yoke of the kingdom of heaven upon ourselves as we recite, “Shema Yisrael, Hashem our G-d, Hashem is One.”
46.  Master of the Universe, Master of the entire world, You are the source of all life, and You revive the dead with great mercy. Grant me life, that I should live and not die. Grant me true life—eternal life—a truly good life. Grant me a long life, a life that is full of fear of heaven, a life that will allow me to always focus on the true purpose of life—the purpose for which You created all of the worlds. It was for this purpose that we came from the upper world, from the highest of levels, to this world. Have pity on me and give me hope that I will not go astray. Give me strength so that, from now on, I will be worthy of sacrificing my body and soul for You at every moment, like Matisyahu and his sons. Help me to never do anything that does not stem from concentrating on the ultimate purpose of life, so that I will truly sanctify Your Name at every single moment, and I will be especially self-sacrificing when it comes to guarding the covenant and my eyes. “Have compassion on Your handiwork and rejoice with Your handiwork. May those who take refuge in You say, when You vindicate those borne by You, ‘Master, may You be sanctified upon all Your handiwork.’ For with Your own holiness, You have sanctified those who sanctify You. It is fitting that the Holy One be glorified by holy ones” (Yom Kippur Prayer.)
47.  Master of the Universe, merciful and compassionate Father, You choose Your people Yisrael with love. Help us to always long for You at all hours of the day and night with endless yearning. This longing will then cancel all of the harm and harsh decrees that the Hellenists decree upon us at all times. The bold ones of Your people rise up in every era, “They will exalt themselves to fulfill a vision, and stumble” (Daniel 11:19). Just as You helped Your holy Kohanim, the few facing the many, to overturn all of the plans of the brazen ones and their decrees in their times, so too sanctify us in this age with every kind of holiness and purity. Then we too will see the mighty given into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the defiled into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the sinners into the hands of those who study Your Torah.
48.  Our Father in heaven, in the merit of the Divine Name, “I will be what I will be” (Shemos 3:14) have pity on me and on all of Your people, the house of Yisrael. Stand to my right hand and be at my assistance at all times. Then I will be able to banish all of my thoughts that plague me, and all of the ideas that confuse me, especially when I pray. That way, I will be able to pray to You with all my heart, with great concentration, truly from the depths of my heart. My thoughts will be holy and pure so that my mind will be bound to every single word of the prayers with the strongest connection and complete unity. No extraneous thought will arise in my heart as I pray. I will, instead, merit to clear my mind of all extraneous thoughts as I pray, and no foolish thought will enter my mind at all, no thought of vain conceit—thinking that I come from an illustrious family or imagining in my own mind that I have already expended a great deal of effort in my service of G-d.  Rather, I will recognize my own faults, and see my true worthlessness. I will forget about my family and all my arrogant thoughts. I will, instead, stand like a poor person and know my true low state. And, yet, I will feel secure in Your great mercy. In the knowledge that You dwell with the person of downtrodden spirit, and that You are close to the brokenhearted. It is only in Your great kindness that I will expand my heart to pray before You with true joy. I will rejoice in Your salvation, and then my prayers will be completely perfect; they will be pure and proper, and flow smoothly from my lips. You will then hear and accept our prayers and pleas. We will merit to rule with our prayers, that they will achieve all that is required, even a supernatural miracle. Please fulfill all of our heart’s requests for our good, in Your mercy. Take pleasure in our prayers always, Hashem, and with that pleasure, continue to maintain Your world and all it contains through the power of the ten utterances of creation. Draw down great kindness upon us always, and sweeten and nullify from upon us and all of the Jewish people all of the harsh judgments in the world. Void and cancel out all of the judgments that are upon us and upon all of the Jewish people, whether it is before or even after the decree has already gone out. Please do it through these days of Chanukah, which are the days of the sealing of judgments for the good, for grace, kindness, and mercy.
49.  Master of the Universe, You know that I have yet to exist, that I have not even begun to live. I haven’t even begun the process of gestation, and I lack even the basest level of Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama. I only posses a nefesh ha’behamit, an animal soul full of muddied-up blood that draws me to everything that is loathsome. I have become even worse than an animal! I have defiled the pure intellect that You planted within me with all kinds of impurity since the time that I came into this world. Now, what can I say? What can I say, after You performed endless acts of kindness on my behalf to bring me out of the deepest level of hell? Even so, with my own hands I rebelled against all of Your good advice and rejected all of Your kindness. I ignored Your good hints. If I had only paid attention to a single one of Your messages, my entire physical self would have become subservient to my soul. This could have cancelled out all of the evil decrees that are upon Your house of Yisrael. We no longer have any hope left; we have come to the last of the generations, and they are about to decree all kinds of edicts of spiritual destruction, like those that were during the times of the Greeks and the Hellenists. Just hearing a rumor of them makes everyone tremble. Just to hear their words that disguise their plans make our bones quiver with fear. We can barely breathe, because there are so few men of faith left among Your people and no one is here to stand at the breach. Your Tzaddikim are already hidden or gone from the world—the Tzaddikim who busy themselves with repairing the world by canceling every evil decree even before it arises as an articulated thought. “Hashem has given me over into hands from which I could not rise up” (Eicha 1:14). “He has made my flesh and skin waste away; He has shattered my bones. He has built a mound against me, and has surrounded me at head and heel…He has hedged me about, so that I cannot escape. He has made my chain heavy. Even when I cry and call for help, He stops up my prayer. He has enclosed my ways with hewn stone, he has made my paths crooked…Our pursuers were swifter than the vultures of the sky; they chased us upon the mountains, and they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the Moshiach of Hashem, was taken in their pits. We said of him, ‘Under his shadow we will live among the nations’” (Eicha 3: 4-5, 7-9, 4:19-20).  Even the Tzaddik who said that he could bring all of the world to repent is hidden from us. We have fallen to the deepest level of hiddenness, so that we don’t even feel his absence. And as for us, what will we do? We have wasted our opportunity to receive “a double portion,” the aspect of, “If you will see me taken from you” (Melachim II 2:9-10).
50.  I beg of You, merciful Father, open my eyes, remove my arrogance of spirit so that I can truly see my lowly state. For I am still following the dictates of my heart. I think that I rule over myself, and I don’t at all sense the greatness of Yosef. The verse says of him: “Without him, no man would raise his hand or foot in all of the land of Egypt” (Bereishis 41:44). Yet I think to myself, that I rule over myself—my hands and feet, and my heart and thoughts. Because of my many sins, the Temple was destroyed, the pure menorah was hidden. Hashem vented His fury, He poured out His wrath, and kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations (Eicha 4:11). Oh G-d! With my own hands, with the fire of my own passions, I lit the fire in the Temple and gave the Jewish people over to the sword to be plundered. “And, now, who will rise up with Yaakov, for he is small” (Amos 7:5), if not for Your great mercy and kindness? Who will stand up for us, if not for Your great light that is illuminating to us even now? This light is drawn down from the thirty-six hidden Tzaddikim of every era. They are like Matisyahu and his sons who sacrificed their lives to sanctify Your Name; they sacrifice their lives to sanctify Your Name every single moment. Oh, if I could only find them, if I could only take refuge in their shade! I would crawl the length and breadth of the world on my hands and knees just for the chance to enjoy their holy light. Perhaps I will be worthy of breathing their pure breath for even a moment before I die so that I can merit a complete rectification. To draw down the holy and pure air to the entire world, so that even the nations of the world will repent. For the gentile nations that easily believe everything that they are told would merit to believe in the truth with ease if it weren’t for this deepest obscurity that I brought onto the world with my many sins. If it wasn’t for the darkness that I brought onto the world, if it wasn’t for the plague of darkness that I brought to the world, for I transformed light into darkness. All the worlds and the letters fell because I abused the holy letters with empty chatter. If I had only focused properly on even a single letter of prayer, if I had only said it with love and heavenly awe, then all of the wisdom of the world would have dissipated. All wars would have ceased to be, and the entire world would have cried, “Hashem is G-d, there is no other!” (Melachim I 8:60).
51.  I beg of You, Hashem, bring us close to You and reveal the path of repentance to us during these days of Chanukah. During these days, You want to teach us like a child—like a convert—to be Jews. Teach us how to direct our every motion and thought to You so that we should not be like all the other nations, so that we will not learn from their deeds and think the way that they do, G-d forbid. Please, Hashem, draw us after You so that we will never want anything other than to do Your pure Will, so that we should never make ourselves a ruler over any other creature. We should just feel as though we are mud that has no will of its own, and like dust that the wind blows where it will. Then Your Kingship would be revealed immediately in all its glory. The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of the seven days of creation. And all the nations will give You the crown of Kingship.
52.  Master of the Universe, we stand before the splendor of Your holiness, before the brilliant lights that illuminate all of Your sefiros and worlds, in fear and trembling. For Your pure light descends during these days into the space that is less than ten handbreadths from the ground, into all of the outcast and dark places, areas that cannot even be called a “place.” They are places into which the Jewish people never fell before. And You stretch forth Your hand to all those who extend their hand toward You to anyone who is ready to remove his material garments—his filthy garments—and wrap himself in festive garb—in garments of light. This is the inner meaning of what Rabbi Nachman said in the name of Rabbi Meir, “Even if he found it in the garbage, signed it, and gave it to her, it is kosher” (Gittin 3b.) I beg of You, have pity on worthless people like me and draw down for us the light of Chanukah. Just as Rabbi Nachman in the name of Rabbi Meir draws down garments of light even for those who are in the garbage and seals them with the seal of holiness, raising them up to the holy Shechinah. This is like the Chanukah candle which we light, facing the public thoroughfare. “Until there is no longer any feet in the marketplace”—until the holiness of the light nullifies all mundane business and the lust for money. Each person will then help his brother, will say to his friend, “Be strong!” (Yeshayahu 41:6). Even the nations of the world will shine with this light, and they will come to serve the Jewish people. “Strangers will come forth to tend Your flocks, foreigners will tend your fields and vineyards” (Yeshayahu 61:5). “Ten people of every tongue of the earth will grab hold of the corner of every Jew’s garment” (Zecharia 8:23).
53.  Master of the Universe, our merciful Father, “Make known to me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore” (Tehillim 16:11).  “Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones which You have broken may rejoice…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Tehillim 51:11-14).  Master of the Universe, You know how far I am from feeling true joy in my body and my soul. It is because I have corrupted myself innumerable times and in indescribable ways. There are not enough possible combinations of letters to adequately recount my flaws, my errors, and my tremendous wrongdoing. My Father in heaven, living G-d, what can I say? What can I say? How can I justify myself? It is so hard for me to be joyful because of all of this, even though in Your mercy You have done so much eternal good for me and for all of the Jewish people.
54.  Hashem, You know all of the plots that the other side formulates against us, to destroy the holiness of the individual and the community as a whole. You know the plans of the Hellenists and the tyrants that rule over us now; You know how they plot against us, may the merciful One save us! They have said, “Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Yisrael will be remembered no more” (Tehillim 83:5).  I beg of You, Hashem, do not abandon us and leave us in their hands! You saved our forefathers from the hands of the Hellenists and the tyrants, during these days when they had decreed that the Jews desecrate the Shabbos, that they not circumcise their sons, and other anti-religious edicts. So too, now, please cancel the anti-religious edicts, those that were already decreed and those that are about to be decreed upon Your Jewish people by the Hellenists and tyrants that rule over us. “Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us out of their hand” (Eicha 5:8). There is no one to save us from the grinding teeth of the other side. For the only way to be saved from the klippah that will sacrifice its life to destroy us, is through self-sacrifice. Through the efforts of the Tzaddikim who sacrifice their souls and all their might when they pray, as they say every single letter. For every letter holds within it endless salvation. Through the power of a single letter said with true intention, it would be possible to save the entire world. An intelligent person should pray all his life long that he will be worthy—even if only one time in his life—to speak one truly honest word before You.
55.  That is why we have come to beg and plead before You, Hashem. Please give us the strength to at least cry out to You, “Please, Hashem, save us!” (Tehillim 118:25) in truth, twice a day every day during Hallel on Chanukah. For the power of a single word said truthfully can bring the entire world to repent. It can overturn hearts so that they will serve You. It can even change the hearts of the wicked and the tyrants so that they will pray before You in truth. For, “The wicked walk on every side” (Tehillim 12:9). All of the other side’s war is aimed only at the proper and simple Jews who already know the secret of prayer, who have the key to the redemption in their hands. It is them, in particular, that the other side confounds every day, during every single prayer, making up endless excuses and rationalizations to free them from their obligation to concentrate during prayer. If, however, we would only believe with complete faith that Hashem stands over us—that He really listens to every single word that comes out of our mouths—then we would always concentrate properly. There would not be a single letter uttered without self-sacrifice. Especially during the days of Chanukah, when the spirit of self-sacrifice is awakened from above to give power to the people when we hold strong in the aspect of “Chanah, K”U (26, the gematria of G-d’s Name).” We must empower Hashem to save us at this time. Hashem sends a spirit from above to awaken us to pray with self-sacrifice, filling us with the knowledge that “the whole world is filled with His glory” (Yeshayahu 6:3). He stands waiting expectantly for every murmur from our lips, for every letter that emerges from the mouths of proper and simple Jews. He waits so that He will be able to send down an abundance of good for us and the entire world through the power of every letter that is spoken with reverence and trembling. Every letter—every word of prayer—that is enlightened and uplifted with the correct spiritual focus is aroused to search for the souls of the wicked at their source, to bring them back in complete repentance. And when there will be a multitude of such enlightened letters, then the entire Jewish people, together with the whole world, will return to You and call out in Your Name.
56.  Master of the Universe, You hear every prayer. You desire the prayers of the Jewish people. Make us worthy of clearly knowing, of seeing with the clearest of vision, that You stand over us and wait to hear our murmured prayers. Please give us a heart to know You, a heart that is warm with love for You and the desire to sacrifice our lives when we pray to You. Give us a heart that is warm with its desire to focus properly on every letter and every word of the prayers that we say to Your great and awesome Name. May we, especially, be worthy when we pronounce Your great and awesome Name to do so in holiness and purity. Then the holy breath that comes out of us when we pronounce Your Name will go before us and spread throughout the entire world. It will make our enemies fall down before us and will destroy all of the enemies of the Jewish people. “We will mention the Name of Hashem, our G-d, and they will fall” (Tehillim 20:8-9). The Hellenists and the destroyers of the Jewish people will fall, and their plotting and plans will be foiled, for they too will return to You and recognize the power of Your Kingship, that there is none but You.
57.  Master of the Universe, merciful Father and master of forgiveness, forgive all of our sins during these days of Chanukah when the sealing of the High Holy Days is completed. Seal us with the seal of holiness just like the container of oil was sealed with the seal within a seal of the Kohen Gadol. Help us to discover the true Tzaddik who is even greater than the Kohen Gadol, who girds his loins to uplift us and bring us in to the inner sanctum, up until the very Foundation Stone. Please, merciful Father, You listen to the prayers of Your children. May our prayers and all of our confessions that we will be worthy of saying before You be heard and accepted as they were from the Kohen Gadol. The Kohen Gadol would confess for himself, for his household, and for his people. It was these confessions that allowed him to enter the Holy of Holies and to come to the Foundation Stone.
58.  I beg of You, Hashem, help us during these days of Chanukah, these amazing days of thanksgiving that are before us, to arouse ourselves to complete repentance and to confess every blemish that we make every moment before You. May we especially confess to You all that we have blemished in our minds and with our eyes, and for terrible destructive forces are created from these blemishes. These forces then manifest within the gentile nations and the brazen ones of Your people so that they seek to destroy us all the time and to erase our name from under the heavens. You revealed to us, Hashem, that the confessions one makes every moment, over every forbidden thought and sight, with true regret, can draw down the light of Yom HaKippurim. They can make us worthy of enlightenment from the Foundation Stone and the Temple, whose every stone was hewn out and shaped by the shamir worm who could break though all kinds of stone and iron walls. Please, Hashem, make us worthy of the aspect of this worm. Help us to be humble before You and before every person. Then we will break through the myriad of iron walls that surround us day and night, especially as we pray. They darken our vision so that we are unable to fortify our faith that You are omnipotent, that You control everything. They weaken our faith in the fact that only those prayers and confessions that are connected to the true Tzaddik—to the Kohen Gadol who incorporates all of the Jewish people into the Foundation Stone, the source of all sweetening of judgment and forgiveness, atonement and salvation—can save us and all of the Jewish people.
59.  Master of the Universe, help me to come to the House of G-d with my heart poured out like water. “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. How I used to pass on with the throng, leading them in procession to the House of G-d with the voice of joy and praise, a crowd keeping holiday” (Tehillim 42:5). Make me worthy of coming to the House of G-d to pray before You with songs and praise, with a longing for holiness. Then I will yearn and long for You always, and long to truly serve You. I will constantly yearn to attain Your true service. “My soul faints for Your salvation, I hope in Your word. My eyes fail with longing for Your word, saying: When will You comfort me?” (Tehillim 118: 81-2). “My soul longs, indeed, it faints for the courts of Hashem. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living G-d” (Tehillim 84:3). “My flesh and my heart fail, but Hashem is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Tehillim 73:26). “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Tehillim 63:2). “My soul thirsts for G-d, for the living G-d. When will I come and appear before G-d?” (Tehillim 42:3).
60.  Master of the Universe, help me to come close to true Tzaddikim and to fine people, people who are simple and truly straightforward in their hearts, people who truly sacrifice their lives to sanctify Your Name. In Your great mercy, send to us also in this generation a faithful shepherd who is like Moshe Rabbeinu, who will carry us “like the nursemaid carries an infant” (Bamidbar 11:12). He will teach us the ways of Your service, how to truly serve You with self-sacrifice and a lofty mental composure, until we come to ways of holiness and repentance from true humility. We will then be worthy on these days of Chanukah, the final sealing of the high holy days, to enter the world of repentance until our entire existence will be repentance. Please help us to be the way You really want us to be all the days of our lives. May the verse come to be fulfilled in us, “Trust in Hashem and do good, dwell in the land and graze on faith” (Tehillim 37:3). Then we will be worthy of the faithful shepherd, our righteous Moshiach, may he come speedily and in our days. Amen.
61.  Master of the Universe, help me to see my true lowliness during these days of Chanukah. Bring me to true humility, to true self-effacedness, until I come to see myself as even below my own lowly level. At the very least, help me to not overreach myself—not fool myself, G-d forbid, by imagining that I have already reached some spiritual level. May I always recognize my immeasurably low place so that I should not harbor even a hidden trace of arrogance, G-d forbid, for conceit always causes me to be distanced from you. May my prayers and offerings not be rejected during the days of Chanukah as Cain’s were, as it is written about him, “And his offering was not accepted” (Bereishis 4:5). May I not stumble into Hevel’s mistake, for he was killed because of his hidden arrogance. Instead, may I always see my true lowliness. With the power of the Chanukah candles, may I merit to search through the cracks and crevices in search of any trace of conceit so that I can drive it out of me. The light of Chanukah will enlighten me and penetrate the innermost dimensions of my soul until I will be able to see every single blemish that I ever made during my entire lifetime. I will recognize my endless faults and merit to see with a lofty clarity, with the eyes of the Tzaddikim as, “And the eyes of Hashem are to the Tzaddikim” (Tehillim 34:16). With their eyes, they merit to see their true humbleness. May I never fool myself again, G-d forbid, into thinking that I have already attained some spiritual level, some comprehension of Your G-dliness, or any insight into Your service. Instead, I will be like Menashe about whom we read on Shabbos Chanukah. This hints to us that, at the time of Chanukah, humility shines with a special light, for humility is the source of life and joy, and it enlightens our souls with a precious light. Help us to be like Menashe during these days, to nullify our arrogance and forget about our lineage and our labor. Help us to attain the ways of true humility that are the source of life and joy, so that we will be able to see the greatness of Your holy people and the significance of every single Jew. Then we will be able to truly sacrifice our lives for every single member of Your holy people, Yisrael.
62.  Our Father, merciful Father, You long to hear the prayers and holy yearnings of the Jewish people. You want to hear the praise of mortal, material, beings. My soul longs for Your courtyards, it faints to do Your will, to take refuge in Your shadow. I beg of You, Hashem, make us worthy of these wondrous levels of lofty humility and love of our fellow Jews. Once we reach them, we will always yearn for You with truly holy longing, so that during these days of Chanukah, with their songs and praise and joy, we will come to repent out of love for You. Then all of my sins will change into merits, and I will be worthy of having a holy mind, a mind that is pure of any dross, like silver that has been refined seven times. This purity of mind is drawn down from the seven branches of the holy menorah. Then, I will merit to renew my mind in great holiness and purity at all times. Help me and save me always, so that I will be able to learn and teach with a pure mind. I will then always understand everything that I learn straight away, particularly in the thirty-six tractates that are influenced by the thirty-six Chanukah candles. In the merit of the light of Chanukah, I will not need to delve into my studies deeply at all; rather, all of the words of the sages—of Rashi, Tosafos, and the rest of the commentators—will shine forth to me right away. My intellect will then expand more and more every day, just like the candles that we add to day by day. It will expand in great holiness, with great speed, with clarity and purity. I will then merit to do the work of heaven speedily, as in, “Do you see a man who hurries in his work? He will stand before kings, and not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29). This verse refers to Moshe Rabbeinu, whose humility made him worthy of receiving the Torah from Your mouth. It allowed him to understand every word properly and to divine the truth of the words of Your holy Torah with great speed and without any confusion at all.
63.  May it be Your Will, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, who hears the prayers of His people Israel with mercy, You heard the prayers of Your holy Kohanim and all those who were with them during the days of Chanukah for the sake of Your Temple and the glory of Your Name. So too, may Your kindness and mercy be aroused upon us for Your sake and for the sake of Yerushalayim the city of Your sanctuary, for the glory of Your Name. Prepare our hearts so that we will pray to You with all our heart and soul. May our prayers always be fluent in our mouths, and may we never experience any obstacle or confusion at all when we pray.
64.  Master of the Universe, “You who leads the children of Yosef like a flock and sits among the keruvim, appear to us” (Tehillim 80:2) in Your great mercy with the light of Your holiness. It is drawn down from the pure oil which was sealed with the seal of the Kohen Gadol. Shine Your light upon us so that the spirit of holiness and purity descends upon us. Then we will be able to lift our voices in sweet song and praise to You, for You choose melodious song, just as You chose David, the sweet singer of Yisrael. Help us in Your great mercy, so that we will be able to lift our voices in song. Give us strength, so that we will merit to sing songs of praise before You with a joyful sound. We will make music about the house of Hashem every day of our lives (Yeshayahu 38:20) with the sweet and pure sound that You love. Then You will have mercy on Your Shechinah that has been wandering in exile for two thousand years. You will uplift Knesset Yisrael from the place where she has fallen, until we will be worthy of the sound of the music and praise of David HaMelech’s harp. With them, the Land of Israel was conquered, and David subdued all of the forces of the other side, as in “the pleasant harp and lute” (Tehillim 81:3) (Kinor Naim Im Nevel, initial letters: Canaan). Then the stone that was embedded in the forehead of Goliath will grow and expand , as it says “and take out the stone from his head” (Zecharia 4:7) until all of the kingdoms of the gentile nations will cease to be, as it is written, “Then the stone that destroyed the idol became like a great mountain and filled the entire world” (Daniel 2:35). Then “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem like waters cover the seabed” (Yeshayahu 11:9).
65.  Hashem, full of mercy, help us to ascend to the world of Atzilus during the eight days of Chanukah. Only someone who offers himself as a martyr like Yitzchak can reach that place. Yitzchak, right after he was bound as an offering, immediately entered into Gan Eden together with his body—like Matisyahu, his sons, and their entire generation who merited to draw down illumination from the fiftieth gate which is beyond all human comprehension. That is because its light can only be drawn down upon someone who prays with true self-sacrifice, someone who is entirely dedicated to G-d, like a burnt offering that is dedicated to G-d in its entirety. This is what Hevel longed to experience during the days of Chanukah, as the verse says, “And Hevel sacrificed, also himself” (Bereishis 4:4). He wanted to sacrifice himself as well. I beg of You, Hashem, send us illumination from the world of Atzilus in Your great mercy so that we will serve You with complete self-sacrifice. May the lights of Chanukah descend to us from the world of Atzilus, from the fiftieth gate, until we merit to truly become incorporated within You with true self-sacrifice and a single bond that will last forever.
66.  Master of the Universe, help us—in particular, during these days when the luminaries of light are revealed—to pour out our words of prayer before You like water, every night at midnight, the hour which is ripe for nullifying the luminaries of fire. Therefore, help me to dampen the burning fire of my passions by pouring out my heart like water, when all the heavenly gates are open and nothing stands between us and our Father in heaven. Help us to pour our hearts out like water before You until all of the breath that we’ve spoken in Torah study—the breath of holiness that creates the heavens and the earth anew—will destroy all of the breath of unholiness that comes from lust, jealousy, and the desire for honor. They create heavens of vanity and an earth of nothingness, and it is from there that all the harsh decrees—the wars and holocausts—come from. Then all of the vanities of the other side that influence us with the mirages of this heaven and earth of nothingness will cease to be. “They are vanity, the work of delusion” (Yirmiyahu 10:15). They inspire the world to mock us and decree all kinds of decrees upon us that can only be cancelled through a change in the natural order. Such a change is a product of heartfelt repentance, of holy breath and yearning. This is what Aharon HaKohen merited to express when he lit the menorah and drew down through its branches the seven breaths of holiness to each and every Jew. The seven clouds of glory were manifestations of this breath—they lowered the lofty and raised up the lowly. They taught those who dwell on high the lesson of, “Where is the place of His glory?” and they taught to those who dwell below that, “The entire earth is filled with His glory” (Yeshayahu 6:3). They rolled away the light to make way for the darkness, and the darkness to make way for the light. They smoothed out every difficulty and answered every doubt, so that no destructive force could hold sway over the Jewish people.
67.  Master of all the worlds, dweller on high, light of lights, You roll away the light to make way for the darkness, and the darkness to make way for the light. Please bring us to experience the inner meaning of Aharon HaKohen’s holy service, for he raised up the candles until the flames were able to rise of their own accord. Send us Your light even now in our downcast state, and shine the light that comes through the forty-nine divine channels upon us to the place where we stand now. These channels are the forty-nine springs that flow into the seven branches of the menorah. With them, the entire Jewish people can be uplifted to the fiftieth gate of holiness and rectify the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. This sin (which was caused by Adam HaRishon’s placing wisdom before prayer) can only be rectified through true self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice illuminates the eight days of Chanukah and arouses us to pour out our hearts in prayer. We then plead that the luminaries of fire that burn within us will be transformed into the luminaries of light of the seven branches that are extensions of the forty-nine wellsprings. Then the light of the seven days of creation will be multiplied seven-fold, and it will shine like the light of Moshe the faithful shepherd; his light would make all the worlds seem dark in comparison, were it not for the veil that covers his face. This veil is part of the mystery of the Divine Name EHYeH. (The gematria of “veil” is the gematria of the first letter of the Name EHYeH when written out in full = 111.)
68.  Our Father, merciful Father, Lord of forgiveness. In the place where we find Your greatness, that is where we find Your humility. Please, Hashem, bring us to this level of the shining of Moshe Rabbeinu’s face, for this level of humility is part of the mystery of the Divine Name “EHYeH ASHeR EHYeH” (“I will be what I will be”) (Shemos 3:14). The light of Moshe Rabbeinu was magnified more and more every day until it was shining into the space that is less than ten handbreadths from the ground. This symbolizes the ten sefiros of unholiness, the spaces that are so impure they cannot even be called places at all, for they are below any point of true place. Moshe drew out from even those spaces all those who were drowning in the mire and redeemed them from the nadir of impurity to the zenith of purity. He brought them out of bondage and into freedom, from darkness into a great light.
69.  Master of the Universe, oh G-d! We have fallen into a place that is parched and filled with the shadow of death, we have fallen into the abyss of destruction and forgetfulness. We have fallen away from the source of our own holiness. We don’t even know what to cry out about, because even the knowledge that we should scream out to You is hidden from us! We are so desensitized—we don’t even know that there is anything to cry about! I beg of You, Hashem, don’t reject us or abandon us. Remember the covenant, and the merits of our ancestors. Please, don’t hide Your face from us. Save us in the merit of the screams and cries of Matisyahu and his sons, and help us to cry and scream out to You as they did. Then we will see the Temple standing in its glory and the menorah standing in its place with our very own eyes.
70.  Master of the Universe, have mercy on us, on our children, and on the remnants of the Jewish people. We have been left like “a mast on a hilltop,” (Yeshayahu 30:17) without anyone to help or protect us. Please rescue us and save our children and grandchildren, in Your great mercy, from all foreign philosophies. May we have nothing to do with them whatsoever; may our hands never touch them, and may our hearts and minds be pure of any trace of an alien culture. Our portion is not among them; our lot is not like theirs. For we are the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov—we are the faithful, children of the faithful. We were privileged to stand at Mount Sinai to receive Your holy Torah through Moshe Your prophet, the trusted one of Your household. Please, Hashem, help us so that our portion will be in Your Torah forever, in the “Torah of Hashem that is perfect, which restores the soul” (Tehillim 19:8). “She is a tree of life to all those who hold fast to her, and those who support her are fortunate” (Proverbs 3:18). May our entire heart and mind, all of our senses, and our limbs and vessels only be attached to You. “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death, and jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Its coals are coals of fire that have a most vehement flame” (Song of Songs 8:6). May all our senses ignite with the holy fire of the lights of the menorah that arouse us to love You and cling to You. Then we will be worthy of having angels and seraphim become incarnate within us and inflame our hearts to love and know You alone. I beg of You, Hashem, help us so that rivers of tears will stream from our eyes and that our feet will be surrounded by a sea of tears. Then our hearts will be purified completely, and the holy fire that burns most vehemently will fill our hearts and refine our very innards. We will then be pure and holy. We will pursue Your Torah for its own sake, and all of the impure and the wicked will be given over into our hands. They will no longer be able to cause damage, not to us nor to any of our future descendants. Master of the Universe, have pity and mercy on this empty and stricken world, on Your world that lies desolate. Awaken it with a lofty spirit from above, and inspire the hearts of our enemies and the wicked to repent completely. Then the holy breath that emerges from us will become incarnate within them and transform them from evil to complete good. Merciful Father, dweller on high, pure One, holy and awesome is Your Name. “Create a pure heart for us, Hashem, and renew a proper spirit within us” (Tehillim 51). Do not drive us away from You. Support us with a generous spirit of holiness and purity. “I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely. For My anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew to Yisrael. He will flower like the lily, and cast forth his roots like the Levanon. His branches will spread, and his beauty will be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like the Levanon. Those who dwell in his shadow will return, and they will revive like grain and blossom like the vine. Their fragrance will be like the wine of Levanon” (Hoshea 14:5-8). Please, Hashem, brings us to all of this during the days of Chanukah that are about to come upon us. The final letters of the verse, “He will flower(“yifraCH”) like the lily (“c’shoshanaH”), and cast forth (“v’yaCH”) his roots (“shorshaV”) like the Levanon (“c’levanoN”) spell out the word Chanukah.
71.  Master of the Universe, You made seven covenants with Noach after he emerged from the ark, and they are drawn down from the seven branches of the menorah. So, too, in our time, make a new covenant with us. As the verse says, “This will be the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisrael after those days, says Hashem. I will put my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. I will be their G-d, and they will be my people. They will teach no more, every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know Hashem.’ For they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Hashem. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Yirmiyahu 31:32-33).
72.  Master of the Universe, holy and awesome One, please sanctify me with Your holiness so that I will be worthy of sanctifying the covenant. I can no longer bear the many foreign thoughts that flood my mind—they are like the waters of the deluge, Heaven help me! You redeem from death; You release from the pit of destruction. Redeem me from the depths of the sea, redeem me and rescue me from my negative thoughts that damage the Jewish soul so profoundly. Save me from the foolishness in my heart, from my uncircumcised heart. Save me—grant me grace and rescue me in Your great mercy from the negative thoughts and harmful ideologies that are the main manifestation of the evil impulse in the heart. Have pity on me and save me! I beg of You, Hashem, save me in the merit of the holiness of Your holy Kohanim who sacrificed their lives to sanctify Your Name. Grant me this undeserved favor and rescue me from my own evil impulse. For it is the sin of my restless negative thoughts and my unending negative speech that has caused this generation to fall into the deepest depths, until it has even forgotten that it bears the name of the Jewish people. Oh G-d, I too have forgotten my intrinsic holiness and have fallen away from my place. I rejected the root of my soul and uprooted myself from my spiritual origins. That is how I came to think the thoughts that have empowered the Hellenists that exist in our own era. “I endowed them with a spirit of delusion” (Yeshayahu 19:14) so that they could mock those who fear G-d and His Tzaddikim. “But they mocked the messengers of Hashem and despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of Hashem mounted against His people, until there was no remedy” (Divrei HaYamim II 36:16). Even the Tzaddikim among us are liable to be plundered—once the destructive force has been unleashed, it does not distinguish between a Tzaddik and a wicked person. Please Hashem, merciful and compassionate G-d, You are slow to anger and full of much kindness and truth. Erase our sins from before Your eyes. Even though we are brazen, do not hide Your face from us. For You are full of endless pity, You are called a G-d of mercy and forgiveness. You don’t seek the death of the wicked, but “that the sinner should repent his ways and live” (Yeheskel 33:11). You hinted this to Noach with the olive branch, that he could use the light of Chanukah to bring his entire generation to repent. You bestow new light upon the entire world every single day, just as we ask You to do in our prayers, “May a new light shine on Zion, and may we all quickly merit to enjoy its light.” How much more so, during the days of Chanukah, when the light is bursting forth from every doorway and from every window!  “It looks out from the windows, it peeks through the latticework” (Song of Songs 2:9). It enters and penetrates to the very innards of every heart and soul, and awakens all the hidden good points that are within each and every Jew.
73.  Master of the Universe, You hear everyone’s prayer and hearken to the cries of Your people with mercy. You heard the prayer of Moshe Rabbeinu when he prayed on behalf of his fellow Jews. When he said, “Erase me from this book” (Shemos 32:32), You absolved them of even the terrible sin of the golden calf. You opened the path of repentance for them, and retracted from Your harsh intention to destroy the Jewish people, G-d forbid. Hashem, listen to the cries of Your children now too, for with a downtrodden heart and a broken spirit they are offering up a prayer to You during these days. There is no one now to pray on their behalf, so please restore all of the straying, wandering souls back to You with love and mercy. Please, Hashem, bring us to complete repentance, to repent out of love. Then all of our sins will be transformed into merits, and the verse will come to be fulfilled in us: “Behold, days are coming, says Hashem, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Yisrael and the House of Yehudah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. For they broke that covenant, although I was their master, says Hashem” (Yirmiyahu 31:30-2). Hashem, my light and my salvation, You are faithful to the covenant. Have mercy and pity us, and draw down upon us the seven holy covenants that derive from the seven branches of the menorah. Through them, we will be worthy of the seven dividing curtains of fire that were revealed to the Jewish people when the Torah was given. From within them, You made Your voice and Your ten commandments heard. Let us, then, hear the sound of the ten commandments from within the fire of the menorah on Chanukah. Help us to hear the visions. We will then be worthy of praying with proper concentration from the depths of our hearts, to feel joy that reaches down to our very heels and inspires us to dance in holiness. Then You will renew the covenant of our ancestors for us out of great love and endless compassion. “Wherefore it will come to pass, if you hearken to these judgments and keep, and do them, that Hashem your G-d will keep for you the covenant and the kindness which He swore to your fathers” (Devarim 7:12).
74.  Master of the Universe, You know all and orchestrate events in accordance with Your will, You perform unimaginable miracles and endless wonders. Nothing is beyond You, You can do anything. I beg of You, Hashem, reveal all to the hearts of Your servants who plead before You, who raise up their eyes to You alone, the Tzaddikim of the generation. For the Tzaddikim are like the house of the Chashmonaim who are prepared in all truth and innocence to sacrifice their lives for Your sake at every single moment. They are able to bring about incredible miracles and wonders, right now, that compare with those that happened long ago. Please, Hashem, reveal to us the Tzaddikim who atone for all our sins, who transform them all into merits through their own repentance out of love. They transform the sins into amazing vessels made of broken hearts that can hold the hidden light that comes down to us during the eight days of Chanukah. Please, Hashem, reveal the true Tzaddik to us. “But he was wounded because of our transgressions, bruised because of our iniquities. His sufferings were that we might have peace, and by his injury we are healed” (Yeshayahu 53:4-5). Put it into our hearts, to cry out to You by day and by night. “Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He that put His holy spirit within him and that caused His glorious arm to be at the right hand of Moshe, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting name?” (Yeshayahu 63:11-12). Plant it in our hearts to seek out the true Tzaddikim of the generation, the Tzaddikim who are like the seven shepherds, who are like Matisyahu and his sons. “Afterwards, the children of Yisrael will return and seek Hashem their G-d and David their king. And they will come trembling to Hashem and His goodness in the end of days” (Yeshayahu 3:5).
75.  Master of the Universe, make me worthy of drawing close to true Tzaddikim who have reached the level of Adam HaRishon before the sin. They are able to discover the good points that are within each and every Jew, and they “add and continue” until, in their merit, all of the Jewish people will repent. I beg of You, Hashem, help me to draw close to these Tzaddikim, who gather all the good points together “adding one to another to reach a total” (Koheles 7:27) from which they are able to build amazing and awesome holy structures. With them, they bring You new levels of pleasure and satisfaction, and with them they compose holy songs and melodies. Please, Hashem, help us so that during these days of Chanukah, the thirty-six hidden Tzaddikim will illuminate us and strengthen us. They will light up every single good point that we ever manifested during our entire lifetime with the most precious light so that we will never again fall into despair. Rather, through the power of the true Tzaddikim, we too will “add and continue.” We will encourage ourselves and rejoice in every good point that is within us, in every bit of good that we ever managed to accomplish since we came into existence. Once we merit to rejoice all day long in each and every good point that we managed to manifest, we will be able to draw down the light of the eight days of Chanukah in the most complete and perfect way. Then we too will be able to reach the level of Adam HaRishon before the sin, when all of the hosts of heaven and earth stood trembling and afraid before him. I beg of You, merciful and compassionate G-d, raise us up to cleave to You through our prayers that we say with self-sacrifice. Help us to uplift all of the parts of our lower Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chiyah, and Yechidah so that they will become incorporated within our higher Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chiyah, and Yechidah. Then we will, like Moshe the faithful shepherd and Matisyahu the son of Yochanan the Kohen Gadol, be able to effect a perfect unification. We will tear the heavens and open the gates, and no one will be able to stop us. With the powerful light of the Chanukah candles, we will nullify all of the evil decrees and bring the Shechinah to rest on the earth. We will bring the complete redemption speedily and in our days. Amen.
76.  You are good and do good to all. You created Your world in accordance with Your good will, in accordance with that which arose in Your ancient mind. Your ultimate intent was to bring us to the greatest good, the true and ultimate purpose and goal for which You created all the worlds. You made everything with the most wondrous wisdom, from the origins of Atzilus down to the bottom of Asiyah, so that we would be able to rise from the final deed to be encompassed within the beginnings of Your thoughts—to attain the ultimate and final goal.
77.  For this purpose, You established festivals for rejoicing, holidays and times for happiness, and added the eight days of Chanukah to their number. During those eight days, the light burns endlessly. “It searches through our very innards” (Proverbs 20: 27), and it penetrates to all the dark places to which we have fallen because of our many sins. Father, merciful One, You have drawn the thirteen attributes of mercy upon us during these days. They raise us up from Malchut to Binah, so that we can become a part of the world that is entirely repentance. You sent true Tzaddikim to oppose the wicked kingdom of Greece who nearly caused the Torah to be forgotten in Yisrael. You sent true Tzaddikim who arouse our hearts to true holy spiritual awakening and enthusiasm. I beg of You, Hashem, in the merit of Your thirteen attributes of mercy, may we be worthy of the greatness of Your Tzaddikim who know how to awaken the latent G-dly flames that are within each and every one of our souls with their pure light of the Chanukah candles. This light burns with yearning to draw close to You and to reveal the endlessly burning flame that is within every Jew. Then we will merit to be always busy with Your Torah, and to attach ourselves to heavenly awe, to be sanctified with Your holiness, and to always pray and praise You more and more. Please, Hashem, may every word and expression that comes out of our mouths always burn with longing for You. May they always emerge from the depths of our hearts in holiness and purity. “My heart grew hot within me, and while I was musing the fever increased” (Tehillim 39:4). I beg of You, Master of the entire world, who desires to hear praise from mortal beings, if only the words of our mouths would give You delight and our many prayers and praises, our many songs, would bring satisfaction before Your throne of glory! For You chose songs of praise, King who is praised in song. Therefore, help us to do Your will, to always pray to You. Place words that burn like fire into my mouth, words that derive from the light of Chanukah. May all of my words be like burning coals, and may I say them with great fear and awe before You. And may we always make sweet melodies and songs before You, and may our words have true grace. May our words find favor in Your eyes, and may they be inscribed on Your heart. May they be heard with satisfaction, and may all of our requests and pleas be acceptable before You. Then a new light will shine on Zion from the holy menorah, and You will speedily shine upon us the light of the redemption.
78.  Please, merciful Father, help us to appoint You King over all our limbs, organs, and vessels. Help us to do it with fear and trembling, help us to accept Your Kingship upon ourselves so that all of the words that come from our mouths will be clear and pure. May they derive from the seven branches of the menorah which symbolizes the head, and may all of the fire that burns within us be transformed by the light of the menorah into luminaries of light, into holy words that purify and cleanse like a burning flame. Then the power of the seven breaths of holiness that come from out of our mouths will enable us to subdue and nullify all of the breaths of the side of unholiness so that no trace of lust or character flaws will remain within us. The burning fire of desire will rise up and become a G-dly flame that will exact justice from our enemies. “They emerged from fire, and the fire will consume them” (Yecheskel 15:7). “As for the head of those who compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, so that they do not rise up again” (Tehillim 140:10-11).
79.  Master of the Universe, sanctify us and purify us until we become completely holy and removed from this-worldly desires. May we be worthy of a truly holy and self-denying leader, of a leader who is absolutely humble and modest, who can save us from the false leaders who are cruel and who lord it over the people for their own ulterior motives. They cause Malchut to fall into the forces of impurity. Save us from these flawed leaders who empower the kingdom of evil to enslave us. They cause a kingdom of heresy to rule over us without cause, and to make libelous accusations against us.
80.  Please, Hashem, have pity and mercy on us and redeem us from the treacherous rulers that leave us without protection in the hands of murderers. For the blood of Yisrael is being spilled day and night in the city streets and no one says a word in protest. I beg of You, Hashem, save us from these destroyers of Yisrael, from them and their minions. Cancel out their thoughts and thwart their plans just as You overturned the plot of the wicked Antiochus and the Hellenists in those days, at this time. For those of our own people who seek to destroy us do not rest or desist from plotting evil against us to destroy our Jewishness and erase our name from beneath the heavens, G-d forbid! Please, almighty G-d, the hearts of kings and ministers are in Your hands. May the vision of Your prophets come to be during these days of Chanukah: “He brings princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely are they sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth. He merely blows upon them and they wither, and the storm wind takes them away as stubble…Why do you say, Oh Yaakov, and speak, Oh Yisrael? My way is hidden from Hashem and my judgment has been passed over from my G-d? Have you not known? Have you not heard that the everlasting G-d, Hashem, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is He weary? There is no investigating His understanding” (Yeshayahu 30:23-6, 28-9).
81.  Master of the Universe, Master of the entire world, Your eyes seek out faith. Please, plant complete and true faith within me so that I will never fear anything at all, not even the many terrible decrees that renew themselves daily against the Jewish people. I will believe in You with complete faith, that You are willing and able to act with us the way You did with our ancestors during those days, at this time. You are willing and able to perform endless miracles and wonders on our behalf, and cause the verses to be fulfilled: “Behold, I will make of you a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth. You will thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and will make the hills as chaff. You will fan them, and the wind will carry them away, and the storm wind will scatter them. And you will rejoice in Hashem, and will glory in the Holy One of Yisrael” (Yeshayahu 31:15-16).
82.  Master of the entire world, the only G-d, You give the Torah which is a healing elixir for the Tzaddikim. The Torah is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it within their hearts. What can we say? How shall we cry out when You’ve already revealed to us in Your mercy that the person who slackens in Torah study darkens the “seventy faces” and gives our enemies a weapon with which to destroy us? For all of their power and sustenance comes from the seventy dark faces. Oh G-d! How far we are from studying Torah for its own sake, from studying with depth and delight, in holiness and with proper concentration. How far we are from the light that the Torah holds, the light that could bring us back to You in repentance! Please, merciful Father, You chose the Torah and Your people Yisrael. Save us from learning by rote, for such learning only strengthens our negative desires and character flaws, and gives them power to rule over the world. Please awaken within us a love for the Torah and fear of heaven, so that our Torah study will not give power and sustenance to the gentile nations and the wicked, or enable them to rule over us with harsh and bitter decrees that they devise according to their cruel whims.
83.  Please, merciful and compassionate Father, shower pure waters upon us and awaken us from our slumber. Plant love and fear of Your Name within our hearts that we may serve You wholeheartedly. Illuminate our hearts with the seventy shining facets of the Torah so that we will study it day and night with a fiery love and an intense attachment to You. Its eternal light will then lead us back to the good, and the fire of the Torah will consume all of the impure husks and emissaries of the other side so that we will be redeemed forever.
84.  Our Father in heaven, make us worthy during the days of Chanukah of basking in the light of Your Countenance and the light of Your Torah. Bring us to feel the light that is within it, that can subdue the kingdoms of the gentile nations and the empires of the wicked. Eternal G-d, have mercy on us in Your great mercy and grant us a portion in Your Torah. May we be aroused to truly serve You from this moment on during these days of Chanukah, and to begin to study the Torah by day and by night. May our time for Torah study be fixed, and help us to make the work that we do for a living be merely secondary. May no business matters disturb our minds, and may no worldly concerns get in the way of Your service. May our labors, instead, be done by others so that we should have no need to engage in business at all. May we merit to learn all of the books of Your holy Torah every single day: Tanach, Shas, the Poskim and their commentaries, all of the works of Midrash, and all of the writings of the true Tzaddikim in our time and of all times. May we merit to complete them and go back and begin them again many times throughout the days of our lives. I beg of You, give us strength and spur us on during these days that are uniquely suited for inauguration and new beginnings, so that we will begin to study Your holy Torah with intense desire. May we diligently study day and night. Shower upon us a new spirit from the self-sacrifice of the Chashmonaim so that we will be able to break ourselves in our Torah study. May the power of learning the Torah for its own sake shatter all of our lusts and character flaws, and may the wicked kingdom pass from the earth.
85.  Master of the Universe, You seek the good of Your servants. You want Your children to be victorious. Please help us to be victorious over the other side, which is the impure husk of Greece, that strives to overpower us in every era. It can only be overcome through the days of Chanukah which epitomize education and inauguration. The angel MeTaT is revealed on Chanukah, about whom it is said, “Teach the child according to his way, then, even when he grows old he will not turn away from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
86.  Master of the Universe, Father of mercy, You have given Your children the gift of the river that flows out of Eden that purifies a person from every stain. This is the essence of the hidden light which is drawn from the Chanukah candles. Please purify and cleanse us with the waters of Eden from every trace of a stain. May the waters make us worthy of always placing our hope in You, for the river flows out and encircles all of the land of Chavilah where the fine gold is to be found. The Temple was made out of this gold, as were the keruvim, and Your voice was heard emanating from the space between them. Please, Hashem, make us worthy of the gold of that land, for it is the symbol of the holy powers that derive from the Pishon, from the “pi shoneh,” the mouth that teaches the law. Merciful and compassionate Father, bestow upon us an abundance of pure and clear words, an abundance of holy hope and yearning through the power of the river that flows out of Eden. For the waters of prayer flow forth from this river. I will hope to G-d; I will beg before You, and I will beg from You an answer. I will plead before my Creator with my voice, with my songs and melodies. I will beg You to grant me an inheritance. My words will be sweet as running honey; they will bring atonement and forgiveness. Just as You promised the one who took refuge in the cleft of the rock, may I merit to begin my prayers with the music of the harp and the flute. Hear our fearful cries, for our hearts tremble with terror of Your judgment. Water streams in rivers from our eyes; my heart cries out within me as I crawl before You when I look to Yerushalayim which was given as my portion. A storm rages within me as I start anew from this Chanukah. My hope is to You, that You will grant us a year filled with light.
87.  Our Father, merciful Father, You purify Your world with the river that flows out of Eden that branches out into four rivers. Please, immerse us in the pure waters of the Gichon which will teach us to be stooped over and bent, that we should reach this goal of being attached to the source of humility and self–effacedness that the Jewish people attained during the days of the Temple. In that time, the Gichon spring ran out of Yerushalayim and watered the entire land. But now, in our sins, we have lost the Gichon spring, for the path to humility is hidden from us. Please, merciful Father, have pity on us. You are all powerful, and nothing is beyond You. Please favor us with the advice we need to repair this flaw through the aspect of the Chidekel, to be “chad” and “kal” (sharp and swift), to be light as an eagle and swift as a hind. Help us to be glad and to dance, and to eliminate the arrogance that runs through all our limbs and vessels. Then we will be able to be like the Perat, like Rabbi Akiva, whose Torah and Divine service was fruitful and forever multiplying (“pareh vi raveh”). He was able to enter and exit the Pardes in peace.
88.  Master of the Universe, “my light and my salvation” (Tehillim 27:1), You are the source of all light and all salvation. Please have pity and mercy on us during these days of Chanukah and restore all of the lights that have been hidden from us since the world began. In every era, You long to restore the hidden light of Eden to us, the light that Adam HaRishon fasted for nine hundred and thirty years to restore. “For all of G-d’s works over all that is hidden will ultimately come to justice (Koheles 12:14). For the hidden light that is hidden from us because of our sins, we have to give an accounting for its hiddeness anew in each generation. Therefore, Hashem, we will not ignore it; rather, we will continue to always beg You to make us worthy of this wondrous light. It is the light of the secrets of Your Torah, the light of the holiness of Your hidden Tzaddikim. Please make us worthy of this wondrous hidden light that You long to use to glorify Your world and enlighten the minds of Your children, Your treasured people. Bring us to the light of the Urim Vi’Tumim that have as their source; “Yaakov the simple one, who dwells in the tents of Torah” (Bereishis 25:27). He merited to have his leg healed—his “kaf” was an aspect of the “pach” (cruse) of oil that lit up the seven candles of the menorah, and they in turn parallel the seven clouds of glory.
89.  I beg of You, King of glory, appear in the splendor of Your might. Make the beauty of Your Kingship known to all. Quickly reveal the holiness of Your glory in the clouds of glory that will surround Yerushalayim Your city with holy splendor. Yerushalayim, joy of the earth, the city of the great King. “And Hashem will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For upon all the glory there will be a canopy” (Yeshayahu 4:5). “And I will be for her, says Hashem, a surrounding wall of fire, and I will be within her for glory”  (Zecharia 2:9).
90.  Master of the Universe, make us worthy of Your light, the light of Torah and the candle flame of mitzvah, of Your pure and perfect light. Make us worthy of the supernal light that Chanoch attained. For, in his holiness, the wellspring of the hidden light was renewed for him, and the sun and moon shone for him sevenfold. Please, make us worthy of seeing a glimmer of the illumination of this wondrous light which came back in a similar form during the days of Avraham, when he circumcised himself. They shone for us in the light of the holy consciousness that the first of the believers drew down to the world. He was the first of the circumcised; he was like the sun that shone with the utmost splendor and beauty during his days. Redeemer, Savior, bring us under the shadow of Your wings to shield us from the face of the sun that You unsheathed for the judgment of the wicked and the destruction of Sodom.
91.  Master of all worlds who formed the luminaries, You illuminate the world with Your glory, You long to see the world rectified with Your light and Your salvation. Please help us to draw down Your light upon us—the light and the splendor, the purity and clarity. This light destroys the wicked who reject repentance, and heals the righteous. With it, they merit to walk in G-d’s light in the land of the living.
92.  Master of the Universe, merciful and compassionate King, You draw down to us the thirteen attributes of mercy during the days of Chanukah. These days derive from the thirty rivers of Afarsimon that flow out of the upper Gan Eden, from the upper head which is the mystery of Bereishis. This is the mystery within the verse, “And I will pass all of My good before your face” (Shemos 33:19). Please, make us worthy of the forty-eight drops of supernal delight that drip down to us every single day from Gan Eden. They bestow prophecy upon the forty-eight prophets who parallel the eight candles (and each includes within it six sefiros). From them, prophecy and light shine out to all of Yisrael. I beg of You, Hashem, have pity on Your people and do not put them to shame among the gentiles, to be plundered by the nations. Even though we have sinned and amassed iniquity that could fill the space between the earth and the heavens—it outweighs all the sands of the seas, and outnumbers the hairs on our heads—even so, do not hide Your face from us, for You are full of mercy, and everything that has been hidden since the beginning of time is fully revealed before You. You recall all that has occurred, and no creature is forgotten by You. Please, favor us in the merit of the days of Chanukah and do not disown us, for everything is revealed and known before You. You see until the end of time, and You will appoint a set time to recall all souls and spirits, to remember many deeds and the endless creatures that have been, and the pain of Your people Yisrael who are so downtrodden. Nevertheless, they continue to cleave to You, and this fact is not hidden from Your eyes. Please, look down from heaven and see how we have fallen into the space that is less that ten handbreadths from the ground. We have come to the last of the generations, and we are still with You. Please, do not abandon us and do not reject us, for we know that we have come before You to beg for an undeserved gift. Help us to draw very close to true Tzaddikim who are like Matisyahu and his sons. For Your people Yisrael, in this generation that is close to the end, from its place at the lowest of levels, still longs for You and looks forward to Your salvation. In its hidden place, its heart still swells with yearning for You and Your true Tzaddikim. Please, Hashem, You gather the scattered ones together, and You desire the repentance of those who return. In the merit of the lights of Chanukah, shower a spirit from above upon the children of Your people, and fan alight the sparks of longing and yearning for holiness that are secreted within their souls. Then they will all find the way to the Tzaddikim of the generation, and with their power, they will nullify all of the power of the Satan and of the evil impulse that burns within them. They will quench its great fire with rivers of tears that flow from the joy of longing for You. Then they will uplift the bad and make it good, take the dark and make it light, and the luminaries of fire will become luminaries of light. They will transform the Satan into “Living G-d” (the gematria of “Satan” is the same as “Living G-d”). All this will happen through the power of the Chanukah candles that receive their light from the lights of the menorah. “And behold a candelabra all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and seven lamps to it, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which were upon the top of it” (Zecharia 4:2). In the merit of the forty-nine channels that bestow the lights of the living G-d upon every candle, may the days of Chanukah shed their lofty and great light throughout the entire world. May they illuminate with Your hidden light that is drawn down from the fiftieth gate. And instead of being called, "Not my people” You will call us, “Children of the living G-d” (Hoshea 2:1).
93.  Master of the Universe, please have mercy on us during the days of Chanukah, the days of inauguration and of new beginnings. Please awaken us from our sleep in Your great mercy and kindness, for sleep has overpowered us terribly because of our sins. The true Tzaddikim have been trying to awaken us for years now with so many different tactics and strategies, with so many holy efforts on our behalf. They have constricted Your light so that it could penetrate down to the depths of our darkness. They have illuminated us with the wondrous light of Your Torah, and gifted us with days of praise and song that are auspicious for repairing the sins of all the generations that have been since the beginning of time.
94.  Master of the Universe, save us, and redeem us during the days of Chanukah. It was during these days that You revealed Your love and kindness to Noach in the ark and began, after forty days of flooding, to send a calming wind throughout the land (Bereishis 7:12, see Rashi). Have mercy on us, Father, and gather up the children who have been banished from their Father’s table. Sanctify them and purify them; uplift them to all of Your levels and sefiros, just as You did for the Chashmonaim during those days, at this time. You did it so that they could purify Your Sanctuary and clean out Your Hall, so that they could rise up to the sefirah of Binah within Arich Anpin. It is from there that all of the levels, sefiros, and worlds spread forth. Their prayers and their cries stood by them until their enemies faltered; they ascended to the level of Shlomo HaMelech, the aspect of “the Temple in its being built” (Malachim I 6:7). The original Temple built itself, in the merit of Shlomo HaMelech’s prayers and songs. The shamir worm was revealed to him—the shamir that is protected (“shamur”) from all forces of impurity. Hashem, my light and my salvation, please make us worthy of the light of the holy menorah, which is called the head. The Chashmonaim sanctified it with the holiness of their senses, their eyes, and their ears, their mouth and nose. “The breath of our nostrils, the Moshiach of Hashem” (Eicha 4:20). They sanctified it with the Shechinah that rested upon them, for it is the spirit of Moshiach. He merits to reach all of his spiritual levels through the aspect of his nose, of his patience (“length of the nose”) by accepting with joy and love the scorn and the shame inflicted on him by others. Please, our Father in heaven, bring us to this wondrous level that can transform all humiliation into the holy stones that build the Sanctuary, the house of Hashem. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought there, so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was being built” (Malachim I 6:7).
95.  Master of the Universe, instill the new spirit of life within me that can be attained on Chanukah, that derives from the Divine Name EHYeH ASHeR EHYeH. Help me to speak words of truth that can light up all manner of darkness. Then all of the veils that surround my prayer, all of the walls of iron and barriers of stone that surround my heart, that were created by my many sins, will be suddenly split open just as the Temple’s stones were split by the shamir worm. For You desire truth, and “You are close to all those who call out to You in truth” (Tehillim 145:18). That is why I have come before You, Hashem my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, to prostrate myself before You and stretch out my hands to You so that You will have true mercy on such a poor one as I am. In Your mercy, shower the light of truth upon me so that I will merit during these days of Chanukah to say the words of the prayers before You in the utmost truthfulness, with pure and clear truth. May every single letter of the blessing over the candles shine like sapphires so that the light of truth will shine for me and help me to find the openings in this great darkness that overwhelms me constantly. Then I will be able to escape from the darkness of Greek wisdom that seeks to darken the entire world, to hide Your great light from us, and prevent us from publicizing the miracle. Oh G-d, my Father in heaven, how can I raise my face to You when I myself make the world darker every single day? Please, Hashem, I sinned—I have sinned willingly. I have rebelled against all of the holy lights that You sent down to me. I darkened the light of the miracles and darkened the splendor of the holiness of self-sacrifice. I have caused so much damage, and I have repeated my mistakes countless times. Every sin only made my darkness that much heavier, and only bound me tighter within this prison of walls and barriers, obstacles and confusion, that surrounds me. I have come to the depths of darkness. “I am surrounded at head and heel” (Eicha 3:5). Reeds strangle my head (Yonah 2:6). All of the openings that could lead me out into the light are hidden from my eyes. “I drown in the quicksand, and there is no foothold. I have come to the depths of the water, and the whirlpool courses over me” (Tehillim 69:3). I beg of You, Hashem my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, have pity and mercy on me “for I am pursued and overtaken” (Shmuel I 30:4). That is why You have given us these days of Chanukah, to escape from all kinds of darkness until no darkness will have the power to prevent us, G-d forbid, from serving You and praying as we should. No darkness will have the power to stand in the way of our Torah study. Then whenever we find ourselves faced with the darkness that wants to overpower us—especially when we study or pray—we will be able to find our way out by speaking words of truth that are drawn down from the light of Chanukah. We will be able to escape from the abyss of forgetfulness into the light of understanding and knowledge. “For You light up my candle, Hashem my G-d, You lift my darkness” (Tehillim 18:29). “Hashem is my light and my salvation, from whom should I stand in awe? Hashem is the stronghold of my life, from whom should I fear?” (Tehillim 27:1).
96.  For You know, Hashem my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, that there is no opening or aid aside from Your light which is the light of Chanukah that is drawn down from the light of truth. Please, my Father, my Father, help me to always walk in the ways of truth. May no false word ever leave my lips even unintentionally, lest I create with it a heaven and earth of falsehood. All decrees of destruction come from there, all trouble and murder comes from there. Oh G-d! I myself caused all of this terrible tragedy. I was the one who gave the kingdoms of the other side the power to rule over me. For my many lies and deceits created destroying angels. I drove myself away from the Presence of the Ancient One, and built for myself a city and a tower—all the unholy structures of the other side. Oh G-d! Who can heal my brokenness? I beg of You, Master of the worlds, You created the universe in Your great mercy. Help me, through the power of the Chanukah candles to shatter and scatter the city and tower that I built with my sins (Chanukah is the gematria of “migdal,” tower). They destroy all of the unholy structures of the other side with their great light, the essence of truth. If only I could always pour out my heart and my prayer before You with absolute honesty! If only I could raise up my eyes to Your incredible kindness and remember my Creator during the days of my youth! If only I would return to You in complete repentance, with a truly broken heart that comes from joy and holy song. Then I would merit to pour my heart out like water before You, especially at midnight. I would beg and plead before You so much! I would merit to speak before You from the depths of my heart, with tears that are born of joy, until all of the blood within me is transformed into pure and clear blood that longs for You alone. If only I could escape from this animalistic spirit and merit to have the blood of a human being coursing through my veins, in the merit of the “flowing brook (“nachal” is the initial letters of “l’hadlik ner Chanukah”) the wellspring of wisdom.” Then in the merit of the days of Chanukah, I will be able to get up every night at midnight exactly. No midnight will ever find me sleeping. Rather, I will strengthen myself like a lion to learn and to pray. I will sing my song always, “Wake up my glory. Wake up the lyre and the harp; I will awaken the dawn” (Tehillim 57:9).
97.  Master of the Universe, Lord of wonders, my Father, my Creator, and my Redeemer who seeks my ultimate good. Help me in Your profound mercy, with Your great salvation and Your wondrous ways of advice, to draw down upon me and the entire Jewish people the light of Moshiach. It’s source is in the wondrous end of days, in the merit of the eight candles. They parallel the eight names of Moshiach that are alluded to in the verse: “For a child is born to us; a son was given us. Rulership will be on his shoulder and his name will be called Wondrous Counselor, Mighty Force, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Yeshayahu 9:5). Please, “Your counsel is great and You orchestrate all cause and effect” (Yirmiyahu 32:19). Do wonders for us the likes of which were never yet seen. Hear our voices now, especially at this difficult time. “I called out to G-d from the straits, G-d answered me in the wide–open space” (Tehillim 118:5). Answer me and hear my voice now, at this time of trouble for Yaakov. We have never known a time like this, for decrees of destruction both spiritual and physical renew themselves against us daily. And we have no idea what to do. Our eyes are to You alone and we hope only in Your great mercy. Please, Hashem, give me the strength to pray to You and confess my sins before You until my confessions that I say every day serve to complete holy speech and change all of the bad combinations of letters that are engraved on my bones into holy combinations. Until the upper voice that is drawn down from the Chanukah candles as in, “To hear the visions,” (Mechilta, Shemos 20:15 Para. 9,) will unite with speech in perfect unity. Then all of the sins that I ever transgressed will be repaired. They will be transformed into wondrous vessels of humility and broken heartedness that will be able to receive Your infinite light. All of the Divine Names that I damaged will then be repaired, and through this all of the worlds will be built anew. Your House, the house of prayer for all nations, will then stand proudly at the mountaintop.
98.  Master of the Universe, King of glory, You see the humiliation of the scorned. You have pity for the honor of Your creatures, and You have mercy on all of Your works. Have pity and mercy—have compassion on me because of all the terrible shame and insult that I have suffered. You alone know the extent of my shame. What can I say? How can I show my face before the King? Where can I hide to escape my shame? How will I be able to hide my shame in the world of truth? How can I lift my blackened face to You, Hashem my G-d and the G-d of my fathers? How will I show my face before the forefathers who brought me into the world? How will I show my face before my teachers who taught me the straight and true way, for I did not protect their great and holy honor the way that I should have. I humiliated myself, and them too as it were. Who will then be able to save me from my great shame? Who will be able to stand before my profound embarrassment? Where will I be able to hide, and how will I answer the messengers, for You always did so much good for me both spiritually and physically. You sent me so many hints, and called out to me in so many ways. You stretched Your hand out to me and sent me messages to bring me back to You in so many different ways—literally all the time. Even one of those holy glimpses of Your G-dliness should have been enough to insure that I never even so much as lift a finger against Your will again. For making even the slightest motion that is not in complete accordance with Your will, I should fall on my face and hide in my shame, and almost die, G-d forbid. How much more so, when You send me innumerable hints; You orchestrated events for my sake in order to hint that I should come back to You! You called to me with such loving words, and You hinted that You wanted me to draw close to You so many times. And not only did I not truly draw closer to You and really become the way You wanted me to be, but I was even shameless. I rebelled against You openly and caused so much damage! That is why I have come before You during these days of Chanukah, to beg You to make me a part of the levels of the true Tzaddikim who did understand Your hints glimmering through the flame of the candle. Miracles and the nature of the future were revealed to them in the light of the candles.
99.  I have therefore come before You, Hashem my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, and I spread my hands out to You and raise my eyes to Your holy abode. “I raised my eyes to You, who dwells in heaven” (Tehillim 123:1). Please send me true words to speak to You in my own language, that I can use to appease You and convince You to restore Your countenance upon me. Favor me, and save me from all humiliation now and forever. Help me and shower the light of heavenly awe and holy shame upon me, for it is the light of the Chanukah candles that derive from the light of the seven days of creation, the hidden light that preceded creation. My Father in heaven, have mercy on me just as a father has mercy on his child, and draw down upon me the attribute of reverence and holy shame from its source that preceded creation. Draw it down from the complete utterance which is “Bereishis”—“Yarei–Boshes” (reverence and holy shame). Draw it down from the supernal wisdom, from the hidden upper Eden. Who would not fear in the face of these pure shining lights? Who would not feel shamed before them? Who would not fear, who would not tremble when he remembers how far he is from these lights that are the source of the lights of Chanukah and of all the lights in the world? Who would not tremble, who would not fear? Whose hair would not stand on end, even if he were entirely free of sin? How much more so, the person who made some mistake or caused some damage in his life. And how much more so, the person who is full of sin and iniquity. Have pity and compassion on me, and have pity and compassion on my Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama. Have pity and compassion on my material body that is impossibly far from Your holiness. It is flawed and corrupted in so many ways, Hashem.
100.  Master of the Universe, arouse us to serve You in terror and awe, especially during these days of Chanukah that are like Yom HaKippurim. This is alluded to in the verse, “Please forgive the sin of this nation in accordance with Your great kindness, just as You bore this nation from Egypt until now.” (The initial letters of part of the verse spell out Chanukah.) These days are auspicious for the forgiveness of our sins and the atonement of our iniquity. Help us to receive them with the proper spirit of awe and reverence. I beg of You, mighty and awesome G-d, the entire world quakes before You. Arouse within us true fear of heaven, and fear of the great days that are about to come upon us. For it is our sins that distanced us from sensitivity to the greatness of these days. We do not tremble with fear of them, and we do not sense their holiness, whose source is in the sefirah of Binah, in the hidden light that is drawn from the Holy Ancient One, from the spirit of Moshiach.
101.  Yet I know, my living Redeemer, You can choose to withhold all anger and fury. May we merit to serve You in awe, with reverence and shame. May we crown You King over us with fear and trembling. “Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me” (Tehillim 55:6). “My flesh shudders for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” (Tehillim 119:120). “Who would not fear You, King of nations, for You alone is it proper to fear. Among all of the sages of the nations and among all of their kingdoms, there is none like You” (Yirmiyahu 10:7). “G-d who is hailed among the council of holy ones, He is great and awesome over all who surround Him” (Tehillim 89:8). “Therefore I am confounded before Him; I contemplate, and I fear Him” (Iyov 23:15). Master of the Universe, great and awesome G-d, You are holy and Your Name is awesome, fear and terror of You is upon all of the heavenly angels, and upon all of the upper and lower worlds. All of the denizens of the higher and lower worlds tremble and fear the terror of Your Name. Have pity and compassion on me in Your great compassion, and draw the holy fear of You upon me so that I will always truly fear and tremble before You. We will appoint You King over us in fear and trembling, and we will merit to feel the holy fear of You in every limb and vessel of our bodies. Reverence will be on our faces so that we should not sin any more, even unintentionally. The fear of G-d will constantly shield us so that we will increase our own holiness from day to day, from hour to hour. We will then be able to expand our days more and more by adding to this holiness at all times, until we merit truly long and holy lives, the lives that You really want us to live.
102.  Lord and Master of forgiveness, grant atonement for our sins and send us abundant salvation. Lengthen our days and increase our light, just as You did for Adam HaRishon when You created Your world so long ago. You illuminated it with the light of the seven days, the light shone from one end of the earth to the other. When Adam still feared You, he was shamed when he saw how that light shone over the entire world. When Adam damaged his sense of shame and stumbled into sin, You hid that light away. From that time, the days began to get shorter, and the lights began to dim. They shone brilliantly no longer. When Adam saw this, he cried out bitterly. He cried tears like a river before You; he cried out lest the world descend into obscurity. He begged for mercy, so that the world and all that was in it not be plunged into darkness, that the light and the good should not be removed entirely. You, in Your great mercy, heard his pleas. You listened to his beseeching and groaning. On Chanukah, You began to lengthen the days and hours, and Adam rejoiced and praised You for the light which You restored.
103.  Merciful Father, act mercifully with us as a father does with his children, and shed the light of Your attribute of goodness and Your thirteen attributes of mercy upon us. You revealed them at that time to Adam HaRishon, Your handiwork. Help us to draw mercy down upon ourselves as we focus on Your thirteen attributes of mercy when we pronounce the thirteen words that are in each of the blessings over the candles (Pri Etz Chaim on Chanukah). Help us to draw down Your light that is hidden away for those who fear You, for Your Tzaddikim. We will then merit to see the hidden light, the light of the seven days of creation. We will also merit to see a renewal of the miracles and wonders that are hidden within the “love that is in days,” as You referred to them generally in Your promise, “I will pass all of My good before Your face” (Shemos 33:19). This refers to all of Your good—all of the miracles, signs, and wonders, that You performed for our fathers at the time of the Exodus and in the Wilderness, and throughout all the generations at all times, including the clouds of glory and the manna and the quails. I beg of You, bestow an abundance of miracles and lights upon us too, in the merit of the seven shepherds and the unique ones of the ages.
104.  Master of the Universe, You know that Cain and Hevel also wanted to regain the light that was withheld from them; they tried to become Tzaddikim who would be worthy of the hidden light. That is why they sacrificed their offerings during these holy days of Chanukah. They offered them up at the place of the Holy of Holies, but they were unsuccessful. For even Hevel, about whom it says, “And Hashem hearkened to Hevel and his offering” (Bereishis 4:4) alludes to his flaw. For a fleeting arrogant thought, his soul ascended to the highest, hidden, heaven. And now, what can we say since the flame of the heart that comes from the breath of Hevel the son of Adam has been rendered unfit? Hevel nearly rectified the world; he brought his offering so that the hidden light would shine anew, the light of the beginning of creation. How fearful are Your judgments, Hashem. You are infinitely scrupulous with these awesome Tzaddikim, such that even the slightest trace of hidden arrogance has caused this light to go into concealment for nearly six thousand years. Please, merciful and compassionate One, restore the lights of holy shame and heavenly awe to us so that the creation will be renewed with the lights of the first seven days. We pray to see the hidden light as we light the Chanukah candles.
105.  Accept our prayers as if they were a burnt offering, in the merit of the Tzaddik who is without sin. His is the soul of David that preceded the creation of the world, who was not destined to live or be revealed in the world until Adam gave him seventy of his own years as a gift (Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishis). David then lit up the world with the sweetness of his music, and the Levi’im sang his songs in the Temple. His harp was played by the northern wind—which is the hidden light. When he got up to pray at midnight with praise and song, he hastened the building of the Sanctuary. If he had only been able to extend his life to one hundred years with his prayers, he would have redeemed the world with the hidden light.
106.  Rock of ages—Tzaddik in every generation—bring us to the light from which Your world emanated. Make us worthy of the endless light that emanates from the light of the seven days of creation, from the hidden light about which You said, “Let there be light” (Bereishis 1:3). Rabbi Akiva said about it, “Where does the light come from?” It comes from the place of the Temple, for that is the source of the light of the seven days of creation. All the treasuries of wisdom and understanding that were revealed to Your trusted servant Moshe on Mount Sinai are there. At that time, You opened up five thousand gates of wisdom for him that parallel the five books of the Torah, and You opened eight thousand gates of understanding that parallel the eight prophets and the eight days of Chanukah. For those eight days hold within them the brilliance of the Torah and the splendor of the Sanctuary.
107.  Master of the Universe, help us to draw down the light of the eight candles with song and dance, for they parallel the seven shepherds and Moshiach ben David who is like the single cruse of oil. He symbolizes the unique One of the universe, from whom the light of the seven days, the light of holy shame, emanates. Moshe Rabbeinu was worthy of this light, and his face shone with it. His humility was his true greatness. Bring us to the light of holy shame that You shed upon Adam HaRishon as soon as he was formed, the light that he lost even before the sin. He repented when he brought an offering of an ox, yet the supernal shine that had been upon him fled and did not return. Then Chanoch came with renewed prayer, humility, holy shame, and heavenly awe. He was worthy of the supernal shine until he was transformed into a flaming torch. That is why we have come before You to beg and plead with You, merciful and compassionate G-d. Please also illuminate us with the light of the seven days during these days of Chanukah. Return the supernal shine, the light of redemption, the hidden light of the seven days, to Your mother who, in Your love for her is called daughter, sister, mother, beloved. This is the mystery of the “two great luminaries.” There, all is the right side, and there is no left side at all: “At His right hand, a fiery law” (Devarim 33:2). There, the luminaries of fire are incorporated into the right hand side and are transformed into luminaries of light. Binah is all mercy, and there is no division there. “For a mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah is light” (Mishlei 6:23). The candle ascends to the level of pure light, and the moon ascends to the level of the sun. Snow turns into wool, and the serpent becomes the Kohen Gadol’s breastplate studded with the Urim Vi’Tumim that lit up all hidden pathways with the light of the Sanctuary.
108.  Master of the Universe, draw me after You and I will run. I will plead before You; I will long for Your endless light. I beg of You, restore to us the light that You hid away for Your Tzaddikim, the good that You secreted away for those who fear You. You hid them because of the creatures who, in their many sins, darkened their own eyes and rejected the brilliant light that sparkles throughout all the worlds. They rejected the pure supernal sweetness, and their sins increased until the floodwaters covered the very mountaintops. After forty days, when it was the third light of Chanukah, You answered Noah’s prayer in the merit of the three Patriarchs. The wellsprings of the abyss ceased to flow, and the windows of the heavens closed—the deluge stopped. So too, listen now to our prayers during these days of Chanukah, and may the flood that is drowning our souls cease. May the treacherous waters of our sins that cover the mountain tops dry up. I beg of You, merciful and compassionate G-d, You hear everyone’s prayer. Have pity and compassion on us and shine upon us the light of shame and heavenly awe so that we will never sin again. Make us worthy of this lofty shame so that we will feel embarrassed before You. When we come to Your Hall to fulfill Your commandments, make us worthy of the light of holy shame that is from the source of the infinite light, the light of creation that preceded the world. Make us worthy of the light with which You created the universe and all that is in it. It is the light of holy shame and heavenly awe, it is the complete utterance, the foundation of the world, the source of the light of Chanukah which derives from the eight days of Binah.
109.  Merciful and compassionate One, hear our prayers. Do not cast us off in our old age. At the end of the generations, hurry to redeem us and show us wonders and salvation. Our eyes will see the great miracles that are constantly unfolding. For we stand in need of Your miracles, we await Your mercy, and we hope for Your kindness that You will grace us with every good trait so that awe and shame will be our portion and we never sin again at all. We will busy ourselves with prayer and repentance alone. Open up for us the gates of understanding and save us from lives of error, delusion, and disappointment. Open up for us the gates of wisdom and knowledge so that we will never again sink in the floodwaters of the deluge, so that we will never sink into the morass of living a merely materialistic life. I beg of You, merciful One, look and see how poor and empty we are. All of our troubles and suffering have robbed us of our G-dly consciousness, until we have been left devoid of all holy awareness. I beg of You, shine Your light upon us now during these days of light in the merit of the awesome Tzaddikim whose souls come from the endless light of the seven days of creation. Please illuminate our paths with the light of the seven shepherds who banished all darkness. They shed their light into every dark corner, and everywhere they went, they proclaimed Your Name. They sanctified the Name of heaven throughout the entire world. This is why we have come to plead before You relying on their power and their merit. Please, bestow Your light upon us. Save us from the world of Tohu—from wasted efforts—and make us worthy of studying Your Torah for its own sake, that we will never veer from Your Will even by so much as a hairsbreadth.
110.  Please, merciful and compassionate G-d, You sent Your pious Kohanim during the days of Chanukah, so that everyone on earth would know and recognize that You rule over the entire world. You sent them so that all would know that everything is from You, and that it is within Your power to give strength to all. With the prayers of Your Tzaddikim and Your pious ones, You bring salvation to Your people Yisrael, for Your mercy and kindness is unending. All miracles and wonders are in Your hands. So too, save us now even though we are so lowly and small. This is what You promised to the final generations that are likened to the “feet.” You promised to save them from the ensnaring trap—to pull them out of the mire and the swamp.
111.  Just as the dove merited to bring the olive branch from Gan Eden, which is the secret of the cruse of oil, so too, send now to the Jewish people, who are likened to a dove, the oil of salvation of the seven shepherds. Help us to understand with the understanding of Your pious ones, and make us wise with the wisdom of Your holy ones. Shield and protect us with holiness and purity, and a lofty spirit of self–sacrifice will be planted within us.
112.  Make us worthy of sacrificing our lives for the sake of Your Will. May we always attend to every moment with the highest self-sacrifice for the sake of the study of Your Torah. For the greatest self-sacrifice is needed in order to learn and know the entire written and oral Torah, to learn and review all of the thirty-six tractates which parallel the thirty-six candles. They derive from the thirty-six hidden Tzaddikim that merit to bask in Your holy pleasantness, and see the light of Your countenance face to face.
113.  Help us to truly see Your greatness, just as You revealed it to the choicest of the Patriarchs when he saw the ladder at Beis El. You sent down a cruse of oil from the heavens to him, and the light of Chanukah illuminated all the worlds. So too, help us now to see all of the miracles that are forever unfolding around us, that protect us from all trouble and harm.
114.  Master of the Universe, You know that the Jewish people are now subject to harsh masters. Just as we cried out to You in the days of the Judges, so too are we now left unprotected and free to be plundered by cruel peoples. Accursed wicked people lead us, and there is no Tzaddik among us who can hold back the awful troubles and who can cry out and redeem us.
115.  But, with Your great wonders, You sent Chana the prophetess to Your treasured people. With her many pleas and tears, she drew down the soul of Shmuel who would later redeem us. He anointed kings with the oil in the horn; he anointed David who had beautiful eyes and whose blood was pure. He peeked through the latticework and spied Moshiach ben David; he sought to hasten his coming and speed the process of redemption. We have no knowledge of what is to be; we have no advice or plan of action. We will just intend that our actions will be for Your sake, just as Chana prayed to You. May we merit purity of heart, may we be worthy of the light of Chanukah.
116.  We will pray purely for the sake of heaven, just as Chana did. May our goal be only to increase the glory of heaven. We will not sleep by day or by night, all of our conversation will be steeped in Your service.
117.  Master of the Universe, dweller on high, You do signs and wonders. You destroy many nations and powerful kings, and You are fully prepared even now to bring about every miracle at any time. Especially during the brilliant days of Chanukah, You illuminate our faces and raise our spirits. That is why I have come begging before You. May our prayers be sweet as an offering brought before You. Teach us to pray for a renewal of the signs and miracles, to endlessly rejoice in You during the days of Chanukah, for it is You who performs endless miracles and wonders.
118.  Master of the Universe, shine upon us the light of the Tzaddikim, for we have already fallen into the deepest depths. There is no one but the thirty-six hidden Tzaddikim to save us—the Tzaddikim who parallel the thirty-six shining lights. Please help us to seek them out, for they are still to be found in their glory even in our days. If only we could find them in our generation! Please, merciful One, have mercy on us and help us to serve them. Help us to be the shamash to their candles and light them, so that we can become a part of their glow. Even though we ourselves are so poor and empty, help us to cling to the Tzaddikim. We will take shelter in their shadow and they will protect us from all evil. Double the measure of their spirit will be upon us, like the shamash candle that sits on a mast high above. Even though he has no part in the miracle, it is the shamash who allows us to learn Torah by the candlelight, who serves faithfully and is uplifted among them. He increases the beauty of all those who want to follow the ways of the Tzaddikim. He awakens those who sleep and are faint with exhaustion with the shining lights of Chanukah, to inspire them with hope and a will that burns like a flame.
119.  Master of the Universe, merciful and compassionate One, light up our darkness with Your hidden light, and visit us with precious light on Chanukah. Visit the sick, for there are none who are as stricken as we are. Our illness is grave and our wounds have festered. You, who pity the poor, have pity on our poverty and see how lowly we are. Our healing is far from us. See the length of our exile, for we have fallen seventy–fold in this two thousand year exile. We erected barriers between us and You by blemishing our eyes; we have been thrown out in the streets. Please light up even the street with the glimmering candles, and find all that we have lost. Bring back all of the cast–out lost sheep, and make all of the shattered vessels whole again. Gather together all those who were thrown out in the streets to wander, and gather up all the anguished from their crooked paths. You who are the healer of the broken–hearted, bind up the wounds of the pained, for their eyes are turned to You alone. They await Your salvation, and their souls cry out to You. Gather up our tears and encourage the desolate children with the light of the seven days. Raise us up, for we have fallen seven times. In Your love that comes with lightning speed, we will be saved and redeemed.
120.  May the prophecy be fulfilled in us, “Arise, shine, for your light is come, and the glory of Hashem is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness will cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples. But Hashem will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations will walk at your light, and kings at the brightness of your rising (Yeshayahu 60:1-3). “Then the moon will be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts will reign in Mount Zion and in Yerushalayim. And before His elders will be His glory (Yeshayahu 24:23). “You will be a crown of glory in the hand of Hashem, and a royal diadem in the hand of your G-d (Yeshayahu 72:3). “I will go before you and I will level the hills. I will break the doors of copper and break off the bolts of iron. I will give you treasures kept in darkness and hidden precious things, so that you will know that I am Hashem who calls out in your name, the G-d of Yisrael” (Yeshayahu 45:2-3). “All that is called in My Name, I created, formed, and made for My honor” (Yeshayahu 43:7). “I am the one who erases your sins for My own sake, and I will not recall your sins” (Yeshayahu 25). “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These are the things which I have done, and I have not forsaken them” (Yeshayahu 42:17). “Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting G-d, Hashem, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth faints not, nor is He weary? There is no investigating His understanding. He gives power to the faint, and to the powerless He increases strength. Even the youths will faint and be weary, and the young men will utterly fall. But they that wait upon Hashem will renew their strength, they will rise up as if upon eagles wings; they will run and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint (Yeshayahu 44:28-31). “For I, Hashem your G-d, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you. Fear not, you worm Yaakov, oh men of Yisrael. I will help you,’ says Hashem, and your redeemer, the Holy One of Yisrael. Behold, I will make of you a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth. You will thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and will make the hills as chaff. You will fan them, and the wind will carry them away, and the storm wind will scatter them. And you will rejoice in Hashem, and will glory in the Holy One of Yisrael” (Yeshayahu 41:13-17).
121.  Master of the Universe, have mercy on me, purify and cleanse me during these days of Chanukah. What can I do, my muddied–up blood rages within me by day and by night! It arouses me, G-d forbid, to all of the sins in the world, to everything that is forbidden, and to blemished thoughts. Please pull me out of the treacherous waters that threaten to drown me, G-d forbid. Help me now, during these day that are auspicious for purifying the blood and cleanse all the muddied–up blood that is inside me. Then I will be able to praise You, to make music and sing before You always. My blood will be pure and clear until I reach the level of, “My heart was empty within me” (Tehillim 109:22).  For You are among us during these days, and You are prepared to raise us up out of all the faltering in the world, to take us out of the deepest hell and transform all of our falls into ascensions and all of our sins into merits. It is then that the Shechinah descends into the public spaces, into the area that is less than ten handbreadths from the ground. Anyone who attaches himself to the Shechinah during those days, can rise back up with her higher and higher. Please atone for and forgive my sins during Chanukah, through the power of the forgiveness of Yom HaKippurim. During the seventy–four days that separate the two festivals, the blood is cleansed in the seventy pyres that burn inside of us through all the four worlds. Then an abundance of the menorah’s oil will shower down through all of the worlds, and new G-dly consciousness will be bestowed upon us. It will bring about the forgiveness of all sin in the aspect of “I erased like a father your iniquities” (Yeshayahu 44:22). Then we will merit to have the verse fulfilled in us, “On that day, the sin of Yisrael will be sought out, but it will not be found” (Yirmiyahu 50:20). Even the soul of such an outcast as I am will merit this amazing rectification. Even someone on the low level that I am on will merit reaching the ultimate level of knowledge, of knowing nothing at all. Then all desires that contravene Your Will will cease to be, and they will become a part of the supernal Will. We will be like Matisyahu and his sons who nullified their own wills before Your Will, their existences before Your existence—that was how they became worthy of Your salvation.
122.  I beg of You, high and exalted King, who dwells with the down-hearted, Your greatness is to be found in the place of Your humility. Bring me to true humility and complete self–nullification before Your supernal Will. Then all of the conflicts and wars in the world that derive from fallen desires will cease to be. Save us from desires that are not in accordance with Your Will, and from thoughts and deeds that express our own wills alone, lest we, with our own conflicts with You, crown Antiochus and his evil compatriots as king over us in every generation. They do whatever they want with us because they are empowered by the impure husks that cling to our desires and our impure blood.
123.  Please, living and eternal G-d, pure and holy, awesome is Your Name. Cleanse us and purify us with the utmost holiness and purity until all our blood is cleansed and free of any taint. We will reach the aspect of “MaH”, until we merit to recall the verse, “Because they went out to war against your enemies” (Devarim 21:10). (War, “milchama” has the letters of “Lechem MaH.”) We will then reach the level of complete egolessness in the aspect of “MaH,” so that when we go out to war against our enemies, we will merit having You deliver them into our hands. Please, Hashem, help us to cleave to You in the aspect of “my soul clung after You” (Tehillim 63:9), in order to merit that Your right hand will support us. Grant us the knowledge we need to fight mightily and be victorious in the great war, to struggle with all of our extraneous thoughts and all of our feelings of pride and ego. Then we will be able to draw Your G-dliness into our minds at all times in the aspect of “take a captive” (Devarim 21:10). We should merit to always have our thoughts connected with You, in the aspect of “MaH,” like Moshe who brought the Shechinah down to earth, to the space that is less than ten handbreadths from the ground. For the true Tzaddik who is like Moshe, who includes within him the three Patriarchs, is able to draw new life-force for even the lowest person from the light of Chanukah. His is the breath that has no sin, that sustains the world.
124.  Master of the Universe, Master of the entire world, have pity and mercy on us for You are our Father. Have pity and mercy on us and save Your people Yisrael from subjugation to the gentile kingdoms for we can no longer endure it. Grant us knowledge of the truth so that we will reject a life of emptiness and falsehood, and be free of the delusions of jealousy, desire, and the lust for prestige that can take us out of the world. For these sins of ours have overwhelmed us, and so the nations of the world rule over us without constraint. Please, blow a spirit from above upon us that will banish the spirit of foolishness within us. Then we will no longer fall into the errors of vanity and delusion, and we will not stumble into conceit and say, “I will rule.” For that removes Your providence from the world and empowers the chariots of the other side to rule over the entire world.
125.  My G-d and the G-d of my fathers, You give knowledge to human beings. Please, favor us with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge so that we will never again stumble into sin, into negative desires and despicable traits. Save us from the lust for food and drink, and all other lusts and negative thoughts that blemish the table of Malchus and cause it to fall into the forces of impurity, which then causes the evil kingdom to rule in the world and lord over Your people Yisrael with brazenness and cruelty. Help us to eat in holiness and purity, with illumination of the will and with the drawing down of awe. Then our table will be like an altar and it will shine with the three hundred and seventy spiritual lights. Our minds will be nourished before our livers, and all of our enemies will fall before us. “You have set up a table before me, against mine enemies” (Tehillim 23:5). May we be of those who eat at the King’s table, like “the sons of Barzel HaGiladi that did acts of kindness and ate at Your table” (Malachim I 2:7).
126.  Merciful and compassionate Father, plant a good impulse within us to do Your Will and eat from Your table in holiness. May we eat from the heavenly table for the glory of Your Name. Save me from the lust for food that sets up a table for the kingdoms of the other side. Save me from the eating of Esav the Edomite, lest my liver which is red be nourished before my mind, and lest the table turn into a serpent that flies throughout the world as when people eat improperly. It destroys all the Tzaddikim and proper people in the generation without mercy. Please, Father, who nourishes and sustains, who grazes and feeds, help me to sanctify myself with my eating, and may the Torah’s words be forever at my table. Then I will merit to have the angel Uriel raise my table and the words of Torah it contains before You. He will make from them a crown for the Holy One and say, “This is the table that is before Hashem” (Yecheskel 41:22). Then Malchus will rise up out of the forces of impurity, it will leave the nations of the world and the wicked and return to Your treasured people Yisrael. It will return to the upright and proper, to the true Tzaddikim.
127.  The kingdom of David will then be restored to its former glory. The blessing will then be upheld in us: “No stranger will sit on his throne, and no others will inherit his glory. For You swore to him in Your holy Name that his light would never be extinguished.”
128.  Master of the Universe, appear in the splendor of Your might and reveal the true Kingdom to our own eyes. “The stone that the masons rejected has become the cornerstone” (Tehillim 118:22). Reveal the cornerstone from its concealment, for the world scorns and mocks it. Please help us to expend effort and encourage ourselves to pray, in the aspect of the Rulership of the House of David, that prayer may never be a light matter in our eyes. Help us to dedicate ourselves to prayer with self–sacrifice, for it is the cornerstone from which the entire world spun into existence, and it continues to sustain the world.
129.  Help us to pray to you and cry out from the depths of our hearts like Matisyahu and his sons. They cried out to You with all their strength. Then the stone of prayer that I rejected will become the cornerstone, and it will last forever and ever.
130.  Master of the entire world, Almighty G-d, You created all the worlds only for the sake of heavenly awe and holy shame. Please forgive such a blemished sinner as I am, who has removed from himself the image of G-d and holy shame and awe with his sins. Have mercy upon me and pity me, for my heart has become stopped–up because of my many sins, and all my senses and limbs are so numb that I no longer feel any shame at all. All of my blood rages within me over every forbidden sin and thought. All of the humiliation in the world would not be sufficient to purify and cleanse my blood and to atone for all the sins into which I have stumbled. This is true for even the most minor of sins—how much more so is it true for my sins that are too numerous to count. They outnumber the hairs on my head and the sands by the sea; they outweigh all of the dust on the face of the earth. If all the lakes were of ink and all the trees were quills and all of humanity were scribes, they would still be unable to record even the smallest fraction of my sins. For they do not stop for even a moment, but rather, they increase from day to day and empower the evil kingdom anew.
131.  Please, merciful Father, grant me repentance and save me from falling into the grave. Save me now during these amazing days of Chanukah through the power of the eight Chanukah candles that counteract the eight aspects of the evil impulse. Save us from its final aspect, from the power of delusion and fantasy that can turn the forbidden into something permitted, the unfit into that which is kosher, and the impure into the pure. For all the while that a person knows that he sins, his heart beats guiltily, and he can still repent. But what can I do now? I have fallen into the eighth aspect that is called “delusion” and the prohibited seems to me to be permitted, and the sins appear to me to be mitzvos. And I have no idea what I am doing at all. For now it is hidden from my eyes completely, and I have no hope or support except for the eight Chanukah candles, for they are special agents of salvation. With their light, please release me from all of my delusions and concealment, and from all my illusory dispensations that blind my eyes. Light up all the dark places for me and save me from all the other seven aspects of the evil impulse that cause a person to fall down into the seven levels of hell. They give us into the hands of the seventy nations. Save us from this eighth aspect that is called delusion which can cause us to fall into the hands of the wicked that are among the Jewish people, who deny their Creator and their people. They delude themselves and believe that if their nation would only be destroyed and its name erased from the world, then they will be redeemed from the malice of the gentile nations. You grant knowledge to human beings, please plant knowledge into the hearts of these leaders so that they will be able to see with their G-dly souls that have as their source the light of lights, and understand that all of the strategies in the world will not help them uproot their souls from the source of life. They cannot be uprooted from the hidden light that glimmers now from all of the doorways and windows. “It looks through the windows, it peeks through the latticework” (Shir HaShirim 2:9).
132.  Master of the Universe, Lord of joy and delight, delight and power are in Your place, and the eternal joy and song of the angels surrounds You. Please bring us to endless joy and to rejoicing that never stops despite all of the terrible decrees that hang over our heads every day. For there is no way to escape from them except through dancing in attachment to You in joy, for the only way that sin is forgiven is through dance. Please, G-d of the entire earth, power and delight is in Your place, and joy is in Your abode. Grant us a high level of knowledge and expanded consciousness so that we can attach ourselves to Your eternity. You helped Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya to dance and leap before the fiery furnace in great joy, until they merited to be like burnt offerings on G-d’s altar. You helped Yosef HaTzaddik to dance in joy during his twelve years in prison. Please, Hashem, help us to also believe in eternal life alone, for it transcends the body and the material world. Help us to dance all our days over our goodly portion and our beautiful lot, that we merited to be Your portion and lot, “because the portion of Hashem is his nation, and Yaakov is the lot of his inheritance” (Devarim 32:9). Please strengthen within us the knowledge and clarify our recognition that one must be especially joyful over the amazing and awesome mitzvah of being martyred for the love of You. Matisyahu and his sons had such a great love and longing for this mitzvah, and that is how they drew down the incredible light. We can merit this light by thanking and praising You with self–sacrifice, by dancing until we practically expire, until our spirits leave the prison of our bodies and begin to hover and then fly through higher, purer, worlds. Then we will be worthy of the infinite light, the pure and bright light, the light of Chanukah that emanates from the infinite light.
133.  Master of the Universe, You choose songs of joy. Only King, life of the worlds, help me to reveal Your unity through song during these days of Chanukah. The melodies burst forth from the Chanukah candles. This is the aspect of “all of the nation saw the sounds” (Shemos 20:15) which is the aspect of angels that can be seen bursting forth from the sounds. Please, Hashem, lift up our hearts and open our ears so that we can hear the songs of the angels that burst out of and rise from the Chanukah candles. This is the “Song of Ascents, to David” which is the aspect of the song that the angels sang in honor of David, the secret of “To the chief musician…on Alamos, a song” (Tehillim 46:1). (The angels are called “Alamos.”) The song that the angels sang in honor of David was awakened by David’s own singing out his longing for You. May You bestow a flow of abundance throughout all the worlds, and grant G-dly awareness to all of Your creations, even to such lowly ones as me. Do it until, “There is no more foot in the marketplace.” Then Your treasured people Yisrael will serve You in terror and awe, and they will study Your Torah by day and by night. All the world will recognize Your Kingship, and all humanity will call out in Your Name, and “the earth will be filled with knowledge of Hashem like water covers the bed of the sea (Yeshayahu 11:9).
134.  Master of the Universe, You revive the dead in Your great mercy. Renew our days from Your ever-fresh source, from the source of living waters. Wake up the sleepers, and give new life to the downtrodden during these days of Chanukah. It is the time when the dew of the resurrection comes down from Attica Kadisha, from the Hidden Mind. “My head is filled with dew, my locks with the droplets of the night”(Shir HaShirim 5:2). It is the time when the dew that will ultimately be used to awaken the dead falls, and it is the manna that will be in the future world. “I will be as dew to Yisrael; he will blossom like the lily and his roots will go forth like the Levanon” (Hoshea 14:6). The dew of resurrection is aroused during Chanukah, as the verse says, “And the remnant of Yaakov will be in the midst of many nations like dew from Hashem, like raindrops on the grass, that do not hope to man or pray to human beings” (Micha 5:6). Help us to be gentle and kind to one another like the dew. Then the verse will be fulfilled in us, “And the remnant of Yaakov in the midst of many nations will be like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep. It passes and pounces and tears, and none can save them” (Micha 5:7). Then we will merit the resurrection of the dead. As the verse says, “For Your dew is the dew of lights, and will throw down the land of the mighty” (Yeshayahu 26:19).
135.  Master of the Universe, Master of the entire world, may our souls be precious in Your eyes, and favor us with a good fragrance, as in “my nard gave forth its fragrance” (Shir HaShirim 1:12), that will bring pleasure and satisfaction to Your throne of glory. Please bring us to the aspect of, “The mandrakes have given off their scent” (Shir HaShirim 7:14). The Midrash says that this was Reuven who saved Yosef from the pit. “And all delicacies are at our doorways”—this is the Chanukah candle. Hashem, please bring us to the light and scent of Reuven, who revealed the lights of Chanukah when he saved Yosef from his brothers. With this, he rectified Cain’s sin, who had envied his own brother and killed him on Chanukah.
136.  Merciful and compassionate Father, You long to see brotherly love—love between Your creatures. Bring us to love and brotherhood, to peace and wholehearted friendship. Purify our hearts from every trace of jealousy and hatred and cleanse our blood from every blemish of wickedness and cruelty. Purify us from all our ulterior motives and awaken our hearts with love of You. May our hearts be empty within us and free to love our fellow creatures that You love, that You created with Your own hands. Then we will be prepared at every moment to sacrifice our very lives for one another. G-d of the world, You love Your creations; You chose Your people Yisrael with love. Please illuminate the hearts of Your people Yisrael with the light of self–sacrifice for one another. With it, we merit the manifestation of the angels that are called “dudaim” who send down light to us from the eight heavens and from the highest sefiros. They shine like the stars that glimmer to us from the eighth heaven, from the sefirah of Binah. Through them, we merit to rectify the flaw of the sale of Yosef, who was sold for a pair of shoes (because his brothers thought that he was keeping them from being worthy of the angels that are called the “shoes of the Shechinah.”) Please bring us to love our friends with self–sacrifice, so that we will raise up a pleasant fragrance before You like the mandrakes of Reuven. We will go out to pray in our own words to You in the fields and forests, nights and days at a time, to be able to come to this high level of brotherly love. This love can reveal the Foundation Stone, the place of the Temple that David merited to discover. The revelation of Moshiach will be through David who made Hashem King with songs and melodies. “There I will make the horn of David to shoot up. I have set up a lamp for my anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him, his crown will flourish” (Tehillim 132:17-18).
137.  Our Father, our King, You know all and orchestrate all events. Perform miracles for us as You did during the days of the Chashmonaim. Show us the Temple, the Hall and the courtyard, renewed. May our eyes see the building up of the Temple Mount and the appearance of the keruvim. Renew the twelve springs that used to flow from beneath the Mount, and may they become wide rivers that will water the earth and all that is in it. They will purify the nations, and no ships will sail in them. “And I will make your windows of jasper, and sapphires will be your foundations…Your eyes will see the King in His beauty” (Yeshayahu 32:12, 17). And may the seven–branched menorah with its forty-nine pipes and the bowl at its head, stand opposite the Foundation Stone. May it illuminate the pleasant abode, may it give light to the seventy nations, to all the ministers and kings. “And nations will walk by your light, and kings by the shine of your rising”(Yeshayahu 60:3). They will bring your children like a nursemaid bears an infant” (Yeshayahu 47:22). With the lights of Chanukah, rout the nations in Your anger and destroy them in Your fury. Cast down their victory. “Arise, shine, for thy light has come, for the glory of Hashem shines upon you (Yeshayahu 60:1). And the nations will see your righteousness and call you by a new name” (Yeshayahu 62:2).
138.  Do wonders for us, Hashem, that never were before, and we will see such things that were hidden away, that were never known by the mind of man. We will not be silent or stop, until You place Yerushalayim for praise, and “swallow up death forever” (Yeshayahu 24:8).

And Hashem will be for you an everlasting light” (Yeshayahu 60:20).

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Home Lessons given by  the Rav HaRav Levi Itzchak Bender, zt"l.