To Ascend Does Not Mean to Not Speak: Blessing for an Intersectional Hanukkah


To ascend does not mean to not speak
Of the dead and the dying
And the insidiousness of silence that stamps out women in the realm of the living.

And to ascend does not mean to pour oil over the living dead
Of anointing our joy over our starvation
And the draping of miracles over Jewish lives lost and
perhaps even Jewish lives that have not been acknowledged as fully Jewish.

Rather, to ascend means to sanctify
to break free of the ordinary
And with the rising of light
And the intensity of our life
To fulfill the mitzvah of a mounting enkindling

Such that when each candle is lit.
We go up with it.
And as we bring each of our selves around the light.
The sparks of ourselves make the mitzvah.

Oh Light Maker
and light bringers.
May we wrap the law and the light in the blessing of our lives.

And may the holiness of who we are
Fulfill on the words of our sages “Ma’alin b’Kodesh v’Lo Moridin.”

The height of the flame ever-climbs
in the light of a Jewish life that, in spite of not-Life, keeps on living.

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