This week’s Parshah begins with G-d’s Command to Aaron “raise the flames of the Menorah.” Today, we can still light the Menorah by fulfilling our G-d given mission to illuminate our surroundings. We can be a “walking menorah,” and shine our light worldwide. This is especially relevant to women and girls who are entrusted with the important role to usher in the light of Shabbos every week. We are the Lamplighters of the world.
If we only have enough candles to light the candles for Shabbos or the Chanukah Menorah, which takes precedence?
The answer is that the Shabbos candles take precedence because we must begin spreading light by lighting up ourselves and our home.The first step is to light up ourselves: The question to ask, “Am I kindled? Am I lit up?
When we are lit up from the inside, we can begin to spread our light further.
We ignite our inner flame each day through prayer, Torah study, and fulfilling mitzvot.
The second step is to illuminate our environment. When our soul is lit up, we illuminate our home. We spread joy, love and inspire our family members in our Jewish home. Our unique light spreads from our home to light up the whole world!
THREE JGU THEME SONGS [of 2015, 2016, 2017] allude to THREE STEPS TO LIGHTING UP OUR WORLD: JGU Theme Song 2015: SHINE YOUR INNER LIGHT composed by Rivka Leah Popack and Sponsored by Linda & Ory Schwartz.
The theme of the song is to trust and shine your inner light. We can all turn night into day.
JGU Theme Song 2016:
ONE MORE LIGHT composed by Rivka Leah Popack and sponsored by Miriam Yerushalmi.
Step Two is to shine “One More Light”: Focus on ONE person, One More Light; make a personal connection and touch ONE soul. Focus on your unique light and share it with One. This is Your One More Light. Encourage ONE person to shine their inner light. Invite One Jewish Woman to light Shabbos Candles.
1+1 = 5! One person’s energy added to one other person’s energy generates exponential synergy.
LISTEN HERE [Sung by the JGR Campers]
JGU Theme Song 2017:
LIGHT UP THE WORLD composed by Thalia Hakin o”bm, Sponsored by the Seymour Fox Foundation, Melody by Rivka Leah Popack, Produced by Sam Glazer.
Shine Your Inner Light and One More Light leads to Light Up The World. Thalia Hakin o’bm wrote these words for the JGU Candle Lighting Writing Contest 2016. Tragically her life was cut short when she was 9 years old and her eternal words inspire us: “Light up a Neshama and Light up the world and make it a better place for everybody.”
I am so excited that our upcoming songbook, “Voices in Harmony” is being currently designed by Leah Caras. It will include these three songs and many many more. Through song, we can light up the world!
Wishing you a Shabbat filled with light, love and song!
Nechama is the founder & director of the Jewish Girls Retreat, and Jewish Girls Unite. She is also a Judaic consultant and educator, Bat Mitzvah teacher for over 20 years. Nechama is a mentor, public speaker and author of numerous creative curricula. She teaches for Jewish Girls Unite where you can meet her online. Nechama and her husband, Rabbi Avraham Laber, are the co-directors of Chabad of S. Rensselaer County and have lived in the Capital District since 1996. They are the proud parents of 10 children KH.