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A Prayer for the Sabbath of Hanukkah

A Prayer for the Sabbath of Hanukkah

Holding Matches and candle fire on black background

This Friday evening begins with a candle-lighting for both Hanukkah and Shabbat. (Remember: Tonight we kindle the Hanukkah lights first and then the Shabbat candles, using the Hanukkah blessings and then the blessing over the Shabbat candles.) As the evening begins, let us consider the customs and meaning of both holidays with this special prayer.

A Prayer for the Sabbath of Hanukkah

Hanukkah lasts for eight nights but is celebrated only once a year.

Shabbat is celebrated each week of the year but lasts only for one day.

Hanukkah reminds us that there are things worth fighting for.

Shabbat invites us to imagine a world without fighting.

Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple.

Shabbat celebrates the creation of the world.

Hanukkah calls upon us to put loyalty to our people above personal security.

Shabbat calls upon us to put personal relationships above professional goals.

Hanukkah marks the end of a war.

Shabbat marks a cessation from work.

The lights of Hanukkah celebrate freedom from tyranny.

The lights of Shabbat celebrate redemption from slavery.

Just as this evening invites us to kindle two sets of candles, so too may the message of both Hanukkah and Shabbat light the way for us each day, even during the darkest of nights.


Rabbi David Wirtschafter is the rabbi of Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY. Confronting violence in classic Jewish texts and contemporary society is the focus of his work in progress, The Torah They Never Taught You, Bad Stories from The Good Book.

Rabbi David Wirtschafter

Published: 12/30/2016

Categories: Jewish Holidays, Shabbat, Hanukkah, Practice, Prayers & Blessings
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