It is written, "The soul of man is the candle of God." It is also written, "A Mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah is light." A חסיד is one who puts his personal interests aside and sets out to light up the souls of Jews with the light of Torah and Mitzvot...souls are ready and waiting to be kindled. Sometimes they are close, nearby; sometimes they are in a desert, or at sea. There must be someone who will forgo his or her own comforts and conveniences, and reach out to light those lamps.
~ Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn, Chasidic Rabbi, 1860-1920
- I love the metaphor here, and the message: do the work of creating light and warmth in the hardest places. But on a personal level, is it always the far-off lamps that are the hardest to light? Don't we sometimes struggle to put light in our nearby dark corners?
- It's almost Chanukkah. Soon, we'll all be lighting lamps for eight nights. How can we make a this holiday a time that's about lamp-lighting in our communities?
- During Chanukkah, there's a custom to put the lights in the windows -- where they're safe, but visible. Sometimes, that's really the most we can do: just show others what we've done to light up our own lives. How can we make even that simple act into something impactful for others?