In winter comes the Festival of Light.
Though outside all the world is black and cold,
The tiny flames, of candlewax or oil,
Are beacons beckoning to you and yours,
One candle now, another one each night,
A haloed brightness shining through the dark.

When evening comes, and sky above grows dark,
We know the time has come for us to light
And say the blessing: three on this first night,
Two afterwards. Before we get too cold,
Let's go inside and I'll watch you light yours,
A clear bright flame of purest olive oil.

The latkes sizzle in the pan of oil,
Turned over, twice, and taken out when dark;
Here, sit right down and eat -- this place is yours,
Beside us we can see the candlelight.
Now eat, enjoy; don't let the food grow cold.
There'll be leftovers for another night .

The dreidel game lasts far into the night,
A game of chance, as slippery as oil;
The stakes are special coins -- not metal cold,
But foil-wrapped finest chocolate, rich and dark.
The little top spins, nimble, quick and light:
Now will the win be mine this time, or yours?

The storytelling, for tonight, is yours,
To tell of long ago, another night:
The Maccabees searched (for the Eternal Light)
To find an undefiled jar of oil;
They found one only, in a corner dark --
Eight days it burned, and drove away the cold.

Our songs bring warmth, despite the biting cold.
I'd love to harmonize my voice with yours
And sing until the sky's no longer dark.
"Eight nights, eight lights," and this the last long night;
Eight flames leap high and burn with holy oil,
And, watching, we climb upwards toward the light.

For now, the cold cannot touch our festive night,
Ours, mine and yours. We light the lamp of oil:
Begone now, dark, give way to shining light.

*Latkes: Fried potato pancakes, a traditional Chanukah dish.
*Dreidel: A four-sided top used in a Chanukah game, commonly played with chocolate coins as the stakes.

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