Holy Candle Too

February 9, 2023

My great-grandmother, Rebbetzin Dena
Of Zamosc, Poland,
Direct descendant of Sephardic Jews,
Inquisition survivors,
Freely offered the town’s poor on Fridays
Candles from her family’s factory
To brighten their gloomy lot:
“Dear Jews, let us kindle Shabbat lights
That joy may dwell in the entire world.”

In the Belzec death camp
She had only the candle of her life to give,
Extinguished by those
Imprisoned in a hellish pit
Of demonic hate forged
In the darkness of the human heart.

Will a saving gift of love, even
one candle’s enduring light,
ever penetrate?