Last Sunday Jewish families around the world were celebrating the first night of Chanukah. The time of the year when this joyous festival of lights is celebrated with the kindling of an eight branch candelebra. Over the next eight days an additional candle is lit every night accompanied by singing special songs, eating oil based foods like doughnuts and exchanging gifts.
Rabbi Mark Levene says with the strike of a match the flames of the menorah can teach us eight powerful lessons. I believe we can also apply these lessons to our couple relationships:
CLARITY – there are often times in life when we can get overwhelmed with difficulties. It just takes one person to break that darkness and reach out to another to show love empathy and compassion
HOPE – no matter how impossible things may look at times, with patience, time and effort we can fight off the forces that often want to break us.
ADDITIONS – on each evening we light an additional flame and then go back to light the previous candles. In doing this we show that everyday we have another opportunity to add our own light into this world and improve what we bring to one another from the day before.
NOTICE – have we become so accustomed to routine in our lives and relationships that we fail to see the fascination in the familiar and mundane?
UNDERSTANDING- more about ourselves and how we behave helps us stay more connected to our partners and ensures we don’t keep repeating the same mistakes
KINDLE- regardless of how many candles we light our flame never diminishes. When we share our knowledge, time and energy with our partners we keep that light shining brighter
AWAKEN – to question our commitment to our relationships can reawaken the curiosity and interest in each other
HEAVENWARD – allowing ourselves to look inwards. However far we may travel the light of the flames teach us that our hearts and minds remain steadfastly committed to our relationships.
The festival of Chanukah enables us to look inwards and utilise the opportunities available to us. This year as we eat our doughnuts lets hope we can see the glow of the eight flickering candles and stand strong as we did over 2000 years ago and overcome our difficulties now as we did then.