The inspiration for this website can be traced back to a little boy sitting on his mother’s lap watching her write a letter in cursive script. The serene and deft movement of her fingers grasping the pen; the sound of the ball point scratching the paper; the magic of letters forming from the flow of the ink into words. Now if the mere technicalities of writing were so intriguing… 

Days become years….

Creative writing; stories, stories, stories; encouragement from family, friends, and teachers; reading books, books, and books. The need for glasses by age 13.

Days become years…..

Attempts at using words to bridge the gap of loneliness vs. solitude, lust vs. love, arrogance vs. confidence, aggressiveness vs. assertiveness, academic knowledge  vs. common sense, empirical evidence vs. faith.

Journalism covering features and hard news.

And then, the writing begins to express itself as poetry and prose poetry.

Days becomes years…..

The journey becomes one of retracing roots as a Jew setting foot in the ancient Holy Land.

With an eventual return to the fold, there is a gradual realization that even profound ideas from our holy Torah sometimes become just fleeting thoughts – not firmly ingrained in the kishkes.

“HaShem – I’m finding it easier to think like a Chassid than to act like one. There’s a disconnect between my mind and heart. Please enlighten me!”

“I expect a return on My investment.”

“What does that mean?”

“Everyone has their own way of becoming a lamplighter. What’s yours?”

So – in line with one of Chassidut’s axioms – I thought to shed light on what may have been previously in some obscurity.

By shining our own unique light via a medium that resonates with our souls, we can help integrate what we’ve learned intellectually into our personalities.

In essence therefore, everyone can follow their passions and become lamplighters.

Ideally before days become years ……

“The soul of man is G‑d’s candle“. (Proverbs 20:27)

“I desire to fulfill Your will, my G-d; and Your Torah is in my innards.” (Psalms 40:9)

Although [the halacha] represents Divine wisdom and intelligence and is Torah law, one should [seek and] discover an element within it that affects avodah and conduct while living in this physical world. (Igrot Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, letter #769, Hebrew, Vol. 3, p. 352). 

About the Poet

Chaim Yochanan Cohen lives in Jerusalem with his family and seeks to employ poetry as a means of enhancing Torah concepts from a Chabad Chassidic perspective.  By so doing, he strives to keep these concepts in his kishkes. He is convinced that HaShem grants everyone the gifts and ability to do the same in their own way.

“By sharing with others, we not only benefit by ingraining what we’ve learned, but each of us additionally becomes a lamplighter. We are thereby endowed with the ability to bring nachas to the Kadosh Baruch Hu when He sees a return on His investment.

May this in turn be a harbinger for our continued commitment to make this lowest of realms an abode for the Divine Presence together with our righteous Moshiach as the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings continue to spread outward.”

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