Tonight we’re celebrating the first night of Hanukkah, known as the Holiday of Lights. In its core, Hanukkah is a holiday about religious freedom. Today I want to bring up a different aspect.
I remember one song that was my favorite growing up. It goes like this: Banu choshes l’garesh, beyadenu or v’esh..“We have come to chase the dark. In our hands is light and fire. Each of us is a small light but together we have such might. Go away darkness go away, we now have a bran new day.”
Regardless of your holiday celebration, if you’re religious or not, if you are Jewish, Christian or any other religion, this season is about bringing the light.
I went for a walk this morning with my dog while it was still a bit dark and it was magnificent to see all the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. It warms my heart! And I am a proud Jew! No conflict from my perspective.
I truly believe the bringing light is our task in this life. So much so that I placed it as the closing entry in my book Moments of The Heart. You see, darkness is a state of being, we cannot create that. In the book of Genesis 1:1 it is stated that the world started with darkness. All we can do, as humans, is bring light. Light into someone’s life, light shed unto a situation. As the song describes, each one of us is a small light, and while we can bring light into someone else’s life, the more lights we gather around us, the more the world will be bright. Right now, the world needs our collective light.
So what does that mean to bring light? What exactly is light? Positivity. That is the light that we are encouraged to bring. If you have read or followed me for a while you know I’m going to bring Hebrew into it, right? So, here you go: Did you know that the word for positive,חיובי the word must חייב, and the word owe חובה share the same Hebrew roots? Hebrew roots are three letters that are regarded as the foundation of the word. When the same three letters appear in other words, there is an underlying meaning. So what is the meaning, the connection, between these words? Can you put them into a sentence?
Positivity is a must. We must be positive. We owe it to be positive. Why?
The simple way to addressing it is answering the opposite question. Would you want to be negative? Would you choose negativity as your way of life? Would you choose to be sad, afraid, angry, overwhelmed, disappointed, anxious—I’m sure you can come up with a few more negative feelings. Of course not, we don’t choose to be negative. Sometimes we don’t choose to be positive either. We fall back on the automatic behaviors, feelings, and emotions that are most familiar to us. I call it our “go to behaviors.”
Positivity is a choice. Getting up in the morning, looking forward to what the day brings, choosing to be kind and courteous to other people around, all are choices. And the choice is always ours. I love saying that “positivity is an inside-out concept. Your inner light shows itself in your outer behavior and emotions. Positivity is the decision that you make, the practice in which you engage yourself. It is the mental fitness that you choose. The more you work on it, the more you become it.
This season is inviting us to not only reflect on our own light (our inner positivity) but to make it shine outwardly and to bring it with us wherever we go.
We are in one of the darkest times of our modern history. Probably the hardest time most of us have lived through. Every small light, “kol echad hoo or katan (as the songs goes)” brings enormous light. I invite you to join me and others and bring light into this world, this universe, today. Tomorrow. And forever.