Be the Light : The Lesson of My History Crush

I have a girl crush on someone who has been dead for over 60 years. I’ve got it pretty bad. I want to buy her anything she would ever want, if she were to time travel to the future and discover H&M. I want to ask her everything, who was her first crush, what is her favorite ice cream flavor, what kind of person did she imagine herself to be when she grew up? I want to meet her family and walk with her in her neighborhood. I want BFF status, of course, but will settle for for MySpace top 8 circa 2003, when that mattered.


Her name was Hanna Szenes. Born on July 17, 1921. Hannah enrolled in the British Army in 1943 and trained as an Airwoman 2nd Class in the Women’s Auxillary Army. One of 37 Jewish soldiers from Palestine who parachuted into Yugoslavia. The mission: rescue the Hungarian Jews who were about to be deported to death camps. On March 19, 1944 she and two other soldiers would land via parachute in war-torn Yugoslavia only to learn that the occupation of German soldiers had already taken place. They continued on to the Hungarian border only to be captured by the police, who found her British Transmitter and arrested her for treason.
When Hanna Szenes was in prison, she used mirrors to communicate messages of hope to other prisoners. She would sing during the long days and drew stars of David in the dust. She was tortured, put on trial and killed by a firing squad seven months after her capture. Seven months in which she told all those around her a simple message: hope is a light universal seen long after it is gone.


“There are stars whose radiance is visible on earth

though they have long been extinct.

There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world

though they are no longer among the living.

These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark.

They light the way for mankind. “ -Hannah Szenes

In Kundalini Yoga, you are given a spiritual name, by the universal teacher and divine Guru. The name given to me is the name I blog under, Nam Joti. It means One Who Shines with the Light of the Holy Name. Light of God, Lioness of God. If there is anything I can share with you today, its the idea that your inner light prevents you from being put into any prison. There is no external force that can put you in a cage that you haven’t submitted to. Hannah wrote the most beautiful poetry in a cage, she made the most wonderful example of how to be light when you are surrounded by darkness. 

Today, on the Spring Equinox, we are released from the prison of Winter. May you celebrate the light in your life today, whatever brings you joy and does not seek to harm. May you be the lighthouse in the darkest of prisons. May your love shine with the radiance of kindness and may you be prosperous because of it. May your light be so big it heals nations. May your light be a universal, loving light. 

Sat Nam