On Chanukah we light all the candles via another candle, called the Shamash. On one hand, we can look upon the Shamash with pity. It lights all the others and yet, it is never counted with the rest. It never acquires the status as one of the flames of the Chanukah menorah. Yet on the other hand, the Shamash stands tall above all the other candles. Just look at any Menorah and you will see the Shamash literally elevated to a different level.
Herein lies the message. If we are in this life just for ourselves, if we are obsessed with our own light, then we will never realise our greatest potential. But if we dedicate our life to inspiring others, if we take the focus of ourselves, that is when true greatness is realised.
This is the message of the selfless Shamash. To dream alone is awesome, but in helping others to dream, you don’t only bring out the best in them, you bring out the best in yourself.
Wishing you and your families Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!
Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman
(Below: Chanukah at Westfield Eastgradens with families from Maroubra Synagogue and Mount Sinai College)