Tonight is the last night of Chanukah, and perhaps ironically, we are also ringing in the New Year 2017. During this past week, I have had the opportunity to lead Beth El’s wonderful Shirenu Chorus in singing Peter Yarrow’s “Light One Candle” and I have had the opportunity to reflect about what it means to light one candle.
The world seems so tumultuous these days, and so many people have been experiencing a feeling of being out of control, and witnessing a world that seems to be spinning in frightening directions. Many people have talked to me about this, and this has been my response:
I can’t control the world; I can’t fix it or change it. I may voice my concerns and my outrage wherever possible, but even that may leave me with a feeling of helplessness. However, I can control my world. I can bring light to people around me. And I can do this every single day of my life. One person at a time.
Can you take a moment to think of a time when one of your actions or your words changed someone else’s life? Did you bring someone out of the darkness and shadows and into the light? Do you know that sometimes just a smile can change someone’s life, or that just listening to someone going through a hard time can be transformative—for you and for them?
Psalms 119:105 reads: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Just as God’s words are a light for us, our words—as well as our actions—can be a light for someone else.
So be a light for just one person. Every day. Light up the world… one candle at a time.
Wishing you love, joy and blessings in 2017!