The lightbulb inside this fresnel lens

Fresnel Lens

This is a close-up of the fresnel lens lit with a small lightbulb

When people think about light, most think about light bulbs, the sun or candles. I think of lighthouses. This month the theme is light and spreading light throughout the world. Not too far from my house there is a lighthouse. Lighthouses are quite fascinating to me. They are also symbolic of a Neshama – a soul.

Lighthouses are buildings which house and spread light to people at sea, so they can find their way to shore even in the dark or during storms. Inside a lighthouse, there is a small light. Years ago it was a gas lantern. Nowadays, lighthouses are lit with small lightbulbs. Since, the light is small and a person couldn’t see the light that far out, lighthouse keepers used mirrors to reflect the light. In 1823, they started using a fresnel lens that was designed at the end the 18th century, but wasn’t used at first. The fresnel lens has many different angles and layers.  Up close, the light may seem small, but further out, the light looks brighter. The lens magnifies the light.

Fresnel lens bulb

Looking at the lightbulb through the door of the fresnel lens




Lighthouse in the daytime.

Lighthouses hold the light. So do we. Doing mitzvot is like the fresnel lens it helps spread Hashem’s light. Even when a person can’t see the lighthouse, he or she can see the light emanating from it. So too, even when a person can’t see us or doesn’t know us, he or she can see Hashem’s light, which we are spreading with each and every mitzvah.