Chanukah's Secret to Greatness

This Chanukah, light up your life.

Comments (85)

(80) Jacqueline Ruth Jones, December 16, 2019 9:08 AM

Love It.

It was wonderful and full of fun.

(79) Anonymous, December 18, 2014 6:29 AM

Thank you!!!!!

(78) Jim Gaus, December 6, 2013 2:47 AM

Thanks for posting this. A message I much needed to hear.

(77) asia cohen, December 5, 2013 10:55 PM

Oh! I need this year round!

I'm going to save this because the Ones who used to remind me of this are gone, I'm seventy, but in my life I can do this too! " One drop of oil " if that's all I have and leave the rest to HIM! I'm so glad I get this reminder weekly!!!!!!!!

(76) Anonymous, December 5, 2013 5:42 PM

I like your video and agree with your base theme.

Good Video Charlie,
Not all that bad for a lawyer, although the opening greeting of Greetings Jews & humans was a little strange. Something like Dear Brothers etc. might have been a little better. Remember that there are actually a lot of like-minded Christians who are out there watching. We should remember we have neighbors who support us and shear our values.

(75) rivka, November 30, 2013 7:58 AM


a wonderful miracle,shalom

(74) Anonymous, November 27, 2013 1:30 PM


Thank you very much, made my channukah!

(73) Abraham Stubenhaus, December 13, 2012 8:13 PM

Light up your life!

Would you be interested in learning deep secrets about everything? Please try to learn Pirkei D' Rabi Eliezer (ben Hyrkanos). In Perek Shilishi, he begins to teach us secrets that are available and open if only we would give ourselves time to learn them. One of his students was Rebi Akiva. Many sforim stores carry Pirkei D' Rebi Eliezer, and it is also available in English.

(72) ed walls, December 11, 2012 6:39 AM

life and light

people are blessed by your creative insight,thank you so much...

(71) Dr. Charlo, December 11, 2012 3:10 AM

Light up the Darkness...

Beautiful post! We are to be salt and light! Greatness knocks on my door, and I greet it with gladness! Shalom and many thanks! Dr. Charlo

(70) Christina, December 11, 2012 1:46 AM

You don't have to be Jewish to be moved & inspired by this video. It's something I really needed to experience & I'm so glad my friend sent it to me b/c this was clearly a God thing! Thanks for making & sharing this GREAT video. :)

(69) Tonna, December 10, 2012 3:25 PM

Thank you...

Thank you for this timely it is to me. I lost the love of my life, David, Saturday, 12/8/12...and the darkness of sadness, emptiness and grief have been washing over me like waves. Thank you for reminding me that the candle's light truly shines the brightest in the darkness. My love passed not only on Shabbos, but the first night of Chanukah as well...David, may his memory be for a blessing, is one of those Chanukah lights! Thank you for reminding me...Tonna

Deena, December 13, 2012 5:58 AM

So sorry for your los

Tonna, I wish you much strength during this heartbreaking time. I'm happy for you that you saw this amazing video as a guide, and I hope it continues to help you deal with your grief.

Tonna, December 8, 2013 7:19 AM

Thank you...

Just happened to be looking at Aish...on this the year anniversary of my David's passing..and saw your comment. Thank you very much for your thoughts. It has been a both difficult and blessed year at the same time. What a blessing it is to have come across this video once more...just when I needed to find it! Baruch Hashem! There truly are no coincidences! Thank you again, Deena for your kind thoughts...may G-d bless you as well!

(68) Anonymous, December 10, 2012 6:06 AM

THis is truly Mi LHashem Alei!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So powerful inspiring pouring out light goodness and holiness. You can touch the G-dliness. Thank you!

(67) Constance, December 10, 2012 2:24 AM

How spirituality relevant at this time. Simply moving...

(66) Anonymous, December 9, 2012 9:11 PM


Wow, what a powerful message!

(65) Yvonne, December 9, 2012 8:19 PM

wisdom for the ages

I can't tell you how many times I've been encouraged, wept or cheered when listening to your videos. I share them on facebook, I sit my kids down and we watch them together and discuss them. I hope you will never tire of doing what is right, of spreading light in a very dark world.. in giving challenges, and being a sign post to the nations. THANK YOU!!

Pamela Shapiro, December 11, 2012 5:21 AM

You inspire me!

Yvonne, what a wonderful comment! I was moved by your sharing, how you sit with your children and watch the videos and discuss them! This is how we teach our children the values of being Jewish so that the light never goes out! Good for you!

e. deutsch, December 11, 2012 6:28 AM

100% agreed!!! Well said !

(64) Anonymous, December 9, 2012 8:18 PM

wow that video really lit up my chanuka! very powerful!

(63) anonymous, December 7, 2012 12:25 AM

this video was sooo powerful!! even though i'm just a kid, it was sooo amazing!! thank you!!

(62) chana, December 5, 2012 11:13 PM

evry nost listen to this!

wooooow!!! really powerful!

(61) Anonymous, December 27, 2011 2:48 PM

wow, im not even religious or particularly care for this stuff, but that was powerful!

(60) Anonymous, December 26, 2011 1:47 AM

you are great!!

I'm so glad aish put this up again because I must have missed it in 2009!! What a fabulous and powerful video. I am totally inspired and touched. Thank you so much for this incredible message. So well presented.

(59) Anonymous, December 25, 2011 4:25 AM

wowwwwwwwwwwwww so simple yet sooooooooooooooooooo powerful .Thank you Charlie

(58) Mr and Mrs Jacobs, December 22, 2011 11:53 PM

We absolutely love you Rabbi Harary

My husband and I just LOVE your video's Rabbi Harary. May Hashem protect you and always LIGHT up your way. Chanuka sameach!!

(57) polina, December 22, 2011 8:01 PM

Thank you for your video. I was touched by it and am sending it to all my friends.

(56) Limor Kopel, December 21, 2011 9:37 PM


This video is incredible! I love the message and the analogies! Kol HaKavod!!!

(55) Elisabeth Soros, December 21, 2011 2:15 AM

Chanuka.s Secret to Greatness

This short video just cannot be any better! Thank You! The people should live this way!

(54) fred waltzer, December 19, 2011 5:56 AM

enlightening message!

Enjoyed this message about Chanukah. Inspiring.

(53) Ann Brady, December 19, 2011 3:16 AM

A Tiny Drop of Oil and One Spark

A passionate, beautiful message. Nia:weh Charlie Harary.

(52) Anonymous, December 18, 2011 10:01 PM

so inspiring! thank u!

(51) Rabbi Howard Shub, December 18, 2011 4:50 PM

Negative comment about Alexander the Great

I am a great fan of Charlie Harary but I take exceptiont to his negative comment about Alexander the Great. Although the conqueror of a good part of the known world wished to Hellenize the world which he had conquered, he did not force the Jews to adopt Hellenization but instead encouraged them to observe the Jewish religion. In fact, in gratitude for this, Jewish boys for a certain amount of time were called "Alexander," in appreciation of Alexander the Great.

(50) Sonja Noullet, December 18, 2011 1:26 AM

This is a great message for the times we live in today.

(49) Joey, December 15, 2011 1:08 AM

Did I just see Zuko and Dr. Evil in a video about Jewish theology? o_O But seriously, this was very inspiring. God bless!

(48) Jossef, December 13, 2011 5:14 PM

Very Inspiring

Charlie Harrary's videos are wanderful; this one is particularily inspiring!

(47) Anonymous, December 1, 2011 5:32 PM

It was so meaningful and profound. Thank you for the constant inspiring messages

(46) Anonymous, December 8, 2010 2:41 AM

nice article

I really learned alot from this nice article. Thank you and may Hashem bless you.

(45) , December 5, 2010 9:03 PM

Amazing message-such a shame there are inappropriate images... goy lighting a menorah?

Anonymous, December 18, 2011 5:38 PM

All of our Presidents do this. It's a sign of religious freedom in the United States. Jews can practice Judaism, it's acceptable, that's not a shame but a delight we have the freedom to do so.

(44) Debbie, December 5, 2010 4:06 AM

beautiful message; the images are distracting and sometimes inappropriate, and therefore detract from the message. So many of your films are visually inspiring. This is like the old Sesame Street; if our visual attention span is limited to 3 seconds, how do we maintain our auditory attention for the 8 minutes it takes to process the message of greatness given here??

(43) Keren, December 2, 2010 5:59 AM

Truly amazing and inspirational!

This was a very powerful message that everyone can relate to. Yashar Koach to Aish and Charles Harary on an amazing job spreading the message of greatness and Chanuka to the world. May we all heed the call and rise above just as the oil of Chanuka does!

(42) jocelyn, November 30, 2010 9:11 PM


very enjoyable and easy to understand. thank you

(41) Anonymous, November 29, 2010 2:36 AM


Thank you for this beautiful chanukah message. This was a very powerful video and changed my understanding of chanuka.

(40) Anonymous, November 28, 2010 11:32 AM

Thank You.

excellent as always.

(39) , November 23, 2010 3:12 PM

Hebrew Letter Tops are Like Flames

Wonder if you have ever noticed the tops of all the Hebrew letters, pointing upwards. I don't know if our Rabbis have offered an explanation for this custom. But it suggests to me the idea that Hebrew words are like flames of illumination and energy. On Chanukah, we kindle the lights to renew our enthusiasm for Torah study...These letters also suggest to me the idea of learning Torah at night, by candle light. In the darkness of night, in our confusion, Torah lights the way. HAPPY CHANUKAH Harry@RochesterNY

(38) Anonymous, November 21, 2010 8:39 PM

Thank you for another inspiring video commentary. I always enjoy them and as the wonderful "8 Wonderful Nights" approach, I hope the world over is lighted by the menorahs. I love this and every holiday and High Holiday because every one brings me closer to where and who I want to be. Brura

(37) Anonymous, November 18, 2010 11:23 AM

Alexander and Holidays

Its brought down that when A. The Great came to Jerusalem the Kohen Gadol came out to the street in the Kohanic Garb. Alexander stopped in his tracks and declared that this was the man that he saw the night in his dreams before every battle which lead him to victory. He then as Ira stated never oppressed the Jews and enabled them to continue to live as an independent commonwealth. Secondly, It is for discussion in terms of the last holiday of the year - it is important to note that the modern state of Israel's symbol is indeed the Menora as minted on the money and legal emblems. While authorities disagree over the status of modern state, no-one can dispute the miracles that occurred and that are still occurring each and everyday in the homeland. I even noticed that one of the pictures used in the backdrop was from the post 6 day war after we were privileged to have won back Har Habayit

(36) Pessy, November 16, 2010 3:09 AM

Great message, greatly articulated

Thank you again for your inspiration. May you always be able to inspire others and shine light onto the world

(35) Anonymous, November 14, 2010 7:50 PM


You are amazing! Thank you so much for everything you say! You just speak so well...I love everything you say

(34) yael, June 17, 2010 5:32 PM


that was powerful! mr. harary, you are such a powerful and amazing speaker! i watched almost all of your videos and i am inspired everytime. thank you!

(33) Anonymous, February 1, 2010 7:56 AM

putting one last effort

Greatness is putting that one last effort when everything has been exhausted and letting G-d complete the work. It is like deciding and pushing oneself to light the last remaining candle in one's life when it is tempting to just settle in the darkness. As a sage once said that G-d's redemption comes suddenly when one gives an effort. Thank you for the message! G-d bless you!

(32) Ira S. Saposnik MD JD PhD, December 29, 2009 10:37 PM

correction to Alexander the Great and the Jews

I am a PhD in military history. This was an excellent presentation by Mr. Harary, but I am aware, through my training, of things he may not have known. A source of this was also OWN site about Alexander and the Jews. Like Napoleon, Alexander NEVER disturbed or persecuted conquered peoples for the obvious political reason that a happy people is far better than disloyal, possibly 5th column . While he personally MAY have disliked Jews and everyone else as well, he did absolutely NOTHING himself, and this portrayal of him is inaccurate. It was his one of his three lieutenants, Antiochus of the Seleucids, who started all the trouble. No doubt at all about Alexander. My position is supported by both the Talmud and Josephus. This in no way is a revering of this man, but an historical fact. Inevitably, history shows that when a people is subjugated, resistance follows, and is always ultimately successful. (examples..the Nazis in Europe, The USSR after WW2, etc) But the point is that Alexander himself had absolutely nothing to do with Chanukkah any more than Napoleon did with the Dreyfus case in France. I welcome any discussion that elucidates more on this topic. Again, just do a search, Alexander and the Jews, and you get this website which explains exactly what happened. What Mr. Harary represents is not correct on this point, but absolutely correct on those that followed him.

(31) Anonymous, December 27, 2009 2:15 PM


that was just wonderful.

(30) Anonymous, December 25, 2009 5:26 PM


Fantastic....cuts across religious or denominational inclinnations...thank you

(29) esther b, December 21, 2009 8:22 PM

You delivered that so well, it was so inspiring!!! Thank you so much!!!

(28) Yael Gruen, December 21, 2009 1:09 AM

Thank you Charlie! This was powerful, inspiring, and very true.

(27) Anonymous, December 19, 2009 9:56 PM


I loved it, will show my children as I think its a great message

(26) Anonymous, December 18, 2009 7:42 PM



(25) Tzvi, December 18, 2009 5:55 PM

Fantastic, truly great. I really enjoyed the film. The content is very profound and the delivery was inspiring. The only question that remains is what to do with the inspiration....

(24) RR, December 18, 2009 2:50 AM

that was SO imspiring! wonderful words,very meaningful!!

(23) Anonymous, December 17, 2009 5:28 PM

Thank you

(22) Susan, December 17, 2009 10:26 AM

I am so incredibly moved

What an unbelievably powerful video. I cannot wait to share this with my students and colleagues. It is not only the content which is superb ; the delivery by Charles Harary is exceptional. Thank you for the amazing inspiration to continue lighting the flames of potential with whatever oil is available--and to recognize the true meaning of "greatness."

(21) Anonymous, December 17, 2009 8:32 AM


This was beautiful

(20) Anonymous, December 16, 2009 11:19 PM


thank you sooo much for this video! it's EXACTLY what i needed to hear! the inspiration i needed! thank you sooo much! happy channukah!

(19) gb, December 16, 2009 7:14 PM

this was beautiful.

it is great to have reminders when u are going thru rough times. thank you aish, beautiful job done.

(18) Chana Leah, December 15, 2009 11:01 PM

Whoa! totally to the point when it comes to the younger generation that includes me!

(17) sergio, December 15, 2009 4:12 PM

very good message, very good, thank you

thank you very much

(16) Anonymous, December 15, 2009 1:34 PM

right on target

(15) Anonymous, December 15, 2009 1:05 PM

Great. Extremely well done.

(14) Gedalyah, December 15, 2009 10:40 AM

"nichts ist gutes - ausser man tut es!"

Excellent performance, excellent leitbild! You touched me. Khag some'akh!

(13) Anonymous, December 15, 2009 6:48 AM

I really liked this!

This was so beautifully done and very inspiring! Thank you.

(12) Anonymous, December 15, 2009 3:19 AM

You are truly great. May you always light up the lives of everyone you touch.

(11) Anonymous, December 14, 2009 3:05 PM


This is great! Thank you so much! Just the words I need to hear!

(10) Anonymous, December 14, 2009 4:01 AM

Amazing! Inspirational, just what I needed. Thanks for being so GREAT!

(9) Anonymous, December 13, 2009 11:14 PM

Thank you


(8) Anonymous, December 13, 2009 11:04 PM

Inspiring message that talks to our soul !!

Thanks for this beautiful message, that relates to what we best have in ourselves, that is, our love and potential to release it to benefit the world and all living things in it.Create light to transform this world in an ever better one that is worth living in, is certainly our most noble mission, be us religious people or only philosofical humanists. It's always rewarding hearing these inspiring messages full of wisdom and hope we get in this site. Congrats !!!

(7) Anonymous, December 13, 2009 7:47 PM

Thank you, I love it!

This movie was great, and could not have come at a better time for me. You see, I am facing some challenges right now. I will envision myself as a macabee and see if that makes it easier for me to do the right thing.

(6) Marie F., December 13, 2009 7:16 PM

Great job!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the video presentation on the Secret to Greatness by Charles Harary. I couldn't resist to pass this one on and on!! Blessings. Hag Sameach Chanukah!! marie

(5) elisabeth, December 13, 2009 5:41 PM


Thank you for such a heartfelt message. Thank you for delivering it with genuine good will. Happy Hanukkah to you and to all those to whom you bring light.

(4) ruth, December 13, 2009 3:24 PM

the i is a candle

A beautiful message about life, about light. Maybe we shouldn't be seeking greatness at all, because it's not in greatness as a goal that we achieve, but in being true to the beauty within our souls, to BE a Macca BEE. It's the NO BELL prize, and we're all capable of being the bells, the I AM in chime. God wrote this story, and we're all knocking on those doors. And as you say, take the opportunity that's here for us all, because THAT's the miracle, the candle in the darkness, all of us, and what we can do, for each other, this most beautiful world.

(3) cecilia, December 13, 2009 2:23 PM

por favor escribir en español

muy buenos los mails

(2) Anonymous, December 13, 2009 1:59 PM


Absolutely Inspiring

(1) Anonymous, December 13, 2009 1:49 PM

You are the jolt we all need!! Simple to the point.

There are no words! you are fantastic!!! Chanukah Samayach!!


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Newsletter.

Our privacy policy