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Light Your Candle

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 10:01 am

Have you ever thought that someone looked absolutely radiant? Have you ever been awed by by a teacher’s brilliance? How about the warmth you felt when you saw a joyful child’s beaming face?

Look at that paragraph and think about the verbiage we so commonly use. We use ‘light’ metaphors to describe the often-intangible beauty of the human experience.

And this isn’t a new linguistic phenomenon. The Torah describes Moses’ face, pursuant to his other-worldly experience on Mount Sinai, as “radiant”. Scripture tells us that “one’s wisdom illumines one’s face,” and offers a blessing that “G-d shine His countenance” upon us.

So 'light' is a Torah symbol for full spiritual, physical, mental and emotional expression. With light, we see ourselves and the world in full glory. When we see the world in an ‘illuminated’ way, that means life is making sense to us.

The Torah is telling us that we are all Divine candles, trusted by G-d to shine light in a world that is often ‘dark.’ As we journey through life, we pray for G-d’s help in dispelling the darkness of our confusion, self-absorption and lack of moral focus. We pray for our souls to shine.

We ask for G-d’s help in lighting the wick of our own Divine candle.

When the Temple stood, its majestic Menorah – the seven branched candelabra – represented our multi-faceted nation. When the Kohen (Priest) kindled its flames, he was drawing light to our souls, illuminating our psyches. Lighting our ‘wicks’.

In the days of the Chanaukah events, the Hellenists took control of Israel. They wanted to extinguish our spiritual candelabra. They fed us hedonism, trying to cloud our souls with a self-indulgent veil. The Hellenists presented their lifestyle as the brilliance of societal evolution, but it was actually moral darkness. They weren’t so much trying to annihilate our bodies as they were seeking to extinguish our spiritual light.

They wanted our Holy Menorah - in all its dimensions - to go dark.

The Maccabees heroically fought back and they miraculously won. They preserved Divine light for posterity.

For us.

This Chanukah, dig deep inside yourself to find your own Holy oil. And kindle your inner flame.

Connect with Chanukah’s energy by lighting a Menorah for eight nights (not just the night of the family Chanukah party:)).

Add your candle to the brilliant blaze of our history.

Light up your life.


Best wishes for a happy and meaningful Chanukah,

Rabbi Mendy


P.S. This coming week, we’ll be launching our end of year campaign, in which our dear friend Mel Feldman will be matching donations up to $60,000. Watch out for our e-mails, and please add your match to the blaze of goodness. Together, we’ll light up the world.

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