Thursday of the Second Week

Readings

IS 41:13-20

MT 11:11-15

Reflection

Chanukkah is called the festival of lights because it celebrates the miracle of a single light that was able to burn for eight days. A seemingly small miracle that symbolizes  bigger ideas -- that we too can be resilient in the face of adversity, that we can provide light for the world.

During this incredibly dark time in history, sometimes it can be hard to see the light. The pandemic has ripped families apart. So many people are isolated. We are all struggling in our own way and life just seems a lot harder than usual. But, as Albus Dumbledore wisely said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Through this dark time, I see a lot of light. I see a lot of hope. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Families are finding creative ways to connect through screens, letters, and phone calls. We’ve reached out and found new ways to be together. I see people helping people, giving back, and doing their part to repair the world.  It’s like we’ve re-found ways to turn on the light.

Each night of Chanukah we add a new candle and we light our menorah. With every new light, we rededicate ourselves to tikkun olam, repairing the world.

I think about what Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (of blessed memory) said, “When we use the flame of a candle to light another candle, the first is not diminished. There is now, simply, more light.” When we use our own light to shine on others, we are simply making the world a brighter place.

As we go through the eight nights of Chanukkah, let us reflect on how we can spread our light to those around us. How can we each rededicate ourselves to repairing the world? What can we do to make life better for those around us?

May your light shine bright this season and may you be inspired to spread your light to help repair the world.

Karen Parry
Executive Director
Hillel of San Diego