Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Blessing the Lights
By Alter Abelson
 
SILVER candlesticks that beam,
  Holding candles ranged in line,
Stand on snowy tablecloth,
  Near the Sabbath bread and wine.
 
Lovingly my mother lights        5
  Six white candles, one for each
Dear and loving, living child,
  When the twilight hours reach
 
Bringing in the Sabbath bride;
  And in festive robes arrayed,        10
Spreads her palms before her eyes
  Moistened by the tears that strayed;
 
And, like beamings of Shekinah,
  Some ethereal beauty plays
Round her lips as, nodding, she        15
  In a plaintive murmur prays,
 
By the candle’s light and flame;
  And her face begins to shine,
And her brow with grace is haloed
  And transfigured, calm, divine        20
 
Looks she, chanting soft and low;
  “Lord of life and joy and light,
Man whose flame of life is short
  Makes his light all clear and bright.
 
“May my children, plants of Zion,        25
  Love Thee, doing Thy behest,
Fed on manna of the Bible,
  Nourished by the Torah’s breast.
 
“Make us, scions of the prophets,
  Happy in a life lived whole;        30
Lived in honor, labor, love,
  Lived in holiness of soul.
 
“I, Thy handmaid, what am I?
  But to all you deign your grace;
Make my children little lights,        35
  Lighting well their little place.
 
“Make us, seed of Abraham,
  Love-flames burning far and free;
Lights of love and lights of virtue,
  Shining, beaming, God, for Thee,”        40
 
 
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