Lighting Candles for Peace: A Sheikha and a Rabbi

Lighting Candles for Peace: A Sheikha and a Rabbi

This short poem, written by two women – a Jewish rabbi and Muslim sheikha – calls on readers to light a candle in their homes and houses of worship on Friday, the day that is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, so as to spread the light of peace throughout the world. With Arabic, English, and Hebrew translations, the poem speaks in the voice of both Muslim and Jewish mothers. Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed is a Palestinian living in Northern Israel who works in women’s empowerment and interfaith relationships in both Arab and Jewish society. Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum, a spiritual leader and human rights activist, is founder of ZION: An Eretz Israeli Congregation in Jerusalem and Vice President of the Masorti Rabbinical Assembly, the body of the Conservative Movement in Israel. This piece was submitted to The Open Siddur Project, an initiative that aims to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a collectively shared resource for students, scholars, artists, and educators to adopt, adapt, and redistribute.

Let Us Light Candles for Peace

Two mothers, one plea:
Now, more than ever, during these days of so much crying,
on the day that is sacred to both our religions,
Friday, Sabbath Eve
Let us light a candle in every home – for peace:
A candle to illuminate our future, face to face,
A candle across borders, beyond fear.
From our family homes and houses of worship
Let us light each other up,
Let these candles be a lighthouse to our spirit
Until we all arrive at the sanctuary of peace.

בואו נאיר נרות שלום

שתי אמהות ובקשה אחת:
שדווקא עכשיו, בימי הבכייה הגדולה האלה,
בימים המקודשים לדתות שלנו,
בשישי ובערב שבת,
נדליק בכל בית נר לשלום:
נר שמבקש פני עתיד, פני אדם.
נר שצולח גבולות ואימה.
מבתי המשפחות ומבתי התפילה שלנו
נאיר זה לזה
והנרות יהיו מגדלור לרוחנו
עד שנבוא אל היכל השלום.

تعالوا نضيئ شمعات السلام

والدتان وطلب واحد:
خصيصا الان, في هذه الايام, ايام البكاء الكبير,
في اليوم المقدس لدياناتنا,
في يوم الجمعة ومساء السبت,
نضيئ في كل بيت شمعة للسلام:
شمعة تطالب بوجه المستقبل, وجه الانسان.
شمعه تنتصر على الحدود والرعب.
من بيوت عائلاتنا وبيوت صلواتنا
نضيئ احدنا للاخر
والشموع تكون البروج والفنار لارواحنا
حتى نصل لمعبد السلام.

“تعالوا نضيئ شمعات السلام | בואו נאיר נרות שלום | Let us Light Candles for Peace by Sheikha Ibtisam Maḥameed and Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum” is shared by Tamar Elad-Appelbaum with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.