My favorite part of Hanukkah has always been lighting the menorah. Little can compare to the starry-eyed wonder I felt as a young girl, watching the flames together in all their glory for the first time. What I love most about the menorah is that we don’t light each candle individually with a match. Rather, the single helper candle, shammash, is what brings light to all the others. It taught me from a young age that you, as one person, can create something bigger and more beautiful than yourself, just by sharing a little bit of light.
This type of selfless and community-centered attitude has always been the fabric that binds me to my Judaism, and the mindset by which I try to live my life. During a time where we are facing so much uncertainty and fear, I take comfort in the warm and familiar ideals of Judaism: community, family, tikkun olam [repairing the world], tzedakah and kindness. My faith has carried me through these hard times, and the principles by which I live my life have helped me bring comfort to others, as well.
This holiday season, as we face more darkness than usual, remember to share your light with others. By doing so, you will create something beautiful in our community.
Anna Levy is the online content coordinator for the Atlanta Jewish Times.