Our synagogue was selected by the JCC to light the community menorah on the first night of Hanukkah. I left work early to get us there by 5 PM, and we stood in 25°F weather as the program started. My little guy was huddled next to me amongst the crowd, trying to stay warm and singing from the song sheet I held. My teenager, being a teenager, was standing a little behind the crowd, listening, but in his own space.
After a quick story and a few songs, it was time to light the first night candle and sing the blessings, and much to my surprise, who climbed the ladder to light the candle?
My 13-year-old son.
I wonder sometimes if my sons could possibly fathom how much I love them and how proud I am of the young Jewish men they’re becoming . . .
Sometimes bodies made of water become so dense and dark that they cast shadows in the light that could have passed through them.
The goal of a spiritual life (while living in these bodies that are 3/4 water) is to not cast shadows. Instead, we must work every day to let the Light and Love pass through us to all those we encounter.