1. Whenever Jews gather together, they begin by wishing each other Shalom, “peace,” i.e., that each individual Jew, every Jewish family, and the entire Jewish people enjoy increased peace.

Increasing peace is also a means of preparing the world for the Era of the Redemption when in the imminent future the entire Jewish people, “with our youth and with our elders, with our sons and with our daughters,” will leave exile and proceed to our Holy Land “on the clouds of heaven.”

G‑d will use this means of transportation to show the great love He has for the Jewish people. His expression of love for the Jews depends on their expression of love for each other. Thus in addition to the love we should show a fellow Jew, because he is a Jew, we must show him additional love, because G‑d loves him. And this imperative is increased by the knowledge that this course of conduct will enable each person, his family, and the entire Jewish people to leave the exile in the immediate future.

There is special emphasis on the above in the present season, the days of Chanukah, days in which G‑d performed a great miracle on behalf of the Jewish people. As our Sages relate, the Jews found only a single cruse of oil with the seal of the High Priest. It contained merely enough oil to burn for a single day, and instead, it burnt for eight days until they were able to make new oil. Thus the light of Chanukah which illuminates every Jew’s individual home has its source in G‑d’s light. It is a miraculous light.

This reflects the great love G‑d has for the Jewish people, a love which expresses itself in that G‑d is prepared to work miracles on behalf of a single Jewish person, how much more so on behalf of a Jewish family, and how much more so on behalf of the Jewish people as a whole.

May we merit the ultimate miracle, that G‑d will take each one of us out of the exile and bring us to the light of the Redemption. Although the Jews are dispersed throughout the world, G‑d will reach out to each Jew individually and speedily redeem him and the entire Jewish people from the exile.

The Redemption will include, not only the Jewish people, but G‑d Himself. G‑d tells the Jewish people, “I am with him (each Jew) in difficulty.” As long as the Jews are in exile, He too, is in exile as it were.

This is reflected in the fact that G‑d’s House, the Beis HaMikdash is presently in ruin. Why did G‑d allow His Beis HaMikdash to be destroyed? Because G‑d wanted to have a House, and to leave the exile Himself, only when the Jews leave the exile. And this will take place in the immediate future. And then we will proceed to Eretz Yisrael which will be entirely free, with no danger of war, nor will it suffer any difficulties. On the contrary, it will receive an abundance of G‑d’s blessings, as reflected in the “rains of blessing” that have begun to descend there.

Soon we will see the fulfillment of our prayers that G‑d “Speedily cause a scion of David Your servant to flourish” with the coming of the Mashiach. All of us, even those who presently require glasses or other intermediaries, will see it openly with our own eyes for our powers of sight will be returned.

This will be hastened by using our power of sight to read about Mashiach at present. For the imminence of the Redemption is a subject that should feature in all the newspapers. It is natural that when good news breaks, it is publicized in all the papers immediately. Furthermore, special editions are published to communicate this information. Similarly, in the present instance, we will soon see special editions of the papers announcing, not only that Mashiach is on the way, but that he has actually arrived, entering this building in which the Nasi of our generation, the Previous Rebbe, studied Torah, prayed, and performed good deeds.

In this context, a lesson can be taken from the Chanukah candles: that one should not remain content with one’s present level of Torah study, prayer, and performance of good deeds, but rather, one must continually increase and grow in these services, as each night a new candle is kindled.

May the kindling of the third candle tonight hasten the time when we “kindle lights in Your holy courtyard,” in the Third Beis HaMikdash, and from there, the light will spread throughout the world. To hasten this, each one of you will be given two dollars, one as Chanukah gelt and one as tzedakah, for “tzedakah brings the redemption near.”