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Your Inner Flame

by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf

"For God's candle is the soul of man." (Proverbs)

The flames of the menorah are small and silent.

On the first night of Chanukah we light one candle. Small and silent. We walk into the room and we barely notice its presence. Like our souls, the flame is there. But very subtle.

As we hurtle through days filled with noise and confusion, it's easy to lose track of our souls. There are family obligations, kids, school, the office, dating, vacations, the six o'clock news, the fortunes of our favorite teams, making dinner, reading E-mail, getting the car fixed, returning overdue books, returning calls, paying bills, and surfing the Web.

And somehow... amidst all of this we're supposed to remember that each of us has a soul. That deep down our inner essence wants to do more than run errands. That we yearn to touch the infinite, luminous, divine, transcendent dimension...

The lighting of the menorah creates a new space in our lives. A space where we can, for awhile, divest ourselves of everything else that tugs at us and focus on the "deep down" of life. Who we truly are deep down. What about our inner self we deem to be precious. What we want to do with this brief time we call life, what we want to stand for, and who we want to be - deep down.

Each night of Chanukah, ponder "deep-down" issues. Ask yourself a question, and then sit quietly in front of the silent glow of your menorah, listening for the soft sound of your own inner flame. It may take a few minutes or even longer, but be patient and the answer will come.

When it does, write down your answer. After the first night you will have one answer. The second night you'll have two. And by the last night of Chanukah, both the menorah in your home - and the flame deep within your soul - will be glowing more brightly.


1) "Deep down, what I truly want is...

2) "I feel most in touch with my soul when...

3) "What can I do tomorrow that will in some way express the deepest part of who I am?"

4) "If I could give myself one piece of advice for keeping in touch with my deepest aspirations, what would I say?"

5) "If I could give my spouse, child or best friend one tip for not losing sight of the most important things in life, what would I say?

Reprinted with permission from the author. Avialable at



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