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[KE CyberTorah] Make These Lights Bright

Make These Lights Bright

Last Friday marked the beginning of the month of Kislev. We are at the point where each day gets a little darker, where every day is shorter. The time change exaggerates this for me. There is so little chance to be out in the sunlight with how early the sun sets.

I want to challenge us to bring some light into this darkness. As we approach the festival of Hanukkah, I would like us to bring light into the lives of others. Each day of Hanukkah we light a new candle; I suggest that every day of Kislev we intentionally bring some light into someone else’s life. Then as the solstice approaches we will be surrounded by the lights of Hanukkah and also the lights we have kindled in other people’s lives.

The Rabbis teach that the human soul is a candle for God. That is, our ethical and spiritual growth make the universe brighter as we are brought closer to the Divine. Every time we offer compassion or caring to someone else we are kindling their light. And what is so wonderful about this metaphor of flame is that it makes our own light all the brighter.

It is bringing light into someone’s life when you tell them thank you. This month, imagine if you thank all the people who help you in different ways. You could thank our wonderful ED, Risa Beckwith at for all the work she does to keep KE functioning. Remember six months ago when our postal carriers and delivery people were heroes? Tell them they still are.

It is bringing light into someone’s life when you donate to help. A donation to Second Harvest or IsraAid or JNF shares our blessings with others and makes sure there is a helping hand for people at moments of incredible difficulty. Second Harvest makes sure people have food to eat; IsraAid is responding as Israelis to crises world wide; JNF is protecting the water and ecology of Israel.

It brings light into someone’s life when you show up as a friend. A willingness to listen and be present whether to joy or sorrow is among life’s greatest gifts. This month, think about renewing a friendship or reaching out to someone new with whom to connect. Friendship is undervalued in our lives. This can be a month to renew and sustain those connections.

We bring light into people’s lives all the time. I suggest this month a great intentionality as we prepare for Hanukkah. Choose a gesture that is meaningful to you so that each day you add a little light to the world. Then, as Hanukkah arrives, recall those gestures as you light the candles. I believe they will transform our holiday into something special and meaningful.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi David Booth

Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784