Art and Literature

Sunday Night Special pre-chanukah edition, December 14th, 2014

Friends — this has been a difficult, discouraging autumn, here in the United States and elsewhere. In the middle of this moral and political melancholy comes Chanukah, the so-called festival of lights — a celebration filled with fried food and nightly presents, behind which lurks the complex historical shadow of a rebellion against foreign occupiers. How are progressive Jews, or indeed progressive anybodies to think about this story in the context of our lives today?  I don’t know. But I think about it. And I usually do my best thinking in a poem. So here is one, or rather 6 short linked poems.

 chanukah haiku

kindle graceful states

Light for peace, open borders

Ignite a threshold.

 

The first night is big

The second diminutive

Three’s spacious. Empty?

 

Four asks the question

How long will where we stand last?

Five flickers not long.

 

Six tapers toward truth

Seven’s light prays for insight

Eight‘s says I can’t see.

 

The miracle burns–

Manifests only one night

How to move past it?

 

Molten wax darkness —

What next? What lies before us?

The red wicks glow. Look.

* * *

To read about why Jews should care about Ferguson, click here

To read about Religious Leaders’ reactions to the Senate Torture report click here

To read about Rabbis for Human Rights and their work in Israel and Palestine, click here 

To read about about the American Jewish World Service, click here

To read about Doctors without Borders and their work with the ebola virus, click here

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