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The house of Shammai suggested
lighting eight candles, then seven
and so on. Like coating our hearts
in rain that turns to ice.
But we know better.
We light smoky fires, deck the halls
with chopped-up credit cards
and cling to the increasing light.
My last poem during this stint of guest-blogging! I'm sorry the week is over,
though I haven't maintained a poem-a-day schedule in a good long while; maybe it's
a good thing I'm quitting while I'm ahead.
Hillel and Shammai headed the two famous houses of scholarship which manifest
the twin poles of Jewish jurisprudence. Hillel's rulings tend to be more lenient;
Shammai's, more stringent. The halakha generally follows the rulings of Hillel.
I'm glad of that, especially now, as we prepare to begin the festival of Chanukah
tomorrow night. I love going from one tiny flame to the blaze of eight branches of
Happy holidays to you, dear readers!
Posted by Rachel Barenblat on December 20, 2008 at 10:25 AM in Guest Bloggers, Poems, Rachel Barenblat | Permalink
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