So, there I was, standing and talking with my brother-in-law outside of Shul one evening. He pointed to a car driving nearby and said, “Hey, there’s a car driving without his headlights on.”
At that moment, an idea occurred to me. You see, the Jewish people are called, “A light unto the Nations.” This statement is not just a fact; it is a calling of our destiny. We are a light, and as such, we are meant to shine that light to the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, however, so many Jews don’t realize their sense of value and holiness, and as such, so many of the Jewish people today are simply driving “without their headlights on.” They are driving in the dark, clueless of their identity and unknowing of their spiritual potential. Instead of living a life of Torah, Mitzvos, Shabbos, etc., they are living in the dark, that is, in the blinding luminance of the physically impermanent world. They don’t even know about the spiritual aura and light of holiness that they are capable of shining.
A good citizen who looks out for the safety and well-being of his fellow man, upon noticing a car driving in the dark without its headlights on, will flash his own headlights at the passing car. In car lingo, this signal means, “I see you are driving without headlights on. It’s not safe. You are much better off turning on your own headlights. You’re welcome.”
Similarly, when we see another Jew that is perhaps “driving in the dark,” without their “headlights” on, let us be that good citizen, that loving brother, that kind neighbor, who flashes our own light onto them. Let us show them the beautiful light, that is, a life of spirituality, meaning, connection, vitality, and passion; a life of beauty, grandeur, and Torah.
Maybe, just maybe, upon seeing our “headlights” turned on, they will come to the realization that they have it within themselves to bring out and shine forth a light, their own radiance of holiness and G-dliness. Together, we will no longer drive in the dark, but rather, all of us will be driving with our “headlights” on, and we will be a nation that lives up to our destiny and calling, of being a “Light unto the Nations.”
At the beginning of Parshas Nasso, the Torah says (1:1): נשא את ראש בני גרשון גם הם – “Take a census of the sons of Gershon, as well.”
The words גם הם – also they – are very important. We are generally comfortable around our like-minded friends and family members. But that person is not my type. They are not as religious. They are different. They. They. They. Guess what? The Torah say גם הם – also they! They should be loved. They should be included. They should be inspired. Turn on your own headlights, and hopefully they will follow suit. Set a good example of what a Torah life looks like, and hopefully they will come along for the greatest ride of existence; what we call a life of Torah and Mitzvos!
Have a holy Shabbos!