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[Ḥanukkah] the Feast of Light and Dedication — a prayer by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54805 [Ḥanukkah] the Feast of Light and Dedication — a prayer by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924) 2024-03-16 11:05:21 This prayer for "The Feast of Light and Dedication" by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, <em>Prayers of the Jewish Advance</em> (1924), on pages 37-39. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Abraham Cronbach https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Ḥanukkah 20th century C.E. 57th century A.M. English vernacular prayer anti-war Jewish pacifism
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Everlasting Light,
far other than martial prowess
is that wherein we rejoice this day.
Not the triumphs of that ancient war
but the new consecration of that altar
is that which we commemorate.
The folly of all war is that which we have learnt.
Then and now and always it hath been:
“Not by might and not by power,
but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
How vain, in that day,
was the strife of the factions,
how futile the wars of the nations,
how barren the victor’s gain!
O Father,
scanning history’s tome we perceive it:
not in light but in darkness are all contentions bred.
Were men not blind to their fellowmen’s thoughts,
there would be no strife.
Did men understand their fellowmen’s intents,
there would be no strife.
Even as the Maccabees, according to their vision, did the right,
their foe also, according to his vision, did the right.
In the end, the light that was needed shone.
Intents long concealed were revealed.
Then did the strife cease,
factions becoming comrades,
foes becoming friends,
and conflicting thoughts fusing at last
into the calcium gleam of truth
with new illumination for the groping minds of men.
Thus hast Thou taught us, O Father,
how no strife can be in Heaven’s name;
no strife is of that which endureth.
O in those ancient struggles,
may we see the type of our own dissentions
and grow in the wisdom of peace.
May we prefer the endurance of injury
to the inflicting of injury,
warily rejecting every passion-wrought pretext
masking as a just reason
for harming our fellowmen.
And, Father,
we also have need of rearing anew
altars fair and pure.
How oft amid life’s warfare
does the altar within us become defiled,
our unholy moods and unworthy deeds
being the despoiling Syrian hordes.
May new altars of nobler resolves,
statelier purposes and larger thoughts
be ever consecrated within our bosoms,
the inward light of the spirit shining
with an eightfold splendor
in the solemn dedication hour.
And may our minds be dedicated
to the world’s ever-growing light.
Though but a taper be added day by day,
how luminous the shining sum of them!
O Light Supernal,
the consciousness of Thee
is a glowing taper within us;
brilliant the luster when darkness encircleth,
though oft but dimly noted
in prosperity’s noonday glare.
When the winter time of trouble is upon us
and the hours of gloom are many
and the hours of daylight few,
O let the light of consecration beam.
Radiant in our hearts be the certainty that,
as in the world of sense so in the world of spirit,
the day whose night is longest
is the day whereon the sun’s return begins.
Life and warmth will again transfigure
the frozen earth.
O Infinite Sunshine,
return Thou unto us.
Be Thou our soul’s springtime
prepared for in the bleak winter.
Be Thou our soul’s summer,
for the summer of eternity art Thou blazing
with life and beauty and joy,
flawless and everlasting.
Amen.

This prayer for “The Feast of Light and Dedication” by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach is found in his, Prayers of the Jewish Advance (1924), on pages 37-39.

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