Tonight we celebrated the first night of Chanukah.

Lighting the Menorah

Like every year, when both my budget and I are moaning about all the Chanukah gifts that need buying, I start to wonder whether the commercialization of the holiday hasn’t caused us to lose sight of what’s really important.

It used to be simple; lighting the menorah, getting some Chanukah gelt, playing dreidel for pennies, frying latkes and eating sufganiot. When did it morph into a gift fest, where kids who get less than a gift a night feel slighted? (Yes, I have spoiled my kids and it’s hard to break them of the habit even as the kids get older and the gifts get increasingly more expensive.)

Chanukah is so much deeper than just the gift giving and the physical acts or lighting the Menorah or playing dreidel. It’s about banishing the darkness in our lives. It’s about being a source of light not just for yourself but also for those around you. It’s about seeing hope where there was only despair. It’s about finding the miracles in the little everyday things around you.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love quotes. I find them inspirational and thought provoking.

So in honor of the 8 nights of Chanukah, here are my 8 favorite candle/light quotes. Hopefully this holiday season they will serve as a reminder for each and every one of us to search our souls and see how we can be a light unto all people.

1. “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” -Edith Wharton

2. “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” -Anne Frank

3. “No wonder God chose this dark land to send prophets to, for a candle only shines in the dark.” -Rami Ollaik

4.  “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” -Buddha

5. “Religion is a candle inside a multicolored lantern. Everyone looks through a particular color, but the candle is always there.” -Mohammed Naguib

6. “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” -James Keller

7. “A thousand candles can be lit from the flame of one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself.” -Budhha
(This same quote was also attributed to Mahatma Gandhi but opted for the one with the proper English because Ghandi said lighted instead of lit.)

8. “When life seems to put out every light you have, It is better to light a candle than to complain about the darkness.” -Unknown

So go, light your candles for the 8 days of Chanukah and remember to find the light in yourself and in others.  Happy Chanukah everyone.

What quote resonated most with you? Do you have any other favorite quote about lights and candles? What is your favorite part of Chanukah?

Photo credit to the author.