The light of summer


The haftarah this week is the same as that for Shabbat Hanukah: the prophecy of Zechariah about that symbol of God’s light, the menorah. It is no coincidence that this prophecy is read around both the winter and summer solstices, the times of least and greatest physical light shining on the world. There is an explicit attempt here to draw an analogy between physical and spiritual light. In the winter, we can see light’s absence and focus on building up our spiritual light to counteract the physical darkness of the world. As we approach summer, we can see the flood of physical light that greets us each day as a reminder of the potential of God’s light to illuminate the world. But unlike the light of the sun, which comes regardless of what we do or don’t do, the light of the spirit does not shine without us. We must be the lenses that focus the divine light and refract it into the world through how we act and how we speak. As we appreciate the growing light of summer, let us each be mindful of how we can spread spiritual light each day and each hour that we walk through the beauty of the season.