Let There Be Light

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Based on a fascinating Sichah, this speech encourages us to recognize our strengths as a tool for growth and upgrading our Jewish observance. In life, all of us strike out from time to time. Don’t focus on the strikes. Focus on what we do right and build on it. This vital lesson is brought to life with engaging anecdotes, jokes and teachings, including:

  • The humorous tale of the gentile at the High Holiday Service
  • Two lines from Shakespeare ("that's all the Shakespeare they taught us in Yeshivah...")
  • A Harvard study about the hotel industry
  • The failing athlete who saw himself as a success
  • The brilliant strategy that helped solve hunger in a third-world country
  • The moving tale of an unemployed Pole who defied the Nazis

Just as it is critical to find the light in yourself, it is also vital to find and nurture the light in others. The Talmud tells us: “Before a baby is born, an angel appears in his mother’s womb, and holds a lighted lamp before him so that he can see, מסוף העולם ועד סופו , from one end of the world to the other end of the world.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? A Jew, before he or she is even born, is shown the truth that his concern must be with the entire world. From one end of the world to the other you must bring light.

As Jews, our task is to bring the light of love and G-dliness into the world. And the best way to do this is not by focusing on what’s wrong in our community, or what’s wrong with our spouse or children. Rather, we must focus on the bright spots and nurture them. This year let's choose to be a "lamplighter," to ourselves and to the world around us.

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