The question for tonight’s 5th candle is: What five people inspire you, or bring you light? One way we receive light in our lives is from people we admire. You might be impressed by someone’s courage or compassion or how they confront challenges. They could be people you know personally or someone you’ve not met.
Having people in our lives who can be a “north star” for us and light our way make life meaningful.
Perhaps you, too, are a light for someone else.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook writes:
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.
5th night of Hanukkah question:
Which 5 people inspire you or bring you light?
- Both of our sons, now adults, inspire me. It’s incredible to get to a stage of life where our boys have created their own lives, successes, and relationships. Our oldest son created an entirely new niche of life coaching for creators. I marvel at his perseverance and he always makes me laugh. I admire our younger son, Ben, for so many things: he’s become a world traveler, he excels at cooking, and woodworking (he just built a fence!), and he’s a marvel at spreadsheets.
- My colleague at the Northern California Board of Rabbis is Rabbi Nat Ezray. Working with him is a dream. I admire his ability to be focused, even-handed, compassionate, and thoughtful. As President of our board, Rabbi Ezray models how to prioritize what’s most important, and his book recommendations are always winners.
- In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that Representative Liz Cheney would be on my “most admired” list. She probably has voted against nearly every single thing I support. However, her ability to stand up for the truth in the January 6 investigations is meritorious. In doing so, she lost her seat in Congress and has had to live with the disdain of her colleagues. She has stood up for her convictions and in government, that says a lot.
- My cousin Nancy is another person on my most admired list. Nancy is selfless when it comes to her family and friends. She is always there for those she loves and will drop everything in order to be of support. Her loving compassion and ability to just show up are beautiful and inspiring.
- President Vlodomer Zelenskyy is an inspiration. Despite offers to escape Ukraine when it was invaded by Russia, he remained with his people to help them achieve victory over tyranny. His bravery reminds me of the great rabbis who made the decision to remain with their communities as they were shipped to concentration camps, like Rabbi Leo Baeck and Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira. That kind of courage are great lights that burns well after they are gone.
What about for you? Who inspires you?
For the Hanukkah candle blessings, click here.
Favorite latke recipe, click here.
Sylvia M Conant says
People I admire: 1. Rabbi Marcia Tilchin whose support, love, guidance have brought me back to my Judaism, my soul and my G_d. 2. My friend Bonnie who I consider a true Tzadik. She has a seemingly bottomless well of compassion and a true desire to help others. Moreover she has brought her children up in this way. 3. Rabbi Ilan Glazer who has done so much to forward the Jewish Recovery movement as founder and leader of Our Jewish Recovery. 4. Former President Jimmy Carter, possibly the most moral and honest president in the history of this country and still, in his late nineties is working with Habitat for Humanity. 5 My friend Toby who still in her seventies works tirelessly as she has done during her adult life on behalf of battered women and abused children.