‘Tis the Season of Light
Lights. Lights. Lights. It seems that this time of year there are lights everywhere. And it is no coincidence that virtually every society and every religion has some form of light festival going on right about now. There is Christmas for most of the Western world. There is Chanukah for Israel and Jews everywhere. There is Diwali for Hindus, Chaharshanbe Suri in Iran, and countless more religious and secular festivals of light everywhere.
Twinkling lights adorn trees both indoors and out, and buildings everywhere are spotted with clear and colored lights during the holiday season. There are lights decorating Christmas trees, candle lights of the Menorah lighting up house windows for Chanukah, Diwali lamps glowing and fireworks erupting in the streets, bonfires of Chaharshanbe Suri blazing, and many more.
The typical wisdom behind this is either a) a coincidence or b) because the nights get longer and darker and the ancients wanted to bring back the sun. But if we look a bit deeper, we will find that the need for lights and light is actually rooted into the psyche and DNA of mankind. Kabbalah explains that we love having lights all around us because we long for the Light—a metaphor for a sensation of Nature’s benevolence. For us, the experience of Nature on its highest level can only be described as spiritual Light. And the holiday season brings out the need in all of us to feel closer to that Light.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you light a Menorah, put up a tree, or have a bonfire. At the heart of the matter is the fact that deep inside, you are celebrating the goodness of Nature and your inner yearning to bring that extra bit of Light and happiness into this world. And that is a very good thing indeed.
‘Tis the Season to be jolly by the light of the Yule log, or as we spin our dreidel, or light the fireworks of Diwali, or as we eat sweets for our Iranian New Year. It’s one world we live in after all, and a very small one at that. We all have different holidays and traditions, but to Nature, we are all the same, like one small family.
So look up at the Northern Lights or the lights on Broadway and give a good cheer to your fellow men and women, starting this holiday season and ending never. If we only stop to feel Nature’s kind attitude toward all of us, we will notice how it is urging us to treat each other with the same good spirit of kindness, consideration, and Love.