Why are human beings so afraid of the dark yet so attracted to the light?
On the surface the answer is simple.
The dark leaves us vulnerable and exposed, unable to spot any threats that may be lurking behind the scenes. With light on the other hand we are able to see what’s going on around us.
The mystics however go far deeper then this by explaining that all “light” is in fact a manifestation of divine energy. It therefore serves as the ultimate metaphor for G-d and all his attributes.
“Light” is therefore used by our great sages as the main metaphor for the “Torah” and it’s “Mitzvot”. For it is only through true wisdom that we can gain clarity in our lives helping us to navigate life’s journey. And so too it is with good deeds, for when we behave kindly and compassionately towards others, we are refining our character which in turn enables us to achieve healthy and sustainable relationships in our lives.
In fact the lessons we can derive from this metaphor of “light” are as infinite as “G-d himself. And that is why Chanukah which is the Festival of Lights resonates within us so deeply.
There is one main lesson however which reverberates throughout the story. In a nutshell it is; That each and every Jew has the potential to unlock within themselves an energy that transcends all natural boundaries. It is the ability to discover the infinite within the finite.
The application of this lesson is both huge and timely. Especially for Jews in exile.
The Jewish people have for millennia fought against all odds. No other people have fought such a sustained and overwhelming battle. And it doesn’t seem to ever stop.
This timeless lesson of Chanukah must therefore ring true today more then ever.
We look around us and the odds seem to be incredibly stacked up against us. We are “few” and they are “many”. We are “weak” and they are “strong”.
Yet the story of Chanukah teaches us to never be afraid of the “odds”. For the “odds” are “finite” and the Jew is embedded in “infinity”.
All we have to do is to discover and unlock our true potential.