web analytics
May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Embracing The Light


Kupfer-011714

Over the last few weeks many of us in North America – and in Eretz Yisrael – suffered disruption of our electric power as a result of the structural damage caused by the ferocious fury of extraordinary ice and snow storms.

Many old-timers insist that they never experienced the kind of destructive and life-threatening winter weather that has disturbed and disordered so many lives.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of people, the popsicle-like branches of trees succumbed to the icy heaviness that weighed them down and broke them. An avalanche of limbs crashed onto the ground, pulling down the power-conducting wires hanging below them.

Most of the city was plunged into darkness, and since most of the furnaces, water heaters, stoves and ovens in this city run on electricity – as opposed to gas – there was no way of heating the house or cooking. People who had flashlights (with working batteries) and candles were able to dispel the darkness somewhat.  Those who do bedikat chametz on Erev Pesach can visualize just how thick the surrounding darkness was beyond the candle in front of them.

After what seemed like endless days and nights, the lights came back on and with it the ability to do normal things – take a shower, brew hot coffee, and eat a home-cooked meal. It also meant being able to communicate again via cordless or cell phones (many did not work during the blackout) and reconnect via radio and Internet.

Having electricity is akin to breathing. You mindlessly flick a switch – like you mindlessly inhale – and receive abilities and benefits that make your existence viable.  Power allows you to wash your clothes, to get in touch with people who are miles away, to be productive after the sun sets. (Many of us ended up going to sleep hours earlier than usual. Without light, what else was there to do?)

It’s amazing how we take the status quo for granted – until it is taken away. Even saying Modeh Ani when we wake, or Asher Yatzar after we go to the bathroom is usually done by rote, without a second thought to what it means.

This time, we instantly developed an extreme appreciation for the light when it came back into our lives.

When life returned to normal, and we shared our “war” stories of the inconvenience, displacement and hassles we endured while being without light and heat, many of us reached a “light bulb” moment (like in the cartoons when someone gets a brilliant idea).  After dark days of griping, complaining and grumbling about cancelled Shabbat meals, flights and school, ruined food that had thawed in non-working freezers, navigating slippery sidewalks and roads, some of us gained insight into a rather elusive question: Why bad things happen to nice people/communities.

The loss of power and its return “enlightened” us as to why people get sick; are in pain; are disabled, have financial or social setbacks, or are beset and afflicted with other “gehakte tzurus” (major difficulties or traumas): Because you need darkness in order to appreciate light. You need loss to appreciate what you do have. You need emptiness in order to recognize fullness.  You need chaos to appreciate the quiet.

Or you need others to be in unfortunate situations in order to be sameach with your own cheilek – to open your eyes to what you have and acknowledge the blessings that you are oblivious and mindless of, like inhaling and breathing on your own.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Embracing The Light”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

South-Florida-logo

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

It’s hard not to be intrigued by recipes with names like Thanksgiving Stuffing Soup, Braised Chicken with Rhubarb Gravy and Vidalia Onion Fritters with Sambal Yogurt Dip.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/embracing-the-light/2014/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: