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  • Shternie Bell

Antidote to Darkness




Darkness is a part of the human experience. The first act of creation was separating between dark and light; night and day. How, when, and what is needed in the struggle with darkness?


There are times that can be compared to Temple times; times of peace and clarity. During this time the Menorah is lit during the day indoors, another source of additional light to what is already shining all around.


Then there are times when we feel the sun is going to set on us when we need to bring light to our internal lives like the Shabbat candles.


But there are also times of total darkness. Candles that would be lit during the day indoors will not be enough for this darkness. These are the Chanukah lights lit to the backdrop of a black sky.


These lights have so much power to illuminate the darkness and their power extends beyond our internal worlds and our own homes. Their power must be shared; spread outside of our homes and visible to anyone passing in the street. They are a sign of hope and the possibility of miracles.


The spiritual power of Chanukah can be seen in its endurance and its being one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays.


Living as a Jewish person in El Cerrito during this season can sometimes feel dark. With holiday lights and trees wherever one turns, the Menorah's light can seem diminutive. It is such a joy to pass by homes and see a Menorah or Chanukah decorations hanging in the window.


This year, I invite you to display the Chanukah lights even brighter outside your home as we transform the physical darkness of night into the spiritual light of Jewish pride and joy.

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