The Hebrew month of Kislev is one of the darkest months. The nights of Kislev are the longest. It seems as if the darkness overcomes the light.
But in fact the darkness and the light are mixed and this mixture guarantees the existence of normal routine.
Maimonides does not see the darkness as reality itself, but as the absence of light. According to his view there is only light, darkness is the reality created when removing the light.
I would like to connect this statement to the work I engage in – reflecting at the stories of our lives.
Earlier this month Haverut opened a course for therapists in Rosh Pina- “Working with life stories, “working with the stories of our lives where light and darkness are intertwined.
The advantage of light emerges from darkness. Darkness is not the absence of light, but another discovery altogether. Through the ability to reduce the light you can see its various hues.
According to this approach, darkness is actually a greater discovery then light.
There is no war on the darkness like in the Hannukah song “Banu Choshech Legaresh” (Chasing Darkness Away) but to make the darkness an experience, a possible reality for growth.
To turn it (the darkness) over and over, to deal with it, to make it the sense of transformation.
The entire process we have done in our lives to include the darkness is complete. The downside is part of the renewal in our lives, illuminating, bright, times of good, closeness and tangibility but also in dark times, vague times.
What is the relationship between these two times? Does one cancel the other? Or is there some acceptance among them?
Is it possible to sustain a life of light without darkness and darkness without light?
Another aspect that ties our spiritual work to the month Kislev is the hidden light.
Rabbi Elazar said:
“Light that God created on the first day – man watches it from the end of the world to end. As the Almighty looked at The Generation of the Flood and The Generation of Babel and saw that their actions were broken and shelved them. Shelved for whom? The future Righteous men.”
Chassidim asked: Where are they shelved?
He replied: In the Torah.
They (The Hassidim) asked: Id so, the righteous will find nothing of the shelved (hidden) light when they learn Torah?
He replied (Rabbi Elazar): They will find and find.
They asked: If so, what will the righteous do when they find something from the Hidden Light of the Torah?
He replied: Incorporate it in their lives.
Based on the Midrash Shemot Rabbah, – Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim – Hasidic stories, Schocken Books.
The Hidden Light shelved and hidden by God is in all of us.
We must find it, recognize it and illuminate it.
“Everyone must know and understand that inside him burns a candle and no candle is the same as another. And no man is without a candle. Everyone must know and understand that he must strive to discover the communal candlelight and turn it into a great torch to illuminate the whole world . ”
The adage about candle light is attributed to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook .
We will bless ourselves at the beginning of this month that we will know to create light and create darkness.
We know how to recreate ourselves every day with shadows and lights.