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We Light these Lights

A new prayer for Hanukkah by Rabbi Brant Rosen

We light these lights

for the instigators and the refusers

the obstinate and unyielding

for the ones who kept marching

for ones who tended the fires

for 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

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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