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Got a Light?

Got a Light?

Gold menorah fully lit with red candles


This light’s for Hanukkah…
for a people who who choose to begin
our best of days with light.
What special Jewish day
doesn’t start with on open flame?


This light’s for the Dreidel…
for the great miracle that
happened there, unless
you happen to be there
where it’s changed to here
because we’re inclusive like that.


This light’s for latkes…
Potato pancakes
because everything good
begins and ends
with potatoes.


This light’s for Sufganiyot…
Jelly Donuts. Not quite as popular
as latkes in all the official surveys
but, really, who can complain
when a donut comes along?


This light’s for oil…
Be careful it’s flammable!
Bad for you in every way!
But fry anything in it and the
memory of that miracle
flies back into our hearts.


This light’s for Maccabees…
Judah and his whole crew.
When the not really elected leaders
started to poo-poo everything
they risked life and limb
for all these lights. Stand up
like a Judah, my friends.


This light’s for the shamash
Doesn’t take a night off.
Does the essential work that
lets the other eight shine.
Be the shamash you wish
to see in the world.


This light’s for miracles…
It doesn’t matter if a great miracle
happened here or there
just that you believe that one
could happen at all.
How many miracles are you missing?

Got a light?

In the above video, Lupert performs his poem set to music with Josh Goldberg, a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and cantorial soloist in Los Angeles, CA. Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Josh graduated from University of Southern California’s renowned Thornton School of Music, in the Popular Music program. He has toured internationally with artists such as Craig Taubman and Rick Recht, and has performed at major Jewish conferences. In 2017, Josh created his own record label and production company, Kosher Style Records, specializing in producing albums for up-and-coming contemporary Jewish songwriters from around the country. He is currently the cantorial soloist at Temple Beth Hillel in Los Angeles, and is studying to be a cantor at the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA. Josh lives in Sherman Oaks with his fiancée, Annie, their cat, Jazz, and their dog, Frankie.

Rick Lupert is a songleader, poet and graphic designer in Los Angeles who has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He created the Poetry Super Highway and has hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading since 1994. He’s authored 21 collections of poetry, including God Wrestler and Donut Famine, and edited A Poet’s Siddur, A Poet’s Haggadah, the Noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night, and Ekphrastia Gone Wild under his imprint Ain’t Got No Press. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California and works as a music teacher and graphic designer for anyone who would like to help pay his mortgage.

Rick Lupert

Published: 12/15/2017

Categories: Jewish Holidays, Hanukkah
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