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Posted by Rabbi Ron Symons on December 6, 2015

Each and every year, as we light the candles for Hanukah, we are very particular to ensure that the shamash serves its purpose.

You know what I am talking about: the shamash (helper candle) is supposed to a light the fire for all eight days.  It has a weighty responsibility, that shamash, when it comes to the rituals of Hanukah.  Without a shamash, the other 36 flames that need to glow throughout the 8 days of Hanaukah will never get lit.  If you are like me, the shamash gets its best action on the classic Hanukah-wax-candle-type-menorah.  I try to make my shamash stand out in color from all the other candles I am lighting on a given night.  I know that it is inconsequential, but the aesthetic works well for me.  When I feel adventurous and try to go back to the olive oil roots of Hanukah, my shamash just kind of sits on the side.  I rarely do that.

This year, however, will be different!  Yes my shamash will be a different color wax candle…. but I insist that it does more than just light 36 flames for those 8 days!  YES, it’s light must shine bright beyond Hanukah.  This year, my shamash, and YOUR shamash, can serve another purpose.  The shamash can light a fire of information, advocacy and activism that is sorely needed in our very dark world.  


Let the shamashes of the world, you and me and everyone else who cares, shine bright so that we can see the issues at hand:

  1. Gun Violence
  2. Terrorism
  3. A Woman’s Rights to Healthcare
  4. Israel
  5. Hunger
  6. Immigration
  7. Public Education
  8. Systemic Racism

Each night another fire.  Each night another issue. Each night another opportunity shine more light in our dark world.

Please use and share the attached guide to lighting your lights this year and STAND UP! to be the shamash itself, the one who enables others to shine even brighter, even longer than just 8 days.

Let the light shine!

You can download the guide by clicking here: Light One Candle

Tell me about your light: [email protected]


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