Tonight is the second night/day of Chanukah! The menorah begins to fill with the newest light placed to the left of last night’s candle on the far right! We always light the newest candle first. And so we have doubled the light that shines out from the first level of the Chanukiah.
The Shamash is a second level, raised higher than the others as it serves to share its light and energy with each of the eight wicks over the course of the holiday. It is hard to separate the light from its source. It is hard to separate the flame from the light. It glows and dances and encourages us to do the same. Even as the Shamash (the server) lights the other candles or wicks it serves as a beacon shining the light outward for the world to see.
And this is an important part of the holiday of Chanukah. The glow of the candles and the light shining forth is the light of God’s holy presence in our lives. The flame that burns in each of us is the flame of holiness. We must build it up inside of us through the mitzvot, the ethical responsibilities and the spiritual practices that we do. When we honor a parent or give charity to the poor we are building the flame of purpose and holiness of our character.
Ultimately this will move us beyond the first level of light in the Menorah. When we live and love and build a strong foundation of ethical and spiritual practices we can elevate our selves to the higher level. We become the Shamash serving as a beacon of light that we share with others.
So on this second night/day of Chanukah, share your inner light with those you love and do an act of charity. Observe spiritual and ethical practices so that we can illumine the world with the greatest of all gifts, peace and harmony and enlightment.