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"Sharing Light" 2009

Tuesday, 8 December, 2009 - 4:30 pm

2007_December_183.jpg2 years ago, Mendel had this daring idea: distribute Chanukah candles to all Jews in Athens, going from house to house and making sure each family has the opportunity to celebrate and bring joy and light into their homes. We were already distributing candles to many people in the past years, but Mendel wanted to take this to a whole new dimension.
Equipped with colorful candle boxes and a nice brochure with the blessings and a message for the holiday, we went from neighborhood to neighborhood, sometimes meeting friends or acquaintances, sometimes new people, and receiving (mostly) very positive reactions! People were thrilled to receive the candles. One evening, it was late already, and we weren’t sure if to ring the bell. We decided to give it a try and left the candles there. The next day, T. called Mendel all excited: “How did you know? The very same morning, I told my wife I don’ know where to get candles from, and in the evening, you bring them to our door!”
The project was not easy to realize, we spent days and days in the car with maps, with the GPS, which proved not to be always reliable. One time we were in Lykavettos, a very hilly area, and the GPS authoritative voice tells us: “Turn left”… unto some stairs!!! We continued and she urged us: “Turn left NOW!” and after we passed it we heard the dreaded: “You are now off track!”. That was quite funny, actually!
2007_December_188.jpgThe picture you see here is of my loyal companion to the northern routes, Levi Yitschak, who was then too young to be left for long periods…  (Our dear friend Riki took care of the Southern suburbs, may she be blessed, what dedication!)
We realized though that it was too much for us. Athens is huge, there is a lot of traffic, and if we truly wanted to reach everyone, we had to get more volunteers to participate in the project. Last year already, more volunteers helped us reach many more homes, but this year, the project “sharing light” is taking off in a bigger and more organized way. There are now 48 volunteers distributing candles in their area, discovering many people from the community leaving not far from them. One volunteer even found that a friend he had lost touch with lived around the corner from him!  
What is great about this project, I feel, even more than the joy and the light that are being added to the world, is the feeling of community that is created, the connections that are made, and in general the feeling that all together, step by step, we make a difference and transform this world into a better place.
And isn’t that the very message of Chanukah?!
(Check out Jewtube for cute clips about Chanukah, I will be adding more during the whole week, so check again to see the new stuff!)
Comments on: "Sharing Light" 2009
12/9/2009

Past volunteer wrote...

It was a real privilege to act as one of your "volunteers" (the reward was the mitzvah and its resultant joy) for last year's candle distribution. Yasher Koach to you and the 48 helpers of this year.

Chag Sameach to you all in Athens, and I hope the Rebbetzin's upcoming birthday acts as an amazing entrance into the Festival of Lights!!!