Chanukah: You are Loved

Imagine you walk into a magic store where they sell special flashlights equipped with magic lights of different kinds. For example, you can buy the light of science, and when you point that flashlight at your hand, you see not a hand, but cells and blood vessels and tendons and ligaments. Or you can buy the light of art, and you point that flashlight at your hand, you see your hand as if it were a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci – you see form, and color, and texture.


The great Kabbalist and philosopher, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, living at the turn of the century wrote, “There is faith that is actually denial, and there is denial that is actually faith.”

Get the Point?

In one of my seminars I asked everyone to look around the room and point to beauty. The first interesting result was that everyone pointed to something different. One man pointed to his wife. Another man pointed to a flower. A woman named Bea pointed to a glass menorah (a Hanukkah candelabra) that was sitting on a windowsill. I asked Bea how she saw beauty in that menorah. Did she see beauty with her physical eyes?

Like Never Before

There is a wonderful fable about the dove. Originally doves, so the tale goes, had no wings. One poor dove was being constantly harassed by a lion. Every day the lion would run after the dove, and the dove would just barely escape.

One day the dove prayed to God: “God, I’m a little dove. I can’t outrun this lion every day. One of these days he’s going to catch me. I need help. Please, God, help me.”

Meet and Greet the Unique

When I was in high school, I went with a couple of friends to a hip cafe in downtown Toronto. The cafe had live folk music, so we went to hear the musicians. There we were, sitting at a table, trying to decide what to order. When the waitress came, I was still engrossed in looking at the menu. Finally, I looked up to order, and I shrieked, “Mrs. Hobbs!” I couldn’t believe my eyes—it was Mrs. Hobbs, my math teacher. I had seen her just that day in math class. The shock of seeing her in this totally different context dumbfounded me.

God Does Not Exist

The general way people understand God is that there’s existence, and then there’s God in existence. Within that existence God has created little you and me. And so here we are in existence, standing alongside Almighty God. With that picture before our eyes, we cannot help but feeling very small, insignificant, threatened.