Light Up the Lights: Find Your Renewal this Chanukah

Happy Chanukah to all those who celebrate and for those who do not, you too can find meaning in the candles burning bright. I heard Rabbi Barak Bar-Chaim speak on the first night of Chanukah, and what he said, out of all the speeches at that outdoor Chanukah event, was the most meaningful to me.

He said that as we light the candles, we begin anew. It does not matter about the past mistakes or fumbles in our life. We are renewed. We look at that flame, we forgive ourselves, and we start over. With each night, we get closer to our whole self — who and what we want to be, and we are refreshed.

Just as the Maccabees won the battle for freedom and then cleaned out the Holy Temple of all that defamed it, we too can do that to our lives, our spirit, our soul, and our motivations. With Chanukah, they found a small vessel of oil only to last one day, yet it lasted eight. And with that, we know that with each day forward the growth we personally make is greater.

I remember when I wanted to get a grandchild to stop the habit of sucking their thumb, so we could start braces that would work. I said it takes 21 times repeating something to break a bad habit. With each day of ups and downs, the conviction to move forward became greater. Of course, It included a trip to grandma’s house in Florida.

With the Chanukah lights, we investigate the flame and we see renewal. Just like on the television show “Survivor,” the most essential element is fire for survival. Yet, the wildfires uncontained bring devastation. Last night on the “Conners,” Dan burned Roseanne’s furniture because he could not bear to give it away for less than the value. Yet, the family was comforted by the fire emanating from the dumpster. After a devastating fire, we see organizations put up a fundraiser. We then see family, friends, and strangers come together to help.

In flames, we seek comfort. We begin again by watching a contained flame, and or we begin again after God forbid, a devastating one.

So light up the lights; and if you did not start on Chanukah day one, you have a few more. The last candle lighting is Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, the eighth night of Chanukah. 

For myself, I have 4 nights and 5 days for my motivational switch to be in full gear and I am getting there. I am taking baby steps of growth each night to begin again and add a little forgiveness. If you have lived, then you have regret. Get over it as best as you can and move forward. Wake yourself up with the Chanukah lights, sing a little, find a tune that makes you happy, and dance while straightening your living space. And you too can find renewal.

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