I’m Not Afraid Of The Dark

I heard a story about a woman in a death camp. She was lined up for the gas chambers with her newborn baby. She asked a man for a knife. He told her to be quiet; that none of the soldiers could hear them speaking or they’d both be killed. A soldier overheard the conversation. Assuming she wanted to end her life, he laughed at her. He probably thought she had no idea she was about to be killed anyway. Curious to see what she’d do with it, he gave her the knife. She gave her baby a Bris Milah.

There is more light than darkness.

There is more light than darkness.

There is more light than darkness.

We rock our fear to sleep.

There is more light than darkness.

Stop making lists of all of the light, to use it to fight with when things get dim. Fighting makes you tired.

At ease, Soldier.

Light isn’t shaped like a weapon. It’s shaped like trust, like strength. Don’t wear out the good things. While you were holding them up to shield yourself, they began falling apart in your hands. Stop trying to find two light things for every dark thing. There’s no formula. It’s not a system;; G-­d’s not a conveyor belt of miracles and nightmares, ready to be manufactured. Put your weapons down.

Don’t let the darkness fall in between the couch cushions. Don’t sweep it under the stove when no one’s looking or step over it when it gets in your way. Don’t pretend the darkness isn’t there. Don’t try to ignore it and don’t try to understand it. Dust bunnies won’t go away on their own. You tried to forget about it so many times, hoping it would go away. You can’t stay looking up forever. Eventually, we all look down. By then it will have grown, accumulated over months of holding up your chin, only looking for the good.

I did more than just look down. I stumbled and I can’t see my feet now. I can’t remember what the floor looks like. What am I standing on? What’s holding me up?

We can never forget Who is holding us up.

One day my mom brought home a rock. When my dad came home we used a hammer and cracked it open. The rock was filled with sparkles and diamonds and light.

Bend down. Pick up the darkness. Hold it in your hands. Leave it on your kitchen windowsill, so every
morning, when the sun shines in the window, you’ll see it. After a few weeks you’ll notice it, the faint shimmer. Pick it back up. Look closer. Put it back. Do it again and again and again. Take your sleeve and pull it over the heel of your hand and rub at it until it shines a little brighter. Take a hammer and crack it
open.

Wake up every morning and see G-­d. Breathe in simcha. Exhale emunah.

Once a teacher told me, “If you ask me, your parents didn’t show you very much Judaism.” I wish I told her about the time my mom taught me, “We don’t rejoice in others pain. Even when the water crashed down on the Egyptians, G-­d asked us ‘Why do you rejoice?’. G-­d doesn’t want that. They were his children too.” My mom could have scolded me for laughing at someone. But she made space for G-­d instead. I forgot to tell that teacher that my parents gave me everything they could. I forgot to remind her that we all have G-­d in us.

When you don’t know where to find G-­d, make sure you’ve made a place for Him.

Get as close to the darkness as possible. Don’t ask why it came. Clutch it tight to your chest with the same vigor you used to fight it off for so long. Love it for reminding you the light it left behind is G-­d. Love it until there’s nothing left. Find the part of your soul that is a glowing flame. Open your arms wide and greet every struggle that has ever touched you. Trust . There is no room for there to be any darkness to fight. We are burning too bright. The Jewish people have such strength. Be stronger.

I heard a story about this woman in a death camp. She didn’t forget Who was holding her up. She told G-­d that she didn’t forget. She told herself. She wrapped her son up into the brightest part of her, her unshakeable emunah. She shouted to the world what she knew. G-­d is with her. She held her baby close and whispered, “G-­d is with us.”

G-­d is with us all.