by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
On the night of the holiday the 7th day of Passover I saw a strange sight that piqued my interest. A Jewish teenager from our neighborhood dressed in a t-shirt and jeans (with no yarmulke) was carefully placing a candle next to a garbage dumpster. I asked him what he was doing…
“I’m setting up a candle so we can smoke on Yom Tov (on the holiday). [It’s permitted on a Jewish holiday, but not on the Shabbos, to light a fire from an existing fire – therefore those who smoke can, though it’s not considered a good thing to do – smoke on the holiday by using an existing fire such as a candle to light their cigarrete.] If you walk around town you’ll see such candles set up around various dumpsters and in corners in the parks. What, you think we don’t keep the Yom Tov like you do?”
He’s right, I didn’t think that the bare headed Jewish teenagers shlumping around the neighborhood on Yom Tov in jeans and t-shirts would be keeping the Jewish religious restrictions of the Yom Tov.
I’m thrilled to be shown that every Jew has a spark, a connection to HaKodesh Baruch Hu. And while that bare headed jeans and t-shirt wearing Jewish teenager may be rebelling and rejecting current Jewish religious culture, that doesn’t mean he’s rejecting Hashem or His Torah. He may just need a different (but equally kosher) path to demonstrate it.
Every Jew is filled with mitzvot like a pomegranate is filled with seeds!