Lights & The Art of Giving

Lights & The Art of Giving

Chanukah is traditionally referred to as the festival of lights. Speaking of the laws of this holiday, the codifiers of Jewish law strongly suggest that we increase the giving of charity during these special days. Giving charity is always a commendable act, yet the relationship between these two, the festival of lights and the art of giving is quite profound, and intrinsically connected.

Light contains an amazing quality in that it brings warmth, comfort, and illumination, and yet, as much as it gives to others it retains its perfect wholeness; so long as a flame flickers it has the potential to kindle as many lights as possible without detracting from its own luminescence

We live in a physical tangible reality and therefore assume that by taking something of ours, or something that we believe belongs to us and giving it to another, we are in effect, reducing what we have. If you have ten dollars and you give one to the poor now you have only nine. But our reality is but a creation of a higher reality, one in which the laws of nature have no bearing. In this ‘true’ reality, charity is much like a flame. Offering what seems to be something of yours to others does not subtract from what is actually yours and what you possess; in fact the more you give the more you have, and the more you get.

There is a verse in the Torah that says, “Asser Te’asser” which literally means, “and you shall surely tithe.” Yet the Talmudic sages tell us; that the redundancy of this verse is intentional, asser – tithes so that you may tith’asser – become wealthy. By giving you get more in return, and the more you give the more you actually have.

“The soul of man is a lamp of G-d”, the wisest of all men, king Solomon tell us. The soul is our higher self, the part of us that is our potential. Our souls are the background of our being, not a property we posses, rather who we are, it does not belong to us, it is us.

When we open our hearts to others we tap into the essence of who we are, and our light is shared with others and the whole world to enjoy.


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