Hallways, Third Light, Third Night
I lost the internet while Skyping the service with my SO. My son & daughter-in-law were on the phone, as the previous night. I had a mild case of panic as this happened, as losing her face robbed me of one of the pleasures I have as I look forward to this connection when she is unable to be with me in person. I was able to reconnect, but later, having already finished the service.
The lighting of the candles is doubly hard for me this year: I was in a fire, years ago, and having to light them myself (I’ve always had others around to strike the match, light the nightly candles, even light the old gas stove we still have). Since 1994 I have only lit a match less than a handful of times, and now I’m being required to do this every night of Chanukah.
Before someone says it: I wasn’t even thinking of an electric Menorah until last night’s difficulties, in lighting first the match and then the candles. I am contemplating getting one, but in the long run: I am looking at this as part of my process as well, to come to grips with all that I am feeling inside. This week is a further test of my having to move along and through the empty ways, moving from darkness into the light. Moving to being more self reliant, in so many different ways. I’m finding little things that I was not even aware that I was so dependent on others for doing or just being. Lessons to be learned, baby steps and big jumps over chasms.
The Rabbi gave me a story to read, along with all the other spiritual work:
This is the the tale of a Rabbi who lit two Menorahs nightly. One in a downstairs window, and one in an upstairs window: that one was filled with more oil, and lasted longer, and it was discussed and wondered about all through the town why he did such a thing. Finally, one man whose curiosity went beyond the behind the back questioning, visited the Rabbi.
When going upstairs with him for the second set of lighting, he stared into the flames, which lasted for quite awhile. In time, he got to see the faces of his father, grandfather, mother, grandmother, and more who had passed on. The experience brought tears and relevations to him, as those who dedicated the eight nights of lighting, who dedicated themselves to their families and God, were never truly gone. They were remembered and with him, as the Rabbi’s loved ones were with him as well…the upper lights just brought them closer to heaven.
Once passed along, everyone in this Rabbi’s influence took this on, and they shared the holiday with their past as well as their present. They did not walk down their hallways alone, but were surrounded by the memory presence and spirits of love.
I just thought I’d share that story, in my own way. The tale I read was “The Secret of the Menorah” which came from: The Dream Assembly: Tales of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, as retold by Howard Schwartz.
Posted on December 11, 2012, in Caring, Family, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Loneliness, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Uncategorized and tagged anscestors, caring, compassion, concern, coping, giving thanks, God, Hanukkah, hope, lighting candles, Loneliness, love, menorah, patience, pure soul, strength, understanding, unempolyment. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.