On Chanukah, Light and Finding a Place in Darkness

Zot Chanukah - the last day. THIS, THIS is Chanukah. The light, not the dark. The joy, not the pain. The beauty, not the ugly. The harmony, not the duality.

The victory of Hanukkah is very dual in nature. The righteous triumphed over the wicked! The weak over the strong! The few over the many! The deniers over those who immerse themselves in goodness.

So we've spent a week bathed in this light, and we feel pretty comfortable getting back to dual state. Getting back to triumphing, ‪#‎winning‬ over all that is dark and uncomfortable. You can't always light up a candle and sing a song to feel good - sometimes it's winter and you've worked late and the subways are behind and there's sludge on the ground and bills to be paid and it's just a long dark winter and you just want to wallow for a bit.

But let's remember Chanukah. Let's remember that it took the year of darkness to get to the singlefocused place of light; and that we sometimes need the salt to make the sugar sweet. We can't beat ourselves up for not being in constant bright light state - the dark gives us the ability to appreciate the light times, does it not?

But that we just lived for one whole week in a place that was only brightness and lightness, and maybe, just maybe, we can bring a taste of that into every single day of this solid year, even if it's just for a brief moment, a tiny spark of conversation with a beloved one or playing a favourite song or treating yourself to something delightful, just because.

Darkness is only an absence of light - so let's embrace it and recognize that it's the path, the tunnel, the birth canal that will take us through - with our candles, our lanterns in hand! - to the day when it will be only bright.


Chanukah's Fifth Light

The fifth light of Chanukah is a night celebrated for its inability to ever fall during the Shabbat, it's entrenchment within the days of the week. The Fifth night is always a light among the darkness. Where light always trumps dark, the peak of the darkness for the year that always has a crack of light within.

Sometimes you need to dig deep to find it, sometimes you need to forget about looking for it and just feel it, sometimes you need to act like it's already there and it will start to illuminate the way for you. But the light - it's there, whether you can see it or feel it or hear it.

And all you have to do, is use it to light up the rest of the world - the nooks and crannies and dark pieces within and without that might never be fully washed with bright light, but a tiny little candlelight makes it a little less black, a little more bright, and the next thing you know, every single person is a carrier of incredible, divine light.