Creating Light this Season

We light candles in so many of our rituals: when we observe, when we commemorate, when we celebrate, and when we remember.

On Chanukah, we light candles to celebrate the miracle of light. And while the concept of miracles can certainly feel dubious these days, a very smart man named Albert Einstein once said: “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” And on Chanukah, we choose to believe in miracles.

Mauve colored menorah with red candles in each candleholder resting on white marble table with small green and purple plant to the left

Chanukah is a laid back holiday – absent of some of our more serious rituals because the only observance is the lighting of the candles (perhaps this is a small miracle). In normal times (versus these strange times) it’s a holiday to see friends and family, eat, and light the Chanukiah together. But the only requirement of Chanukah is to create light.

This year, our menorahs may not be surrounded by as many loved ones as they have in years past, but they will be just as bright. In fact, more menorahs will probably be lit this season as we celebrate from home, creating more light than ever. A simple holiday that reminds us of our ability to create light all around us, not just on Chanukah but year round, whether that’s lighting Shabbat candles or birthday candles, we’re empowered to create light in the world.

Dana Hollar Schwartz is the founder of Via Maris, a Judaica brand making contemporary tools for observing traditions.

OneTable empowers people who don’t yet have a consistent Shabbat dinner practice to build one that feels authentic, sustainable, and valuable. The OneTable community is funded to support people (21-39ish), not in undergraduate studies, and without an existing weekly Shabbat practice, looking to find and share this powerful experience.

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