A Bisl Torah


On the way to my sister’s home in Chatsworth, my kids noticed the charred areas along the Sepulveda Pass. Areas once filled with brush; because of the fires, filled with…nothing. Just nothing. We were shocked by the changes in scenery and my daughter couldn’t help but notice a few meager bushes dotting the perimeter of where the fires were.

She said, “Mommy, do you know which color is the most important in the world?”

I replied, “I have no idea.”

She responded, “It has to be green. Green is what makes the world grow.”

And I understood what she meant. The green bushes reminded her that even in a charred area, there is a chance for something to survive and most certainly, a chance for something to grow again. In other words, perhaps the most important trait we can cultivate is that of resilience. Springing back up when moments seem like a fiery inferno.

The Talmud reminds us that we are not supposed to derive any ordinary benefit from the Channukah candles. We shouldn’t read with them, check our account balances, or do work using the light of the candles. Rather, the candles are placed near a window and the flames publicize the miracle. The miracle of a people rising up against the odds; the miracle of a cruse of oil lasting much longer than it should; the miracle of seeing sparks of hope in a time that sometimes seem so overwhelmingly dark.

Perhaps the message of Channukah is reminding ourselves that we can reignite the fire within. That time and time again, when the hills are devoid of greenery, when it seems like the candles have gone out, we must remember that we are meant to be resilient creatures.

Have a bright and meaningful Channukah—filled with strength, hope, strength and light.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Channukah

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