Chanuka is over and behind us.
It’s cold outside.
There are no Jewish holidays in our direct line of sight.
And last I checked, even though daylight is officially starting to get longer (hurray 🥳!) it still seems dark outside for an unfair proportion of each 24-hour period.
So now what?
What energy can we use to propel us toward spring?
I once heard it said that the time between Chanuka and Purim* is the time to work on ourselves when there aren’t candles glistening in Jewish windows 🕯️ or joyous singing and dancing in the streets 🎉.
It’s a time to grow when we don’t feel like it 🤨.
It’s a time to grow when growth doesn’t feel glamorous 💪.
It’s a time to keep developing when the cameras are powered down 📸.
It’s the time to find the light inside ourselves to propel us (and the world 🌎) toward greatness.
This week, I was lucky enough to see someone’s internal drive toward greatness shining bright and strong for all to see.
It was in the work of a young Bat Mitzvah girl in our community.
Sivan, on her own, decided to undertake an initiative to build the school a brand-new portable children’s library as her Bat Mitzvah project.
As we say on Pesach, dayanu, that would have been enough.
But that wasn’t enough for her.
Not only is she building us a wonderfully functional library that perfectly meets our needs. Sivan has taken it upon herself to fundraise to fully stock it with a large selection of books for our students.
She set up an Amazon wishlist with hundreds (I’m not kidding) of pre-approved, age-appropriate books for our students to flex their reading muscles in a fun, enjoyable way**.
She is calling on her friends and family to help her complete this wishlist and get this library fully stocked so our students can enjoy it ASAP***.
Personally, I’m blown away by this act of kindness.
In the deep cold of the Winter, Sivan is choosing to share her inner light with the world.
My wife and have gone ahead and contributed a book to her Wishlist.
I hope you’ll consider doing the same****.
Wishing you a week of joy, happiness, and light,
*Spoiler alert: Purim may or may not be my favorite Jewish Holiday. You’ll just have to wait and see 😊
** Thank you to Morah Rochel, and my cousin Beth Meister for helping us put together this list!
*** The apple 🍎 doesn’t fall far from the tree. Thank you to Sivan’s parents, Ronen and Amy for all of your kindness and for encouraging and helping with this project.
***Go to https://amzn.to/3ikCose or search for “Sivan Danino” on Amazon’s registry list.