Don't Tell Me You're Tired
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I would love to bring the family to the Chanukah celebration tonight, but I am just too exhausted. This time of year is crazy at work and I think I will probably get home and collapse into a deep sleep on the couch. I know that's not much of a Chanukah but it's not as if I missed Rosh Hashana is it?
In some ways, Chanukah is even deeper than Rosh Hashana. Sleeping through it is not an option.
There are two ways to wake up a sleeping person. You can make a loud noise right next to them. Or you can turn on the lights and open the curtains. While the first method is more effective, the second is far kinder.
The same applies to a spiritual slumber. When we have become numb in our soul and running low on inspiration, we need to be woken up. And there are two ways to arouse a slumbering soul. One is the Rosh Hashana method, the other is the Chanukah approach.
On Rosh Hashana we blow the shofar, a loud wake up call that stirs us from even the deepest sleep. Its shrill blast calls us to be more spiritually alert and shakes us out of our complacency.
Chanukah is a time of great spiritual awakening too. But the Chanukah candles present a softer approach. Their flames touch us in a gentle and subtle way. The holy glow of the candles doesn't let us sleep through life, they remind us that we ourselves must be sources of light, and we need to keep on adding to that light on a daily basis.
Sometimes we need to be shaken out of our sleep by a loud noise. But it's much more pleasant to wake up to a room flooded with light.
G-d is sending a gentle message to you. Don't sleep through life. There are too many special moments that you don't want to miss. See you tonight.
R Leibele Eiger of Lublin