I grew up observing both Chanukah and Christmas. Both are important in my life. So, as the Jewish Festival of Lights begins, by family tradition I like to absorb a poem written by Hanna Szenes (Senesh). It was her last, actually, penned in Yugoslavia, May 1944. The meditation of it deepens the experience for me, readies my heart for the significance of one of God’s great miracles…and of the sacredness of life.
“Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.
Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.”