These are dark times. December is a dark month. Every time I turn on the news it makes me afraid. You have to be careful of how much of that darkness and fear you internalize. Perhaps that is why the holidays of so many religions center around the bringing of light into the world. Reb Nachman of Bratzlav taught: “As long as a tiny flame remains, a great fire can be rekindled." Looking through that lens, hope for the world prevails.
When I think of light, I not only think of the sun and the moon and our dependence on them for life. I think of radiance, candlelight, inner light, star light, reflection of light off the water, when it shines through a crystal, a window, a diamond, a rainbow, a camera, an eyeglass. I think of Divine light, hope, enlightenment, freedom, a light at the end of a tunnel, leaving the light on, a light in the window, Oneness and clarity. I imagine light illuminating the darkness and I imagine that light shining into places that might be shrouded in gloom or shadow, even shining on some inner secret that is yet to be revealed.
Light helps us heal, helps us hope, helps us discover our inner shattered sparks and uncover the hidden places within ourselves that might be shadowed. Chanukah means rededication. When we rededicate ourselves to helping others and shine light into dark places, we rekindle the purpose of the holiday and make it meaningful for this troubled world.
My hope and prayer is that the inner light we discover through our practice helps us rededicate ourselves to all that is holy and meaningful in our lives. May we take in the light, absorb it into our hearts and give that abundance to others.