Dear friend,

Tuesday marks the 10th of Tevet, a fast day commemorating the Babylonian siege which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and First Temple.

This month, Tevet, always falls at the height of the winter, when the days are exceedingly short and people are driven indoors by the cold.

A dark day in a dark month.

The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the chassidic movement, was known to love light. Once, during a particular dark winter day, he instructed his students to use the icicles as candles to bring light. The students listened, and so it was: ice, the very essence of darkness and cold, became a source of light and warmth.

There’s a lesson here for us.

Every fast day, every dark day we encounter, has the potential to serve as a springboard to something higher and greater. We fast so that we can look inwards, repent, and bring goodness to the world. We use the darkness as the impetus to reveal the deep and powerful light we have within, and bring warmth to our surroundings.

May these days be turned from darkness and sadness to light and joy!

Mordechai Lightstone,
social media director @

P.S.: If you haven’t done so yet, check out our Instagram account! It’s full of inspirational images and snapshots from Jewish communities around the world.