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Quotations for Hanukkah


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Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
~Emma Lazarus, "The Feast of Lights"


Colorful candles burning bright, each lit on eight very special nights.  ~Author Unknown


May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.  ~Author Unknown


Eight days the light continued on its own:
A miracle, they say, but not more so
Than ordinary lives of flesh and bone,
Consuming wicks burned ashen long ago....
~Nicholas Gordon, poemsforfree.com


Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart
~Hannah Senesh


To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call.  ~Richard Lewis


The miracle, of course, was not that the oil for the sacred light -
in a little cruse - lasted as long as they say;
but that the courage of the Maccabees lasted to this day:
let that nourish my flickering spirit.
~Charles Reznikoff, "Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays"


Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.  ~Buddha


We have focused on the miracle-thing and I think we often overlook the message of Hanukkah.  To me, the core of the holiday is the cleaning of the temple.... The accomplishment was in restoring the temple to the purpose for which it was built.  Now think of the temple as a symbol.  Perhaps it represents my life.  The world has tried to use me for its own (perhaps good, but none-the-less extrinsic) purposes.  But now I can rededicate myself to my own original purpose.  ~Ralph Levy, "Hanukkah - Another View"


On Hanukkah, the first dark night,
Light yourself a candle bright.
I'll you, if you will me invite
To dance within that gentle light.
~Nicholas Gordon, poemsforfree.com


Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose in straightness - to seek the light.
Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose in crookedness - to seek the light.
Let the crookedness and straightness bespeak the light.
~Allen Ginsberg, "Psalm III"


Christmas brings enormous electric bills.  Candles are used for Hanukkah.  Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.  ~KOACH Humor, "Holiday Distinctions Finally Explained" (KOACH College Outreach is a project of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)


May love and light fill your home and heart at Hanukkah.  ~Author Unknown


In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!" ~Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"


...A fuel-less flame is nothing but a wraith,
However wrought, if unsustained by passion.
~Nicholas Gordon, "How Long Can We Remember an Event," poemsforfree.com


Now, near the Winter Solstice, it is good to light candles.  All the nice meanings of bringing light to the world can be beautiful.  But perhaps we are concentrating on lighting the world because we don't know how to light up our own lives.  ~Ralph Levy, "Hanukkah - Another View"


I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.  ~Jewish Proverb


By all means, then, let us have psalms
and days of dedication anew to the old causes.
~Charles Reznikoff, "Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays"


Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.  ~Chinese Proverb


Still ours the dance, the feast, the glorious Psalm,
The mystic lights of emblem, and the Word.
~Emma Lazarus, "The Feast of Lights"


Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?  ~Rose F. Kennedy


Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Night Flight, 1931, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert


The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.  ~Robert Altinger



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