Inside Madison Square Garden, it was like pre-pandemic times.
The event was a sold-out concert by the country music star Luke Combs, which had been rescheduled because of the pandemic.
Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know who Luke Combs was. My brother bought tickets for the family as a Chanukah gift and I said yes to the invitation.
Music is music. And I love good music. I especially love great live music.
Being at a concert where everyone is singing along to every song while you don’t know the songs is strange. I felt like I was in a completely different habitat.
On the surface, I seemed to have little in common with most of the people around me. This wasn’t my tribe.
And yet, it was. I felt strangely at home. Especially when the lights went down.
Thousands of people, singing along. Raising vibration through sound and chanting. And the flickering of lights.
Maybe they wouldn’t call it sound healing and mantra, but it was. Anything can be a spiritual experience.
As generally happens at a concert, there was a point where everyone started waving their phones in the air, with the flashlight on.
I’m old enough to remember when people waved lighters, with actual flames. Which suddenly makes me feel old.
These days, lighters aren’t even allowed.
Although the flashlights aren’t quite the same as lighters, it still packs a punch to see a large crowd where each person is waving a single point of light in the air.
It starts with one person and suddenly it spreads, and before you know it everyone is waving their lights together. You can feel the unity, the community. The oneness of it.
This is how enlightenment happens.
In the darkness, we can’t see the surface. We don’t see what people look like or what they are wearing or who they voted for.
All we can see is their souls — the light that emanates from within.
This is the miracle of lights that we celebrate on Chanukah.
It takes a setting of darkness. This time of year when the days are shortest.
Then it takes just one person willing to shine a little light. The first candle. Then another. And another.
Light spreads. A flame can give of itself without limits.
Suddenly an entire arena is filled with flickering lights.
Souls coming together. Raising the vibration.
This is how we heal.
Music. Mantra. Community.
Lighting the darkness, one soul at a time.