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The Light of Understanding

December 23, 2014

Tonight, for the eighth night of Chanukah (the Festival of Lights), we will light all nine of the candles of our Chanukiah (candelabrum).

It is a beautiful sight.

The flames dance and the room glows.

A week ago, Chanukah began and there were the fewest candles (two).

Successively we added one more candle each evening, and consequently, there was more light as time passed.

I am not the first person to equate light with understanding.

Nevertheless, I do see the metaphor, particularly but not only as it relates to mediation.

For, in mediation, understanding one another is the key to success, particularly vis-à-vis understanding the needs and interests and the priorities belonging to each person in the negotiation.

And, as the mediation progresses, so does understanding increase – the same metaphorically as with the candles of Chanukah – particularly as people communicate and exchange their ideas with one another.

The light at the end of the mediation thus burns brightly with the insight that results from this exchange; and, with the negotiation concluded, the faces of the participants glow with the satisfaction of having ended their dispute and having achieved peace.

It is a beautiful sight.

That’s all I want to say today.


David I. Karp is a full time mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website it at .


From → Mediation

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