Bringing Light: The light of text...

Although Chanukah means the festival of dedication, it has come to be known as a festival of lights, celebrating the famous miracle of the one days supply of oil that lasted for 8 days. So today I wanted to share some texts that might inspire and bring light, through the theme of light!

“The candle of the Eternal is the soul of humanity” Proverbs 20:27

(Proverbs 20:27 photographed November 2010 at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem)

Rabbi Eliezer said:
By the light that the holy one created on the first day, a person could see from one end of the world to the other. But as soon as the Holy One observed the generation of the flood and the generation of the dispersion of humankind and saw that their conduct was depraved, he proceeded to hide His light from them. And for whom was it hidden?  For the righteous people in the world to come.
  And the students asked him, 'Where is it hidden?' He answered, 'In the Torah.' They asked, 'If this is so, then won't the righteous ones find something of the hidden light when they study Torah?'
He answered, 'They will find it here, and they will find it there.'
They asked, ' if this is so, what will the righteous ones do when they find something of the hidden light when they study Torah?'
He answered, 'They will reveal it in the way that they live their lives.'

Exodus Rabbah 35:1

“In the Hasidic understanding, Chanukah becomes a festival celebrating the internal rededication in which each of us can engage. Hasidic teachers make much of the line from Exodus, "Build Me a temple and I will dwell within them" -- within them, e.g. not in the temple but in our very hearts. Chanukah is the time when we're called to cleanse impurities from our hearts, to rededicate ourselves to the neverending work of making holiness manifest in the world. Nurturing holy sparks, kindling light in the darkness: these take on profound spiritual meaning when we remember that light is associated with chesed, God's abundant lovingkindness -- and that the first thing created, at the beginning of time, was (spiritual/metaphysical) light. Our task is to purify our hearts so that divine light can shine in and through us”.


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