The most glowing example of how we’re all candles, which increase the light when we light the candles of others, occurred during Cheshvan. I was hosting my monthly online Zoom Rosh Chodesh group, mostly made up of women from my synagogue Temple Beth Tikvah. Since the onset of the pandemic, Jewish women from other temple communities have joined us.
It was the night after the presidential election and everyone was feeling anxious, waiting for the results. We did our usual introductions of our female lineage before I facilitated our mediation about floating on a raft in the ocean being tethered to G-d. A discussion followed that shifted the energy of agitated depression to one of hope and joy! We all seemed to come up for air, as if we’d been submerged underwater, and took the deepest breath we’ve had all year. We were aligned, not necessarily with our unspoken political views, but as a Jewish community of women. Together, we agreed that regardless of the outcome, if we stayed tethered to Hashem, all would be well.
Next, we did a journaling exercise, listing all of the things for which we’re grateful that came from the changes COVID brought. Nearly 20 women shared, and we discovered that one is learning to speak Yiddish, another is playing with makeup for Zoom calls, another is learning to cook, and another has developed a walking regimen. The space became a blaze of light and hope, fostering unity and inspiration. Divine sparks were fanned that ignited into flames.
I acknowledge that many people at this time do feel steeped in darkness. Sometimes the room is filled with light, but if you’re facing in another direction, you don’t see it. Making a slight turn can make all of the difference. So if you feel alone in the dark, please reach out, or if you know someone in the dark, take a moment to connect them to a source of light.
Operated 24/7, 365 days a year, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Dr. Terry Segal writes a regular column, New Moon Meditations, for the Atlanta Jewish Times. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist.