Barnes in candlelight
The nights are long, in this season. Imagine what it was like when there were no electric lights.
Never mind imagine – we don’t have to go far to find a lot of people living it. I just finished Max Alexander’s Bright Lights No City, about his brother’s new business selling affordable rechargeable batteries to those who live without reliable electricity in Ghana. At night the schoolchildren struggle to study, without electricity.
There’s a reason it’s also known as “power.”
When I was a child, we had electricity. So for us it was a novelty, not a life-thwarting limitation, when we turned off the overheads for Chanukah.
The two candles became three, then four, and the light grew and grew until, on the eighth night, all nine candles blazed forth from the front-room window.
I think of that now as a metaphor, for the wisdom that one candle lighting another loses nothing of itself – it only gains.
There is a principle in Judaism that we, in partnership with the Creator, are here to heal the world’s pain and to light the world’s darkness. In Hebrew it’s “tikkun olam.”
So let the miracle we wish for in this house, on this seventh night of the Festival of Lights, be that the light may grow, from this season and this place on and on and on, to illuminate the whole world. May our share only increase, from this little light, this modest warmth.
Bowie in Belgium — he knows how.
Bugsy in Arkansas — he knows how.
We share this night with Darlene over at PerPETually Speaking, so do please hop on over there now — and we’re handing off the flame, tomorrow, to the last (no! no! say it isn’t so!) Chanukah post: Layla at Cat Wisdom 101.