Saturday, December 8, 2012

Giving Light

Baruch Atah Adonai
Blessed Yah
Giving Light in the Darkness:

About ten years ago,
I was home alone.
I didn't have a menorah
I wasn't gonna light any candles
But it's no big deal.
I didn't do Hanukah.
Why make a fuss?
It's a minor holiday,
Just some Maccabees
With a boring miracle,
Eight days of oil:
What the hell is that?
But I still gave out presents
I used to think
A present wasn't a present
Unless the gift I gave
Was something I wanted to keep for myself.
Oh well.
I guess I was a little lost in the darkness.
And then that December,
A week before Hanukah
A friend came by to drop off a Hanukah gift:
She gave me a menorah!
And some candles and some matches, too!
And there it was, that year,
On the first night of Hanukah,
And I thought, why not?
And for the first time in a long time
I lit the candles on a menorah,
My new menorah,
And I said the blessings
And I remembered the Maccabees:
When times were hard
They did not disappear,
They fought so hard for their community.
And I thought of all the Jews lighting candles
All over the world.
And I was not alone.

Which brings me to
The storms and the wind and the floods and the wars
When so so many people
Are lost in real darkness.
Nothing poetic about that.
So for eight nights this year
As I light the candles on my now old menorah
I will say the blessings
And pray for those who have been injured or killed or raped.
And pray for those who are worried and homeless and hungry.
And pray for those who are lost to themselves.
And thank God for all of us who are still here.
And thank God for our loved ones.
And thank God for the Maccabees,
Of all places and religions and races,
Who, when times are hard,
Refuse to disappear.
They are still fighting so hard for their communities
With food and shelter and work and love.
Not a miracle exactly,
It's what good people do,

They give when giving is needed. 
They are the best and
It is a blessing.
We are so grateful.
We are not alone.

Blessed is the Source of Light

We are made holy with the obligation to do good.

And so tonight we kindle the Hanukah candles.

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