CPR Lesson from Snuffed Candle


One Chanukah, when I was a teenager, a friend showed me a cool trick.  If you snuff out a candle, the smoke rises from the wick for a few seconds.  If you place another flame directly in that smoke , the flame will actually follow the smoke down and relight the candle.  I made a video showing it here.  It's a cool trick, but I never really understood the real meaning of it, until last week when I realized that this is exactly what happened to my son when I blew his soul back into him!

"A candle of G-d is the soul of man" (Proverbs 20, 27).  Chassidus elaborates on the parallels.  Flames don't want to exist.  They want to expire & fly back up to where they came from in heaven.  It's the wick and fuel that tie the flame down and keep it from expiring.  So too, a soul wants to fly back up to heaven, where it came from, and the body is what keeps the soul down here alive.

As a flame is extinguished, and it's en route back up to heaven, a trail of smoke follows it.  Even though the flame is already gone from the wick, if you catch it midway, and put another flame into the smoke trail, the flame will climb back down to the wick. 

You may have heard that I pulled my son's lifeless from the bottom of a pool a couple months back.  There's no doubt in my mind that his soul was on it's way back up to heaven.  Luckily, while his soul wasn't in him, it hadn't made it all the way back to heaven either.  Without any training in CPR, I put him on the concrete and started alternating between blowing into his mouth and pumping his chest.  After about 30 seconds, the flame of his soul came back, and he started to faintly breathe.

You see?  This flame trick is actually a perfect analogy of CPR!  It catches the soul midway and pulls it back!  What a privilege to see how King Solomon's analogy of "A flame of G-d is the soul of man" is literal in every detail.  The entire Torah is true in every detail.  As we go through life, if we pay attention, we can see more and more of this truth.

Yonasan Abrams


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