Turning the Light Back On

As my son’s Bar Mitzvah passed and we kindled the last lights of Chanukah, a sadness came over me. Monday I took my amazing parents to the airport and came back to a quiet house — deflating balloons on the floor, serving trays waiting to be put away, menorahs adorned with empty oil cups and melted wax.

And all the realities of life that I had put off until after the simcha, the decisions, the ongoing responsibilities now confronted me. And reading the news only added to this weight I felt.

Though I expected and was warned about the post-simcha letdown, the internal struggle still pulled me to a place I didn’t want to be.

I tried deep breathing, taking walks, talking to loved ones.

And then yesterday morning while alone, my thoughts still swirling, I said the Shema and put my thoughts into words — G-d, I’m feeling anxious and afraid, please help me and be with me. Help me to make the right choices, to be a good wife and mother and daughter and sister, and to see the good … this overdue conversation went on for a few minutes.

And then my light came back on.

As we read this week in Vayigash, Yosef’s brothers didn’t recognize him because he was 22 years older, had a beard and was now the viceroy of Egypt. They couldn’t believe it was Yosef, they couldn’t see it.

He says to them, Ani Yosef. I am Yosef. Under all this garb, it’s really me. The veil is taken off and reality shows through.

Our sages say at the end of days Hashem will say, It was me all along.

And I’ll wonder, Why do I sometimes get upset? Why don’t I always see it? I have to remember to look with the right eyes.

We shouldn’t believe what we see, but rather, we should see what we believe — that there is an unyielding goodness that runs the world and comes through us in our thoughts, words and actions. If we let it.

I know that everything is good. But sometimes I forget.

Sometimes I have highs and feel closeness to G-d and others. But when it don’t feel close and I still reach out, it’s so much more meaningful.

With the light of Chanukah behind us, we are now in the month of Tevet, known as the month of darkness. But the root of Tevet is actually Tov – Good. Everything is ultimately good, even if it doesn’t seem that way.

King Dovid (my younger son’s namesake) says in Tehillim that we are like dreamers. We think this is the reality. But it’s all a dream.

It is raining outside. I’m tired. I have food to cook, a house to clean and work to do. And I miss my family who have gone back home. But I can call out to G-d from wherever I am, even when the words seem so far away…

And if something doesn’t seem good, I am wrong. Every. Single Time. I just need to remember to turn the light on.

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Love and Peace. May we share many more simchas together…

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