Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We are approaching the holiday of Chanukah when the nights are long and dark, and the days and light are short.

There is an expression that it’s always darkest before it gets light. What is it about the darkest point that has to come before the light can shine? Why must we experience such pain before we are saved?

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Every person goes through their trials and experiences.

If we were to compare the tests we receive in life from the Almighty as black balls of darkness, we could then imagine what type of vehicle or vessel we need to carry these balls with us throughout our lifetime. Some cars are only for two people while a bus or a truck can carry that much more.

All of our memories and experiences stay with us from the time we are little until we leave this world after 120, please G-d. All of us have different ways for storing all the memories and events that we go through in life. With each year that goes by, we grow and so does our vessel.

Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, created the human mind with the great ability to forget or to blur out the hard and dark moment. This kindness that G-d instilled into our human mechanism is a great miracle.

All the black balls we accumulate throughout time can literally wipe us out. Therefore the Almighty makes sure to carry these dark moments in his memory bank for us throughout our lives.

Why do we need such darkness before it gets light?

In order for us to receive something good and full of light, the only way is through the darkness. Even when Hashem created the world, it’s written that G-d created the evening and the morning and they were called one day. The night came before the day. The darkness before the light. This is true regarding each and every one of us. The experiences that we have, all follow this same pattern. The greater the darkness, the greater is the light. However while we are going through some hard times, we rarely feel or see any light.

Hashem knows if we don’t go through the darkness we will not appreciate the light. And the light is such a great gift that G-d wants to make sure we receive it in the proper way.

Right before we fall into the darkness we are usually filled with pride and loftiness. We think we know it all and have it all figured out. And then Hashem sends us some kind of fastball and we get knocked down. And after we fall we aren’t so proud anymore and we feel modest. G-d sends these balls of experiences to set us on the right path. The harder the ball, the harder the fall, the greater the light and the way up to a better place.

There are many vessels that carry merchandise or any matter in their spaces. Some have room to carry small items while others can store an enormous amount of things. As people we too have different capacities to handle certain experiences in life. Some can handle only small experiences and for them it’s a lot, since it fills their entire vessel. And yet there are some people whose capacity to handle life’s fastballs are much greater making their vessel larger with more room for storage. All these vessels and storage places have to do with our neshamas, our special and unique souls.

We are all sent down to this world with a mission and a purpose. As Jewish people we are all responsible for one another. We are all the children of Israel, and we must be there for one another at all times. If there is a child that is weak or has less of an ability to carry something heavy, then one of the older and stronger children must help out the younger, weaker child.

Since we are all connected, if Hashem wants to send a hard and dark ball to someone who won’t be able to handle it, a different soul with more strength and ability to handle the fall comes forth to Hashem and pleads on behalf of the weaker soul, to send that ball their way. So when someone is going through hard times that can’t be imagined, they are actually doing it on behalf of many other souls that just wouldn’t make it if the ball was thrown their way.

So when we see someone going through great hardships, we must understand that they are suffering for us as well. Each family has its suffering and experiences. However if we realize that we are all carrying the load of so many others that can’t carry so much, we are strengthened that G-d chose us to help so many others through our pain.

May the great light that comes after the darkness shine over us and heal our pain and suffering, and may the darkest moments pass from all of Am Israel and bring the great light of the redemption, please G-d, today.

May the small light of the Chanukah candles light all the darkness of the night.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com