The darkness surrounds us, weakening our ability to see the light that permeates our world. This darkness is part of the fabric of our exile, intertwined within our broken world.

In the beginning of creation, the Torah tells us that the “Earth was in a state of chaos and unformed, with darkness on the face of the abyss.” It is this very darkness, which became analogous with the Greeks that has taken hold within the endless abyss that is synonymous with Rome, which has grown to control the world as we know it.

While the Greeks were defeated, it is Rome, which uses the darkness to its fullest. The world is so dark it has become nearly impossible to see the truth hidden within – to see the light of the Creator.

So how do we get out of the darkness? How do we connect to the inner light that is held within?

The Hashmonaim gave us a secret weapon to fight the darkness – the Hanukiah is placed very low to the ground, far lower than any other mitzvah…why? Because no matter how far down the abyss has dragged us, there is still light there.  There is still light within us.

The darkness may have covered everything within the endless pit of despair and disconnection, but this light, cultivated and nurtured by the Tzaddikim is waiting to be lit by each of us.

That is our mission now.

We must take hopelessness and uncertainty we all find ourselves in and cling to the light of Chanukah.  This is the light of the Tzaddikim, drawn from the highest places and brought down to vanquish the darkness that entraps us and the world.

(Based on Likutey Halakhos, Yoreh Deah 2 Hilchos Kevod Rabo veTalmid Chochom 3 and Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Toen and Nitaan Halacha 5)

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David Mark or "Reb Dovid" as many call him is a prolific writer and informal educator, focusing on the merger of Chassidic thought and the Land of Israel. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Brovender and Rabbi Nechemia Goldberg. He is currently one of the writers and editors at Breslov Research Institute. He teaches Breslov Chassidus in the American program in the Hesder Yeshiva of Otniel as well as in various settings in Jerusalem and the wider Judea and Samaria area.

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