Dear Readers,

As the seasons change, our daylight hours become increasingly shorter, and the nights, coldness and darkness become longer and more intense.

This week, we usher in the Jewish month of Kislev. Now is the time when we especially appreciate cuddling indoors by the glow of a fire, sipping a steaming drink, surrounded by friends or family.

As the blackness lingers outdoors, we need to create greater brightness within; the power of each and every light becomes more appreciated.

In this month of Kislev, we celebrate the victory and power of lights.

The holiday of Chanukah commemorates the victory of the lone light of the Jewish people against the overwhelming darkness and misery from the Greeks around us. While the Greeks subjugated and persecuted us, a brave band of Jews stood up to them, and, against all odds, won. Our miraculous military victory was echoed by the miracle of the oil—the small cruse of one day’s supply that burned brightly, outshining the darkness and lasting for eight days until a new supply of oil could be made.

During the month of Kislev, we also celebrate the 19th of Kislev, which is considered the “New Year” or “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.” On this date, in 1798, the founder of Chabad Chassidism—Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe-was freed from imprisonment in czarist Russia, heralding in a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah.

Chassidic teachings emphasizes the power of light to eradicate darkness. By shining the simple light of truth on something—by exposing the G‑dly intent of our world—the surrounding darkness melts into oblivion.

What this means to each of us is that the gloom doesn’t need to be fought; it needs to be illuminated with the light of truth and our power to believe in our G‑d-given abilities to prevail.

In our own lives, each of us confronts a challenge, a difficulty, a tragedy or pain. The first step in defying our struggles is releasing our inner core power.

Realize the potent spark of G‑dliness within you, and you will discover the strength to tackle whatever is holding you back from achieving your goals. The most powerful weapon we have to conquer our fears, demons, foes and enemies is finding and strengthening our inner essence . . . knowing who we are and why we are here.

Conquering even the most pervasive darkness begins by first lighting up the candle of our own soul.

Wishing us all a month filled with light and happiness!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW