Here’s what I know today.

1) The Jewish People (and all who stand with us) are living thorough a really hard time.

2) We are facing antisemitism in amounts that most of us have never experienced in our lifetimes. A 337% increase according to the ADL.

3) For the deep feelers among us – we are learning to live with an unprecedented level of hurt. Be gentle with us.

4) Joy, even during these incredibly challenging times, is permitted and encouraged.

5) The faces of the fallen and the kidnapped is constant reminder of how exceptionally beautiful Jewish humans are.

6) Looking to the helpers, engaging in acts of kindness big and small is a really good way to help push away fear and darkness.

7) Breathing, stretching, music, and resting are tools that are available to us all at any time.

8) Tonight is the seventh night of Chanukah. That’s a whole lot of light we get to shine all around this globe.

9) Tonight is also the new Jewish month of Tevet. The month, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, came—he and his entire army—against Jerusalem, and encamped against it, and they built siege works around it.

Quick Hebrew lesson: The name Tevet does not contain the letter “vav.” If it did, the word would be “Tovat” (goodness). Some folks interpret this as a not so awesome feature of this month – like, it could have been good – but it’s not. That’s not how I look at it. The holy sage, the Sefat Emet (Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter) describes the word Tevet as possessing a connotation of light, from the word: “Hatava” which means preparation of the wick. I feel like that’s what we’re doing – we’re preparing ourselves and the world around us to ignite and contain a very great light.

10) To each of you reading this: I love you. I really, really do. Let’s go spread some light.