Life can often feel so desolate and lonely. And existential loneliness brings on a darkness which we all fear. How do we deal with such dark times? How do we bring warmth into cold experiences?
The High Holidays end (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) at the cusp of winter, when the nights are dark and long, and when the days are cold and dreary. How do we carry their light and warmth into the cold and dark of the rest of the year?
This concern troubled the first man and woman.
On the first Saturday night – Motzei Shabbat – of existence, Adam and Eve did not go on a date, or to a movie, or to get pizza. On the first Saturday night of existence, Adam and Eve huddled in utter fear.
Why? Because for the first time ever the sun had set and darkness had begun to set in. “Is this the end of the world?” they asked, “Did our sin destroy the universe?”
Then, at day break, they realized that this was the natural order of existence.
The only question: Is this a good or bad thing? Is darkness the natural order, or is the sunrise?
Two powerful stories – of a Chassid in a cellar and a man in a concentration camp beseeching the sun not to rise – teach us that darkness is but an anomaly and light is the norm. And how we can not only overcome the fear of night but vanquish it and illuminate it.
Discover an ancient method for carrying over the warmth and light of the holidays into the cold, wintry, dark months of the year. How is it done?
As God showed Adam: just rub two sticks together and, voila, fire!