Cities of Light #sharethelights

Thursday, 19 November, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Last Friday afternoon, as we prepared to greet the Sabbath Queen, we were getting a stream of news reports regarding the attacks in Paris. Indeed it seemed as though a great darkness had descended over “the city of lights.”

It may not be as well known, but there is another city that is associated with light. The Midrash (BR 59:8) states: “Jerusalem is the light of the world. And who is the light of Jerusalem? The Holy One Blessed be He.” So the real city of lights is Yerushalayim. It too has come under attack, albeit a slow steady drip of attacks rather than the blitz the Paris experienced.

So how do we restore the light to these cities of light? How do we combat the darkness brought to the world by these agents of darkness and their black flags? King Solomon offers us an insight in Proverbs (6:23), “For a Mitzvah is a candle and Torah is light.” Simply put, every Mitzvah is a beacon of light that combats the darkness. Each time Torah is studied, that force of light pushes away much darkness.

While most of us do not have a direct impact on the political or military solutions to this force of darkness, each and every one of us contains the power to unleash mighty forces of illuminating energy through the Torah and Mitzvot in which we engage.

I would like to make two practical suggestions. One in the area of Torah learning and the other in Mitzvah performance.

On Monday, November 30 we will have an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by a popular young lecturer, Rabbi Dov Greenberg. He will be giving a talk at Chabad House entitled, My Beloved Knocks – How the Rebbe empowered our generation. You will not regret taking the time to attend. He is a great speaker. But on top of that, the light of the Torah shared that night can help suppress the darkness that is threatening the cities of light all around the world.

The following week, the festival of lights – Chanukah begins. Two years ago the worldwide Chabad movement launched the hashtag #sharethelights. Hundreds of thousands of Jews shared their Chanukah observances with others using #sharethelights. So this year, make sure you light your Menorah each night of Chanukah and share the photo of your Chanukah lights with #sharethelights. Furthermore please attend one of the many Chanukah programs such as Chanukah @ Riverwalk, on Sunday, December 6 4:30-6:30 PM. Please contact Chabad for any of your Chanukah needs and remember to #sharethelights.

“A little light pushes away a lot of darkness.” – Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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