WAKE UP! SHINE YOUR LIGHT! SING OUT! STAND UP.
Lecha Dodi is a demand. A call to action. Hit’oreri! Wake up! Your light is coming, so shine it out. Especially during this festival of lights, the message of Lecha Dodi calls on us to shine light in the darkness.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the words we sing when we pray. The Hebrew language was crafted with incredible intention, and the words we use at different times often have multiple layers of meaning and significance. Often times the language used in the Torah begs us to ask questions about it. The rabbis and commentators often say that the words of the Torah shout out, “Darsheini!” “Interpret me!” The opening words of this week’s parashah, Miketz, called out “Darsheini!” this week.
“ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים (Breishit 41:1).” This is usually translated as, “And so it was after two years’ time.” But that’s not exactly what they mean. If we were to translate them literally, it might read, “And so at the end of two years of days.”
These words call on us to challenge our concept of time and think instead on impact. How can we make the days, weeks, and years that we have on this earth meaningful? Every day has the potential to be a year in terms of impact. The word “Miketz” means “end,” and serves as a warning for us. It says to us, “Be careful, my friends, that your years don’t pass by like days! Make something meaningful happen every day.”
This Shabbat of Hannukah, let’s learn from Lecha Dodi and Parashat Miketz, stand up, and light up the world with action, truth, and justice.