Be a Light

Father and teenage son lighting menorah

Be a light unto the nations.” —Isaiah

When a child sees the parent and runs into her arms with the biggest smile on his face, the child’s unmitigated happiness and the parent’s full heart shines a light unto the nations.
When a relative from another country comes to visit, walks through customs and up the ramp to see you waiting there—the happiness, excitement, and love on his face, shines a light unto the nations.
When a child who lives in another state calls a parent to see how he is doing, the parent feels loved and validated and the child shines a light unto the nations.
When a neighbor’s home is destroyed and you welcome her into your home, she knows she is cared for you shine a light unto the nations.
When you witness someone being victimized and you stand up against the perpetrator, the victim feels protected and validated, you shine a light unto the nations.
When you help a child who is struggling with a task and coach her through her struggles so she can achieve success, you shine a light unto the nations.

When you give of your time and resources simply to better the world with no expectation in return, humanity benefits and you shine a light unto the nations.
When you treat people respectfully, remembering that we are all created “Betzellem Elohim” and are all worthy beings, you shine a light unto the nations.

Chag Chanukah Samayach!

 

SUE PENN IS a contributing writer to Jlife magazine and the director of Congregational Learning at university synagougue. she is known for being an innovative educator.

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