about us     |     subscribe     |     contact us     |     submit article     |     donate     |     speaking tour     |     store     |     ePaper
    Events    Issues    Tradition    E-Paper
 
2022 more..

2021 more..

2020 more..

2019 more..

2018 more..

2017 more..

2016 more..

2015 more..

2014 more..

2013 more..

2012 more..

2011 more..

2010 more..

2009 more..

2008 more..

2007

Hello Soul My Old Friend
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Secret of the Dreidel
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Do You Hate Your Brother?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ten Challenges
Simon Jacobson

 

Before You Save the World
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

When Cynicism Replaced Innocence
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

How to Confront Anti-Semitism
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Why the Obsession with Sacrifices
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Religiou and Cruel?
Dov Greenberg

 

Rebel With a Holy Tear
Dov Greenberg

 

You Can Tell a Man By His Shoes
Aaron Moss

 

Free Choice
Aaron Moss

 

Once a Year Jew
Aaron Moss

 

Three Layers of Human Identity
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

How Jews View History
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

aered p
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Let Us Dream Together
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Intimacy In Flames
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Tzaddik Weeps
Simon Jacobson

 

Stalin Vs. Schneersohn
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

De pie p:
Mendel Jacobson

 

wo Face of Ineniy
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e G-d of abi
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ignorance p
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Go ome! p:
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

FROM BOREDOM... O FREEDOM
Simon Jacobson

 

Good Morning oul
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Will My Cildren are My Beli
Aaron Moss

 

e Digniy of acrifice
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Plao' Miake r
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

uffering p
Simon Jacobson

 

The Voyage of a People
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Broken p://
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Doub -- e ilen Killer
Simon Jacobson

 

Beyond e Moon r
Yanki Tauber

 

e Angel and e Drunk
Yanki Tauber

 

e Inner ief r
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Are You Jealou?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Diovering Your Dep
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Georgian Eavedrop On A Gal
Mendel Jacobson

 

A oul a Never op Burnin
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

e Enemy Wiin
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Lile ier r
Simon Jacobson

 

2006 more..

2005 more..

 

Click here for a full index

email this article       print this article
 
Lig Reading
Listening to the Flames
By Mendel Jacobson
 

I watch the flames as they dance and burn. I lean ever closer, trying to hear the story they tell. I look at the colors moving in rhythm; the red waltzes with the blue, the white tangos with the yellow. The glittering lights reflect off my transfixed eyes and as I stare into their dazzling faces I can feel myself being pulled into their warm embrace. It’s as if I no longer watch the flames but they watch me; it’s as if I no longer listen to their story but they listen to mine – and, as the space between the flames and myself begins to blur, I am transported to a place far away, far away within me: I have become part of the story…

…Winds howl in the frostbitten night. The slivery moon, waning with yet another month, looks like an icicle in the blackness above. Through my visible breath I see the tail of a shooting star frozen in mid-flight.

I stand there shivering, rubbing my numb hands together in an attempt at creating some semblance of feeling. I am bundled in many layers, covered in many coats, but no material can thaw this bone-chill, no fur can melt this iced heart.

All the homes, once places of light and warmth, have been destroyed: rubble and debris line the cobblestone streets. I can feel its murky stale breath on the back of my neck; an ominous gray cloud brushing against my consciousness. My trembling lips, bruise-purple from the cold, try to speak words, but all that comes out is a steely whimper.

I look to the holy Temple, for the luminance that once radiated the entire world, for the warmth that once blanketed the entire earth; but all I see is a hard darkness: I see people worshiping a thousand idols, their G-d long forgotten; I see bodies sculpted by Achilles, souls long ignored; I see minds shaped by Aristotle, hearts long resigned.

I crawl on all fours, sifting through the rubble, looking for a drop of the purity that once was. I look for hours, for days, but all I find is hopelessness. All has been defiled; all has been soiled. The darkness is too deep; the depths too dark. It seems once we’ve become guilty we can never retrieve our innocence. It seems once we are lost we can never again be found.

And then, as my numb fingers begin to fall limp, as my frozen eyelashes begin to close, as my trembling lips begin to lie down, I see it. Beneath the countless layers of filth, under the heaping piles of stone-cold idols, underneath the filmy mounds of soot and dust, I can see hope. With the last of my energy, my hand reaches for that little spark buried way down below. And, as my tingling fingers caress that last drop of purity, that single jug of oil stamped with the seal of the High Priest, I know that darkness doesn’t stand a chance…

… I blink and the flames come back into focus. And, as the flames continue to speak, I realize the story still dances on. The search for light in darkness, the search for truth in falseness, the search for purity in defilation, the search for warmth in coldness, happens every day.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights: no matter how dark things may seem, no matter how bleak a situation may be, there is always that drop of oil that can never be contaminated, that drop of oil that always floats to the top.

I am watching the candles; the candles are watching me. I listen to their story; they listen to mine. Their warmth is my warmth; their light is my light; their story is my story – it is the story of light.

~~~

Email the author at mendel@algemeiner.com

Or check out his blog jakeyology.blogspot.com

Posted on December 21, 2006
email this article       print this article
Copyright 2005 by algemeiner.com. All rights reserved on text and illustrations