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We are all waiting for all this to end
All this terror at home and abroad
In Jerusalem in Hebron and in Be’er Sheva
In Paris in London in San Bernardino


The knife the assault rifle the explosive device
The fear


But there is hope


There are stories like the story of Joseph

Who emerges from the darkness of an Egyptian prison

To become a ruler


There are stories like the story of the Maccabees

Who banish the impurity

And renew the purity in God’s house


And the candle burns

And each night another candle is added

Another small lighthouse

Another emblem of hope


And I stand before the Chanukah menorah

And I remember how I came from Canada

With the Chanukah dreidel (spinning top)

Whose message in four letters was

Nun gimel hey shin – standing for

Nes gadol haya sham (A great miracle happened there)

And how I arrived in my country, Israel,

With the dreidel

Whose message in four letters is

Nun gimel hey peh – standing for

Nes gadol haya po (A great miracle happened here)


To move from “there” to “here”

Nun gimel hey lamed – standing for

Nes gadol haya li (A great miracle happened to me)


Written in Beer Sheva on Dec. 8, 2015

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About the author

Mark Elliott Shapiro

Mark Elliot Shapiro was born in Toronto. He attended the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto (a Hebrew day school) up to grade 9 and then continued at the Community Hebrew Academy of Tor...

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