Just after we lit candles on the first night of Hanukkah, news broke of the school massacre in Peshawar. I sat gazing at the little single flickering flame and tried to process the horrifying news. Irrational acts of terror such as this make us feel utterly helpless. But they also ignite in us strong passions; anger and hatred towards the perpetrators. We feel like unleashing a firestorm. Yet this is neither practical nor meaningful. Looking at the small Hanukkah flame burning brightly amid the surrounding darkness, its message became clear.  We must channel our burning, passionate anger and use it to kindle the light that resides deep within each of us. “God’s candle is the human soul” says proverbs (20:27).  A favourite saying of the Hasidic masters was “A little light can banish much darkness.” Hanukkah beckons us to dispel darkness through living our lives brightly. Each day adding a little more light, consistently, until our world, like our Hanukkah Menorah, is brightly illuminated.

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