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  • Writer's pictureAliza Davidovit

The Lights of Faith

The Sun’s not coming out today. Would you come out on a day like this? The temperature has dropped. It’s freezing outside. The leaves have abandoned the trees once again. And the gray chilling skies make the outdoors evermore uninviting. The sun seems to have absconded as well like a fleeing accomplice to all that has brought darkness upon this great land: the flailing economy, the unemployment rate, the federal debt, the housing crisis, a divisive Congress and the unprecedented uncertainty about the future. It appears to be the winter of our greatest discontent. Doom and gloom has replaced the optimistic morning dew and is choking our spirits and setting us into further depression and despair. It becomes easier day by day to become apathetic and adjust our eyes to the darkness instead of searching for the light and creating new light. Yet, I urge everyone, even if the sun is not coming out on a day like this, YOU MUST. Interestingly, it is at this time of year, in fact this week, that the nights are longest and darkness seems to prevail as the sun goes to bed early. But it is also the most precious time of year as both Jews and Christians celebrate their holidays of lights with brightly lit Christmas trees and the glow of the Chanuka menorah. Each is a symbolic lesson to us that in the blackest of times, we must be the ones responsible for bringing light to our world and our lives. These holidays of lights are a priceless metaphor that light triumphs over darkness (and it always will). Orphan Annie was right, the sun will come out tomorrow, but today create your own sunlight. It takes just a single flame to dispel much darkness. If you’re feeling miserable, put on some makeup and make yourself look pretty, if you’re a woman. For a man, shave and go to the gym; you will feel better. If you’re feeling antisocial, go give a few dollars or a cup of coffee to a homeless person--your spirits will be lifted. If you’re feeling depressed, start singing the happiest song you know. Undoubtedly you will crack yourself up, and if your voice is as good as mine you make crack a few mirrors too. You cannot get out of a black hole by entertaining the darkness but rather by seeking the light. In this week’s Bible portion we read about Joseph. One day he was the beloved favorite son of Jacob; the next day his brothers sold him into slavery; the next day he rose to great prominence in Egypt; the next day he was thrown into jail; the next day he was the most powerful man in Egypt under Pharaoh. The rollercoaster of his life had bigger highs and lows than the 456-foot high Kingda Ka joyride at Six Flags Great Adventure. Nonetheless, he rose from the snake-filled pit into which his brothers cast him to great power, prestige and prominence. And the Bible teaches us something very interesting about Joseph’s attitude throughout. The dungeon to which he is condemned is called in Hebrew “Beit Hasohar,” the “house of light.” Even in the depths of a dark dungeon, Joseph maintained his faith in God, he remained optimistic and hopeful and he created his own “light.” Yet just as abruptly as Joseph’s problems came upon him, they left him with equal speed as he was beckoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. My friends, the trials and hardships inflicted on man are limited. Just when a person least expects salvation, it is just around the corner. There is a season for everything in our lives, even a winter of discontent. The things we want most usually hit us by surprise as if God is trying to remind us, again, that our blessings come from Him no matter what else we may think. Indeed the world stage and our personal stages appear pretty bleak these days. Many people even feel it may be the end of time. I prefer to think in terms of a great new beginning. We can learn from Joseph and our beautiful holidays of lights to never yield to the darkness of despair but rather to have faith in almighty God and trust ALWAYS that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Sponsored by Wordsmithy Editing Services



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