Every Jewish holiday is ushered in with light. Tonight, before we light the festival candles, we read the words of Hannah Senesh, a Jewish freedom fighter who parachuted behind Nazi lines, and was executed by the Nazis in 1944 on a mission in Hungary. She wrote:
Blessed is the match that is consumed kindling the flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.
Blessed is the heart strong enough to stop beating in dignity.
Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling the flame.
May the festival lights we now kindle Inspire us to use our powers
To heal and not to harm,
To help and not to hinder,
To bless and not to curse,
To create and not to destroy,
To help all to be free.
We praise God for the gift of life and this happy time.
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