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A Bisl Torah – Extinguish or Ignite

May this be the year in which your spark is brighter than ever.
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December 14, 2023
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It is easy to extinguish one’s flame. Think of how many times we experienced an uplifting day only to be quashed by one person’s negative words or insults. In receiving a job evaluation, we tend to focus only on suggested improvements instead of words of praise. Our tendency is to allow our light to go out. Be it from comments or mood, we allow someone else to determine how bright our light will shine. And yet, our tradition encourages the nourishment of one’s own inner spirit. We control whether someone else dims our spark. Instead, we can choose to ignite the flames within.

Rav Kook teaches, “Every person must know and understand that deep within them a candle burns, and their candle is unlike the candle of any other. There is no person without a candle. Every person must know and understand that it is upon them to toil and reveal the light of their candle for others. They must kindle them into a great torch that will illuminate the entire world.”

It is on us whether our light will be revealed. We cede too much power to others. The choice is ours: extinguish or ignite?

May this be the year in which your spark is brighter than ever. We need your light.

Happy Hannukah and Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Nicole Guzik is senior rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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