The shade under the beach hut, saving you from the sun’s glare. The oak tree that has forever been your special spot for picnics. Shadows are everywhere.

There is an incredible concept and phenomenon in Judaism: Hashem tzilcha,G‑d is your shadow.”

According to Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev1 and based on the Baal Shem Tov, “G‑d is your shadow” is the channel of Divine reciprocity. What is Divine reciprocity?

Reciprocity means that the action of one person elicits a response from the other.

With Divine reciprocity, G‑d gives to each and every one of us the power to define our relationship with Him. For instance, if we want to get closer to G‑d and move in that direction, we get the same response, and G‑d moves closer to us.

If we are an ambassador of kindness, G‑d will take notice and be kind to us. If we are an emissary of care and sensitivity, then we, too, will receive care and sensitivity back. And if we behave supernaturally, transcending our limitations and behaving above our nature, well you guessed it, the supernatural will be felt in our lives ...

As is apparent in nature, shadows follow us loyally. The same happens in the spiritual world: G‑d follows us and responds in kind.

As the “Festival of Light” arrives, you may be asking yourself how Chanukah is connected to shadows, to G‑d being our shadow.

The Maccabees—a small army of dedicated Jews—rose up, defending their tiny nation against on of the mightiest army in the world at the time, that of the Syrian-Greeks.

After defeating the Greeks, a real miracle, the Maccabees returned to the Holy Temple that the Greeks had defiled. The defilement was emblematic of the destruction the Greeks wished to unleash upon the Jews and their Judaism. In the Temple, the Maccabees discovered one unbroken vessel of oil that was used to light the ancient menorah. This would have been enough to light the menorah for one night. Yet instead of waiting for more oil, the Maccabees lit the menorah and rededicated the Temple on that very day! And it was that jug of oil that would last, miraculously, for eight nights.

According to our sages, these miracles were a result of the Maccabees’ supernatural faith. Would most small nations take on one of the biggest armies in the world? Would most people light one cruse of oil believing it could last eight days? By accessing supernatural faith in G‑d, followed by supernatural actions, G‑d acted in kind with wondrous results.

But in our everyday existence, we don’t have to take on an army in order to experience miracles. For instance, when we produce efforts greater than ourselves. Forgive something unforgivable. Give more than is comfortable. Have patience at a time of urgency. Love when we feel unlovable.

G‑d will be our shadow because the way we choose to conduct ourselves in the world is the way G‑d will conduct Himself with us. Divine reciprocity in action.

Hashem tzilcha is an incredible way to see our relationship with G‑d. G‑d gives us the opportunity to build a relationship infrastructure, to define and redefine our partnership. What a gift.

Kindness will be met with kindness. Generosity met with generosity. Transcendence met with transcendence. And hurdling over the natural to meet the supernatural will be met with lights, shadows and miracles.