Addendum to “Chanukah: Reminder to Resist”

During the Chanukah celebration with my Jewish Voice for Peace Metro DC Chapter yesterday (mentioned in the prior post), we shared in this blessing by Rabbi Rosen as the menorah candles were lighted. I find it moving, evocative of the deep spirit and drive for peace and justice in the world. I am thinking I will borrow it to use on other occasions when lighting candles (such as my 75th birthday next year), reminding myself and others of our shared desire for wholeness in the world.

We Light these Lights

by Rabbi Brant Rosen

We light these lights
for the instigators and the refusers
the obstinate and unyielding
for the ones who kept marching
the ones who tended the fires
the ones who would not bow down.

We light these lights
for the sparks that guide us on
through the gentle night
for the darkness that swaddles us
in its soft embrace until the moment
we inevitably emerge
into life renewed.

We light these lights
for the spirit of resilience that remains
after our strength has ebbed away
for the steadfast knowledge even as
the bullets echo repeatedly
off bodies lying in the streets
that the impunity of the powerful
cannot last forever.

These lights we light tonight
will never be used for any other purpose
but to proclaim the miracle
of this truth:
it is not by might nor by cruelty
but by a love that burns relentlessly
that this broken world
will be redeemed.

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