Light and Darkness
Last month we began the Torah from the beginning again.
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
We also recently changed the clocks back an hour on the East coast, so now it's at about 6:30am that we watch the miracle of darkness turning to light each day. It's amazing how fast it happens. Just a blink of an eye. Sometimes, we go from darkness to light, and sometimes from light to darkness, in just the blink of an eye. The biggest things in life often seem to happen so quickly in our minds. I have recently remarked numerous times about how quickly, the slowest year ever has gone by. Time has seemingly stopped in a way since March 2020, yet it seems like this all has taken forever to go so quickly. Yet a year has gone by and we have just started a new Jewish New Year and are about so start an American New Year.
We know the only consistent thing in life is change. This is the time of year many of us reflect on that change. In the coming year, are we going from darkness to light or light to darkness? For many, I hope we are going from darkness to light. And I hope it happens in the blink of an eye.
We control that if we really think about it. We choose darkness and light, although sometimes it doesn't seem that way. How we perceive joy and obstacles dictates the darkness and light in our lives. During these trying time, many are reflecting on the darkness. We hear about how lonely everyone is. We hear about the fact that families and friends are separated, especially in the most trying of times. We hear that people are without work and stuck at home. Everyone is miserable.
There are times that it feels like we take 2 steps forward to move 3 steps back. I think that now we need to do the reverse. We need to take a few steps back so that we can move forward. We need to embrace the darkness to move into the light.
I recently found myself watching an old tv show – Little House on the Prairie. They had no
electric, no internet, no a/c, no atm machines or online banking. They woke when the sun rose and slept when the sun set. They lived and worked with their families in small spaces and didn't need a she-shed to use as an at home office. They didn't email or text, they spoke to each other – in person! There was no uber or doordash, people grew, harvested, cleaned, prepared and cooked their own food. No extra pesticides, preservatives or chemicals. They ate healthy and didn't need “diets”. They moved constantly and did not need “gyms”. They didn't need “no-makeup selfies”, they lived it.
Biblically, each time there was a major life change, the people of the times took it to mean that G-d was unhappy with their lives, and they were meant to change to a way that would be more pleasing to The Almighty. Maybe that wasn't so far fetched. In the blink of an eye, we can embrace the light in out current situation. Families are staring to talk to each other again. They are working harder to communicate in a more effective manner, and are starting to realize the benefit of that communication. They are cooking meals together and eating them together. They are playing cards and board games together instead of video games and solitare separately. Parents are helping children with homework again. There is value in all of that.
There is light in it. If we let ourselves, we can find joy in that sharing and togetherness.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful donors and sponsors that keep us finding the light. We are especially lucky that we will be celebrating this year's “festival of lights" because of some special people. Special thanks to the Gould family for underwriting the contents of our Chanukah gift bags. Thank you to Sharon Littman, Marci Gaeser and Penny Goldstein for stuffing the bags and adding extra treats. Thank you to our Friends board for their assistance. Thank you to Debi Covert, from Providence Senior Living, for the beautiful Chanukah decorations. Thank you to the Harper Family Foundation for sponsoring Jewish Pavilion Chanukah celebrations.
This holiday season, I hope you find the light too. This is a time to remember that there are
miracles. Now would be a good time for some. Happy Chanukkah.