Between the Fires:

A Prayer for lighting Candles  by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

We are the generation that stands  

Between the fires:

Behind us the flame and smoke 

that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima;

From the burning forests of the Amazon,

From the hottest years of human history

that bring upon us

Melted ice fields, Flooded cities, Scorching droughts.

Before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,

The heat and smoke that could consume all Earth.

"Here! The day is coming

That will flame like a furnace, “

Says the Infinite YHWH / Yahhhh,

The Breath of Life --

when all the arrogant, all evil-doers, 

root and branch, 

will like straw be burnt to ashes. 

Yet for those of you who revere My Name,

Yes! My Name, Yahhhh, the Interbreath of Life! 

For them a sun of justice will arise 

with healing in its wings / rays. . . . 


“Here! Before the coming 

of the great and awesome day

of YHWH/ the Breath of Life,

I will send you the Prophet Elijah

to turn the hearts of parents to their children 

and the hearts of children to their parents,

lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction."

(Malachi 3: 20-21, 23-24.)

Here! we ourselves are coming

Before that great and terrible day

of  smiting Earth — 

For we ourselves shall turn the hearts

Of parents to their children

And the hearts of children to their parents

So that this day of smiting

Does not fall upon us.

                                                    ." (Malachi 3: 20-21, 23-24.)

It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze

But the light in which we see each other fully.

All of us different, All of us bearing 

One Spark.

We kindle these candle-fires to see more clearly 

That the earth and all who live as part of it

Are not for burning.                                

We light these fires to see more clearly

The rainbow in the many-colored faces of all life

Blessed is the One within the many.

Blessed are the many who make One.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Rabbi Arthur Waskow