Growing up, I observed my mom lit 7 candles every Friday evening. While it is a Jewish custom to light the Sabbath candles to symbolize the beginning of Sabbath (starting Friday evening), different people light different number of candles.
Some light two, as prescribed by our tradition, while others (such as my mom) light candles as the number of people in the family.
I have four other siblings, two parents, hence 7 candles!
Only recently I began reflecting on that tradition and the symbolism it offers us all, Jews and Non-Jews alike.
The light of self.
The light of others.
And no other time is more perfect to contemplate upon this message than now- as we enter the Season of Lights, where
people all over the globe are enjoying different tradition of celebrating lights.
What is it about light that our soul gravitates toward…?
For one, creating light is much better than the alternative, which is darkness! No one chooses darkness to be their state of existence. When I return from a late outing, and enter a dark home- what is the first thing I do upon entering..? Turn those lights on!
In Jewish tradition we learn that LIGHT ( “or”) was the first thing that was created (Check out the first couple of verses in the Bible, Genesis 1:2).
So, if light was the first thing to be created, can we create light in our day to day actions? Can WE be a source of light? What is it in our actions that light our (as well as other’s) way?
And, if I may– let’s also be frank…and vulnerable..
Sometimes we may feel that our light is dimmed. That we don’t shine as bright. That we have self- doubt, hesitation, fear, …and that cast a shadow on our light.
And that is precisely when the light of others become crucial.
Because their light helps us find our own. Their light brighten our own path, so we see where we are going.
Over the past weekend I read a Hebrew poem by Noam Chorev that addresses the Chanukah light and the one candle that is set apart, and assigned to light all other candles.
It is called Shamash, the helper.
This holiday of Chanukah recognizes that while it is worthy to be “the helper,” that light that assures all the other candles are lit, sometimes it is ok to be one of the other candles who are being lit.
Each one of us can be the Shamash, or one of the other candles at different times in our lives…
The important part is to be in proximity to the Shamash, to the helper, so we can all benefit.
When have you been the shamash in your life?
How have you brightened the way for others?
What support have your provided?
When do you need other’s light so you can rejuvenate?
In what ways have you personally benefited from others’ light?
Can you pay it forward?
If these messages resonate with you, and you want to delve deeper into these topics so your light shines brighter, I offer you to engage with me!
And we can do it in a few different ways:
1. Invite me to engage and interact with your team/employees/ leadership as a stand alone presentation or a series. A keynote speaker or your facilitator. The possibilities are endless!
2. Connect with me to go through the foundational building blocks of Positive Intelligence for you and/or your team. Let’s begin the conversation!