We bought these (admittedly crappy) flashlights at the dollar store and filled them with long shaped candy - licorice, laffy taffies, granola bars, lollypops - because anything wider than like an inch just didn't fit inside. Printed up some labels that say "L'yehudim hatya ORAH*... -
Wishing you a Purim filled with (a flash)light and happiness!" and we were done. So fast, so simple. And so not what we usually do.
I usually spend weeks baking and baking and then baking some more. So even though it wasn't easy filling those flashlights (I even got a blister on my finger!), it was like a vacation. We filled those
flashlights in front of the tv! And I wasn't covered in flour! Do you see how easy it is to make me happy?
But there's more to the flashlights. For the past many months, we have been ardent followers of a little girl named Ayelet Galena and her parents' journey with her through her illness and subsequent passing.
As we listened to her father speak at her funeral, we heard him say that one of Ayelet's namesakes was the Ayelet HaShachar, the morning star, the first ray of light. Ayelet was a light not only to her
family but to her whole Ayelet Nation. And if you read through their blog, you will see that her parents, Hindy and Seth Galena, are themselves not only a light to their family and fellow Jews throughout the world, but a light unto the nations as well - as we should all strive to be while living our lives.
I am having a hard time recalling a bigger kiddush Hashem than Ayelet's story in a very long time. And not only that, but Hindy and Seth are also an ohr layehudim, a light for the Jewish nation,
because the miztvot that has been performed on Ayelet's behalf are more numerous than anyone can ever know.
So we added a sentence to our flashlight labels: "Our mitzvah of mishloach manot is being fulfilled in memory of Ayelet Galena, Ayelet Yakira bat Shais Luria, a light to her parents and her 'Ayelet
Nation'. May Ayelet's neshama have an aliyah.
Wishing you a wonderful Purim - and may it be that we all celebrate Purim next year together in Yerushalayim!
*The Hebrew word Ohr or Orah means light, hence the flashlight.