While not my typical healthy food blog post, I wanted to convey a quick thought that I shared as a guest on Temple Isaiah’s Podcast yesterday. Click here to listen.
What is your favorite part of Chanukah? And how are you feeding your body and soul this holiday season?
Here’s what I shared yesterday:
Chanukah is great because it’s all about food, family and fun. There’s no extensive cleaning or planning like Passover; no solemn prayers or fasting like Yom Kippur; it’s really just about enjoying time with those we love around the beautiful candles, amidst a fun dreidel game or around the kitchen table enjoying some delicious homemade latkes; infusing our homes with the warmth and the delicious scents of this beautiful holiday; while being grateful for the great miracle that happened to our ancestors many years ago.
What’s most meaningful to me about Chanukah is the candles. I love the mitzvah of Shabbat candles, I love lighting candles around my home, so naturally I love the magic that comes into my home by lighting the Menorah each night. While fire can be destructive as unfortunately we’ve felt too close to home in LA this month, fire also has the ability to provide lots of healing. Fire helps us burn away what we no longer need in our lives or what we’re holding on to in our hearts that it’s time to let go of. Fire brings warmth, fire sparks passion, fire brings comfort, and all it takes is a little flame, a little light to illuminate a dark room.
We live in a tough world today, with senseless acts of terrorism, with poverty, with too much cancer and illness. We can choose to focus on the darkness around us OR…we can choose to dispel the darkness by adding a little bit of light, which I believe is what Chanukah is all about. As we light the Chanukah candles this week, let’s escort our world to light, bringing light to those around us, to those who may not know how to get out of their own darkness. Let the Chanukah lights also illuminate our personal lives, dispelling any sorrow or pain we’re carrying and bring us only happiness and joy; that not only lasts for 8 days…but throughout the 365 days of the year.
And just as our Chanukah tradition teaches us to add an “additional” light each night, let’s each commit in the coming year to daily growth. Let’s commit to add more light and kindness and be a better person with every passing day than we were the day before.
When we elevate and illuminate our own lives, we elevate and illuminate the world around us.