One Hanukkah many years ago, Chaim Drizin set out to kindle the holiday spirit in a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Russian Jewish immigrants. Writing on Chabad.org, he said that many of the immigrants knew little about the particulars of their faith because they had lived under communism.
Spotting an elderly man sitting on a park bench by himself in front of a concrete chess table, Drizin approached him carrying the small tin menorah and colored candles he was planning to distribute. He wished the man a Happy Hanukkah and asked if he’d like to light the menorah.
“Please go away, I am not interested,” the man replied.
Drizin put the menorah with candles on the chess table, lit them, and said, “Here is the menorah. If you want it, it is yours.”
He left to reach out to others in the neighborhood, and completed his mission successfully. On his way home, he drove past the bench where he had left the old man earlier. There, he saw the old man staring at the lit menorah with tears in his eyes. “Flame meets flame,” Drizin writes, “and a soul ignites.”
Make [these] days of…gladness. (Esther 9:22)
Kindle in me a love for You, Father.