Chanukah is the Festival of Lights and it holds a lot of power. When one sees somebody else’s light we see hope and promise and this leads to Berachos (blessings), and this leads to hope that people will see blessings over each other’s lights. It is said about Chanukah says “mitzvahs ner Chanukah ish u’beiso” (Succah 46a) — the mitzvah of the light of Hanukkah is for a man and his whole household.
Chanukah is all about the eyes. When you want to visualize someone you are thinking about, you don’t think of their back or their arms or legs. You visualize their face, because their face is the most important thing. In today’s society with all of the distractions people’s faces become lost in the crowd. Many times the essence of a person becomes lost.
It was a cold wintery night and the winds were blowing the snow about when a someone came to see the very holy rabbi. This person looked so crude, his clothes was tattered and he smelled. He didn’t even have a human face. The holy rabbi’s young son answered the knock at the door. He didn’t even want to let the man into the house, but he did, and he decided, “I’ll keep the door a little bit open to hear what my father says.”
So this unkempt man spoke to the holy rabbi, who quickly realizes that this person is the one of the crudest people in the world. So he says to the crude man: “My dear friend, your soul needs a lot of fixing. I’ll tell you something very simple. Everyday slowly say the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and I want you to promise me that every day for a few minutes you’ll forget the whole world and just think about what you can do for another person. Think if you can do one favor for another person and please come back next year.”
One year to the day later, there was a knock on the door of the holy rabbi’s house. The holy rabbi’s young son answered the knock at the door. The man at the door was shining from the top of his hat to the bottoms of his shoes. He really had changed and had a different face.
What part of a person shines, or stands apart from everything else? It’s not the arms or legs, it’s the face. In the small light of the Chanukah candle we see each person’s face and the beauty within.
The menorah (seven branched) is a symbol of the five senses and the power of the soul, all functioning in the service of Him who is blessed. (Perokim b’Hatzlachah, RaMbaM)
The lights of Chanukah reminds us of the light that is deep within ourselves and the potential for goodness that each person has. The light is a gift that enables one to dee the true beauty of faith and the belief in hopes for tomorrow.
May we all be blessed to see the beauty of the world around us and may the small lights of Chanukah shine bright with blessings of peace within and without each person..
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)
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