This week’s music: https://youtu.be/UWOz_gWJXP4
It’s Rosh Chodesh Kislev tonight and that means that the light of Chanukah is “mamash” at our doorstep. That’s our signal to get ready. Rav Eliyahu Dessler reminds us that every one of our major holidays has at least a 30 day period which signals the time to prepare. We have the month of Elul prior to Rosh Hashanah which signals the beginning of this intense period of “return” to Hashem’s ways. Purim is our reminder that Pesach is coming upon us in 30 days. Shavuot has entire seven weeks where we count each day in preparation for once again receiving the Holy Torah.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev is that reminder that in 25 days The Light of Chanukah will be shining upon us. Somehow, says Rav Dessler, we seem to think that the only ones fitting to receive this great light are our “36 Holy Tzadikim,” righteous ones, that exist in every generation, (which by the way, is the exact number of total of lights which we kindle during the eight days of Chanukah). Not so, teaches Rav Dessler. This is not reserved for “tzadikim” only. Each and every one of us can merit to see and experience this coming light.
The best way to ensure that no one will be left out, he continues, is to unite all of our souls in a spirit of “simchah,” joy and harmony. We must connect to each other and be holy influences on the souls of those close to us.
One of the beautiful practical aspects of this Chanukah light for us all is, as Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev explains, it’s serving to allow us to see with great clarity the results of our “sealing” on Yom Kippur. What was my decree for this year?
On Chanukah, in a sense, we are offered “new glasses” by Hashem, bringing us new clearer insights to things we may have known, but overlooked, misjudged or simply ignored in the past. They were present, but perhaps we weren’t. Chanukah as Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev teaches us, is the end of the intense “t’shuvah period” which started on Rosh Chodesh Elul 3 months ago. On Chanukah we are receiving a very special gift. Yet another chance! How beautiful is it that “davka” at this time of great darkness, both physical and spiritual, Hashem offers us this gift of new light with even further clarity that we can use to see ourselves and all that is around us. Clarity of honesty that enables us to see who I really am, so that in turn, I can fix who I am. Clarity so that I can see all the good in my friends that I may have missed until now. Clarity of knowing my place in Hashem’s world
We all need this clarity to know how to connect to each other and ultimately to be successful in our quest to cling to Hashem.
Friends, with everything that is going on in the world today, all the extremes, the hatred, the fighting, the greed, the world is literally spinning around like a runaway train.
It almost seems as if Hashem is getting ready for Chanukah by spinning the world around like a “dreidel.” What can we do? How can we feel secure and protected with everything that is happening? We can use His light to see our direction and listen attentively as He is calling. It is like Hashem is saying to us, my children, as things are spinning in turmoil all you need to do is hold on to each other and then latch on to me, and you will experience the spinning with great clarity. No need to reserve this luxury for the righteous ones alone. Everyone is invited to this holy family party.
The gift of Chanukah is on the way. May we be blessed to receive it “bsimchah” and allow it to wipe out all darkness in our lives, both the physical and the spiritual that we are experiencing.
May we all be blessed with great clarity this month and find our way to connect our souls with “simchah” and great unity, as we turn together, soul to soul, to Hashem for His love and protection.