Light from Beyond

A Hanukkah poem about light. The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies — where I am the Liturgist in Residence — invited me to write a prayer poem for Hanukkah as part of its series “Illuminating Chanukah: Artistic Reflections on Jewish Texts.” Each artist was asked to interpret a Hanukkah text. This poem is an interpretation of a teaching of the Sefat Emet “that each Hannukah candle draws from the or haganuz, the hidden light of creation.” For the full text, go to Sefaria.

Light from Beyond
When you look
With all of your heart
Into the flames
Dedicated to miracles,
You may glimpse
That special light
God created
On the first day of existence.

How comforting to know
That God’s holiness
And majesty
Still reach this world
Of war and terror.

How wonderful to feel
That God’s love
And blessings
Still shine
To warm our souls.

How glorious to see
That mysteries from heaven
Still wait in secret
To bring joy and light
To all of creation.

When you look
With all of your heart
Into the Hanukkah lights,
You will see
That miracles
Beyond our sight
Will one day bring joy and peace
Beyond our deepest yearning.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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