How can people positively affect future generations?
At the time of the expulsion from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, Rav Avraham Sabba (1440 – 1508) took refuge in Portugal. He could not rest there for long, as King Manuel I ordered the expulsion of all Jews, the conversion of all Jewish children, and the burning of Hebrew books. Rav Avraham Sabba fled from there and at the risk of his life took his manuscripts along with him. He headed towards Lisbon. Before reaching the city, he became aware of a new order of the king. Anyone with Tefillin or Hebrew manuscripts would be killed. He hid his Tefillin and manuscripts under a tree before entering the city. Upon leaving the city, he was caught trying to retrieve his items and was subsequently thrown into prison.
This background information helps us appreciate Rav Sabba’s comments about Chanukah in the Sefer he authored, Tzror Hamor. He raises a question about the name of the holiday. The names of Pesach, Succos, and Purim identify the essence of those days. What does the name Chanukah express?
He explains that the Chasmonaim were suffering the decrees imposed upon Klal Yisrael which limited their ability to serve Hashem, study Torah, and observe mitzvos. From the name Chanu-kah, we can derive that they were eventually able to Chanu, establish themselves, because of the foundation they rested upon: kah, spelled kaf and hei, which has the numeric value of twenty-five. This gives reference to the twenty-five letters found in the words of the first sentence of Krias Shema, which begins with Shema Yisrael. Kabalas Ol Malchus Shamayim, accepting upon themselves the yoke of Heaven, was their strength.
Rav Avraham Sabba endured many trials that stood before him which tested his faith. He remained firmly committed, and unwavering. His comments about Chanukah reflect that he recognized the power of faith. His faith was solid. The faith of the Chashmonaim was key to their victory. It is that faith we seek to foster in ourselves as we kindle the lights of Chanukah.
The Alter of Kelm explains that lighting properly requires recognition of all of the good and the miracles that Hashem performs, along with Kabalas Ol Malchus Shamayim. Without that element in the lighting, he explains, “you have maaseh kof, actions like that of a monkey.” The objective is to satisfy more than physical requirements, but rather to reach a lofty state of mind and spirit in the process. Certainly, that approach can be uplifting and transformative. The Alter explains that such a lighting can be an ingredient in having blessed progeny.
Parshas Miketz is read on Shabbos Chanukah. It is not typical to have a word count after each Parsha. However, in many Chumashim, after Miketz it states there are 2025 words in the Parsha. Now, we can understand its significance. The numeric value of Ner, nun-reish, is 250. 8 times lighting the Ner of Chanukah yields 2000. To this we add 25. It is more than a reference to the 25th of Kislev, the day Chanukah begins. It is a reference to the 25 letters in Shema reminding us of the rock-solid faith of the Chasmonaim which we affirm each night with the kindling of the Chanukah lights!
Do we limit ourselves to physically do that which we should or do we strive to infuse our actions with higher levels of intent and consciousness of faith?
Shabbat Shalom, Chanukah Sameach & Chodesh Tov,
Rabbi Hershel D. Becker
 Shabbos 23b
 As per Rabeinu Chananel, Bahag and Rosh; Rashi references Shabbos lights as well
 Cited in Yareach L’Moadim on Chanukah, Ma’amar alef