Countdown To Chanukah 30 – Safe Place
“And my soul is removed far off from peace, I forgot prosperity” (Lamentations 3:17). What is: And my soul is removed far off from peace? Rabbi Abbahu said: That is the lack of opportunity to engage in kindling the Shabbat lights, which a refugee is unable to do (Shabbat 25b).
הדלקת נר בשבת – שלא היה לו ממה להדליק ובמקום שאין נר אין שלום שהולך ונכשל והולך באפילה
Rashi: They lacked any means to light as they were exiled. In a place without light there is no sense of peace because one cannot see where one is walking.
A house without light is considered a house without peace.
A home in which people cannot see where they are walking is a home without Shalom, Shleimut (Wholeness). When we can mistakenly bump against each other in the dark and cause one another to fall, our home is not a safe place. When we must constantly be on guard, we are not able to feel Whole.
What was the Land of Israel without the Light of the Menorah? Were we able to live in peace in a world of darkness?
Were we able to safely negotiate relationships in a world darkened by tension and conflict?
Did we have a sense of wholeness when the Beit Hamikdash did not afford illumination?
No wonder the Talmud, second chapter of Shabbat, connects the Chanukah Menorah with Shabbat candles.
Both focus on creating a sense of safety in our world, our home.
Both afford illumination of priorities and values.
Both represent a conscious effort to live with a sense of God’s Light – offered to us as our potential – both center us during times of darkness and conflict.
Shabbat Shalom and May you have an Illuminating Countdown to Chanukah.