How do we each bring our own individual light to the world?
Be a Lamp Lighter
The revered Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn zt”l, once shared the following teaching:
A student asked the Rebbe, “How does one become a pious Jew?”
The Rebbe replied, “To be a Jew is to be like a street-lamp lighter.”
“In the olden days, there was a person in every town who would light the gas street lamps with a fire that he carried at the end of a long stick. On the street corner the lamps were there ready to be lit. The lamplighter knows that the fire is not his own personal fire to keep for himself. He goes from lamp to lamp to set them alight.
Today, there are so many lamps just waiting to be lit. It is written, “The soul of the human is a lamp of God”( Proverbs 20:27).
A pious Jew is one who puts personal affairs aside and goes around lighting up the souls of others with Torah and with mitzvot. Jewish souls are ready to be lit…it is simply a matter of uncovering the spark that is hidden within. ‘
When you reach out with the essence of your soul, then the essence of your soul bonds with the essence of your friend’s soul; when you reach out with love, the Godliness within your soul unites with the Godliness in your friend’s soul. In this way the lamp is lit.
This is the true calling of a Jew, to be a lamplighter- Your mission is to light up souls.
The act of taking the shamash candle in our hand and placing its flame to the wicks of the candles can be seen in our eyes as a metaphor of a ‘street-lamplighter’. Lighting the Chanukah candles each night puts us in this mode and spirit to take the next step and light up all those who we can possibly reach.
Can you remember something you once did that “lit up” someone else’s light? Something you did that made someone be in a better mood and then act nice to those around him/her or something that you did to encourage someone to help others? Please send one example to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will publicize the best answers and all good answers will receive a raffle ticket to win a huge playmobile set and other prizes at our closing event on the last night of Chanukah! Please include your names in the email.