Monday, May 20, 2013

The Pitch: Lighting the Lights

Parshat Behalotecha this week could be a character on Mad Men. Okay, that is actually not true at all. For a lot of reasons. But now that we've admitted that, the portion does start off with a wonderful "catch phrase" that could be a motto or slogan or pitch or whatever it is they would call it, were you trying to "sell" Judaism. "Light the lamps so as to give light in front" is a phrase lifted from the start of this parshah. It distills for us just what it is we need our faith to be about. For ourselves, for others, for Israel, for God, we need our Jewish behavior, which really, at the end of the day, should include all our behavior, to be a source of light. Shining light to show the way, give comfort, inspire and make the world a better place, a more meaningful place, a more illuminated place. The ways in which this can happen are many. No doubts the mitzvot lay out for us many places where lights need to be lit. And they suggest to us many others ways in which we can, through all the small things in life, light things up. Now if the parshah were Don Draper, it would close the pitch with some appeal to memory or the past or going home again - maybe the parshah is a Mad Men character after all - those are all Jewish ideas come to think of it - and it would be true, we connect with our past and point the way into the future with the eternal light that God has given to us to keep shining in a world that so very much needs it. Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Aaron Benson


  1. What a beautiful parallel - Aaron lighting the lights of the menorah as you prepare to light the lights in the souls of a new congregation! Welcome to the NSJC family.

    1. Thank you for your comment Lori and Shabbat Shalom to you!