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Pirsume Nisa – A Poem for Hanukkah

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December 7, 2023
CatLane/Getty Images

Every year at the mall, all the local Jews gather
in front of everyone who has to slip by us to
buy an Orange Julius or see what Hot Topic is up to.

Slip past a people who, lately, might be
better served keeping our heads down.
I could show you the numbers but

this a poem and, no one wants that.
So instead, we keep our heads up
in front of ten feet tall menorahs

or hanukiyot  as the purists might say
even though there are a hundred ways
to spell that and some of us are

very particular about our transliterations.
We keep our heads up and sing
louder than the mall rules allow.

We dance and give latkes away to
anyone who wants one. We don’t discriminate.
You like a fried potato? You get a fried potato.

Who needs a box of candles?
How about some cheap dreidels?
It’s all for the taking, at the mall!

Because a great miracle happened there
and if we don’t publicize it here
it’s like it never happened.

So light it up. In front of everyone
right in the window so your neighbors know.
Keep your head up, my friends.

You are the miracle.


Rick Lupert, a poet, songleader and graphic designer, is the author of 27 books including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion.” Find him online at www.JewishPoetry.net

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