What difference can my mitzvah deed like my chanukah candle or my tefillin actually make?!
Here’s a thought:
Imagine that you had never seen fire before in your life, and I showed you a flame on a candle. Then I asked you, do you think you can make a fire like this?
You would not think it is possible. A flame is such an intricate creation, with hues of red and orange and blue, a flickering motion, intense heat and bright light. Where can one get all the components to make such a masterpiece?
Then I showed you how I made this flame. All I did was light a match.
You would be convinced that there is some trick here. How can the simple flick of a match create such a magnificent effect? The act doesn’t fit the result.
We don’t think about it, but it’s true. The mere act of striking a match alone isn’t worthy of its impact. We can’t really take credit for making a flame. G-d created the power of combustion, which means that when you take certain materials and manipulate them in a certain way, a fire appears. So the flame is G-d’s creation. But that flame can only come if you light the match.
The wise King Solomon said in Proverbs, “Every mitzvah is a candle.” Like lighting a flame, the act of doing a mitzvah may seem insignificant, but the light it creates is incredible. An awesome divine energy is released each time we perform a Jewish ritual, because they are not just rituals, they are G-d’s commands. Whether it be lighting Chanukah candles, putting on Tefillin or shaking a Lulav, making Kiddush or affixing a Mezuzah, these small acts create a warmth and a light that impact us. If one person becomes more spiritually sensitive, if one family is brought closer, it changes them and our world forever.
Most of us don’t understand why striking a match makes a fire. But we all know it works. Mitzvahs work too. The most memorable educational moments are made around Jewish rituals. Your kids may not remember all the lectures you give them. But they will remember the candles you lit with them.
Gather your family together, and on each night of Chanukah as you light the candles explain to them the power they have in their very hands.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Bluming and Rabbi Moss