Better to Light a Candle: Chanukah and the Tragedy in Newtown, CT
By Rabbi David Kaufman Dec. 14, 2012
On the first day of school, excitement was in the air,
One was wearing a new dress, a big red bow in her hair,
Another had on new sneakers and had nearly forgotten,
The kiss, the hug, the picture taken before kindergarten,
The months rolled by, joy and learning,
Children at play, always yearning
The bell sounded to begin just another day,
But yet not another day…
Thunderous sounds, but not thunder,
Screams, but not of joy and laughter.
A town of lives torn asunder,
From this day and ever after.
I could not think of words to say,
No prayer enough, not today,
Yet today was today and something must be said,
As we think of the darkness that reared its ugly head.
Tonight, we remember ancient times of challenge and fear,
Miracles that happened Sham and Po, there and here,
Through the power of your spirit, the weak defeated the strong,
On this night our weakened spirits are carried along.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that when things look bad and hopeless,
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
On this night of all nights,
We remember that one candle may kindle many lights.
Light will kindle light.
Hope will kindle hope.
May we work to make our world a better place for our children and grandchildren to grow up in health, safety, happiness, and joy.