Light up the world by Beatie Deutsch

Beatie_Deutsch_lightuptheworld

As a professional marathon runner and a mother of five young children, I often feel like I am always running. Running after kids, running twice a day in workouts, running late to pick up kids from school – life is a constant treadmill that never stops. Friday is the biggest race of all, a mad dash of cooking and cleaning. By the time Shabbat comes in, I’ve barely caught my breath, and oftentimes, I’ll sprint out of the shower just in time to light candles.

Those moments in front of my candlesticks are short but precious; and for just a few minutes, I block out all the chaos around me (because, let’s be real – most weeks the table still hasn’t been set, at least two kids are complaining they’re hungry and I still have a towel on my head), close my eyes and pause.

And as I light my silver candlesticks and murmur the prayer afterwards, I hold onto these words each week ומאירים את העולם בתורה ומעשים טובים – God, please let me merit to raise children who shine your light into this world. Let me raise children who love your Torah and mitzvot and light up the world with their actions.

The dancing flames of the candles remind me that each one of us is compared to candle – כי נר ה’ נשמת אדם, each with our own unique strengths and gifts that God has given us. And as a mother, I am tasked with the holy mission of guiding my children to discover their light, so they can share it with the world. Before I open my eyes once again, I end off by asking God to help me as well. Please let me be a vessel to reflect Your light into this world with every race I run.

Soon enough, I am back to the mundane duties of motherhood, doling out chicken soup for my children, preparing the Shabbat table and putting the little ones to sleep. But each Friday night, my soul is recharged with the words of this powerful prayer.

Beatie Deutsch

Neve Michael, Israel

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