Don't Let the Lights Go Out!

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For the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah, we light a candle each night to celebrate freedom, justice, commitment and learning. My dear friend, Peter Yarrow, of the folks group Peter, Paul and Mary, wrote a song that is so powerful in these times - “Light One Candle”

Above, a wonderful actress, singer and “extended family” member, Melinda Doolittle (American Idol), sings “Light One Candle” with the passion of advocating for justice and care. I hosted this on our Empathy Concert last week.

Tonight, we are hosting Metra Mehran, a woman advocate who fled Afghanistan last year, was at our home, as she prepares to present at colleges about the challenges of women being denied the right to education.

We were honored to have Metra light the 3rd candle in the Hanukkah. Sadly, today the government in Afghanistan announced a ban on all women in Higher Education. We watched and sang “Light One Candle” to focus on the injustice of gender apartheid in her country.

Here are Peter, Paul and Mary singing “Light One Candle” with a choir and children’s chorus many years ago,

Finally, here are the lyrics to reflect on in this Holiday Season:

“Light One Candle” - by Peter Yarrow:

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn't die
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand
But light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker's time is at hand

Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts

Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)

What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died
That we cry out they've not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail!

Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!

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Yours in Learning,

Elliott Masie
MASIE Learning Foundation
MASIE Productions
emasie@masie.com
www.masie.com