Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31) which starts with the following words: “The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to the Children of Aaron, and say to them…”

Later rabbinic commentary (in the Talmud) quotes this verse, but instead of saying “emor (say) to them” uses the word “l’hazhir” which literally means “to enjoin or to warn”, but can also mean “to shine”…

The deeper significance of this word teaches that the role of the priests… indeed of all elders… is to shine to the children… And that all of our words have the ability to radiate either positive or negative energy… we therefore have to choose wisely. The rabbis further teach that every human being was created with a Divine Spark, and we have been charged with the sacred duty of shining Light into this world.

This insight is not unique to Judaism… Many of us are familiar with the song “this little Light of mine… I’m going to make it shine” and this is one of the underlying principles for most spiritual and meditation practices.

This coming week, I invite us to reflect upon the following questions: Who shines for us? For whom do we shine? From Whence do we get Light? Do we take enough time to ensure that our Light does not grow dim? How do our words reflect this Light? What can we do this week to make our Light brighter? What can we do to help someone else’s Light shine a little brighter?