To All Our Maccabee Warriors

To all our Maccabee warriors

Out there in the big blue-grey world

Rest your shield and your gauntlet

If only for just a moment

Rise up from wherever you are shining

And take your bow

This is your curtain call

To all the university students

Our apprentice Maccabees

Whose campus life may be speckled with anti-Semitism

Who walk in fear and shame

For being Jewish

For loving Israel

For being bullied into feeling that they don’t belong

Take a bow, mighty Maccabee

For showing up

For being present and powerful

For you are our future leaders and creators

And our future shines because of you

To all those who are fighting their personal battles

Who get up each morning and apply their warrior masks just to face the world

Who put one foot in front of the other

And push

And push

And push

Through each minute of every day

Trying, breathing, bruising,

Repeat

Take a bow, mighty Maccabee

For you are brave, bright and bold

And you are greatly loved and needed

To all those parents who are struggling

And juggling and finding it so hard just to keep their balance and their breath

Take a bow, mighty Maccabee

Close your eyes and know

That your love and your presence is all that is enough to your little Maccabees in training

To all those who dedicate their lives to making the lives of others better

Who fight for the chained to be unchained

Who hold the hands of those who are lonely and scared and sick and pained

Who are glowing, radiant matchsticks in a world of darkness

Take a bow, mighty Maccabees

For you are our lamplighters

And your incandescent torch illuminates the souls of thousands, hundreds or perhaps one

To all those who dedicate their lives to educate our precious children

Who have looked a square peg in the eye, smiled and dug a new hole to match

You, who have made a child know that they are worthy even if their grades say differently

Those of you who laugh at the face of labels and valiantly dig deep to unlock hidden buried gifts and treasures

Those of you who lift and empower

The minds of our most prized

Stand up, Maccabees

And take a bow

For you are our leaders of leaders, our creators of creators

To all those who have sacrificed in order to protect our Israel

Who are training and sweating and bleeding and broken

Who are sleeping in the unforgiving cold and mud and rain

Who stand blistering in the hot desert sun and

Who are completely exhausted, hungry and aching for home

Stand up and take a gallant bow

For you are our modern day Maccabees

Our selfless and brazen and majestic and mighty warrior heroes

And to all the Maccabees who paved the way before us

We salute you

You who walked a million moons for the forever freedom of your family

Who flipped over the desert earth with your raw chapped hands and unveiled a promised land pink and blushing in the desert sun

To you who screamed from your burning lungs Mi LaHashem Elai, if you are with Hashem join me

Who taught us to be a beacon of light unto the nations of the world

And who ignited the fiery flames of resilience, perseverance and eternal hope for our Jewish people

And to the Maccabee warrior inside each of us

Though it may feel at times as though your light has been cloaked

Concealed deep in a clay cruse

It may be something as simple as your smile, a kind word, a loving gesture, mindfulness

That casts a warm orange glow around anyone and everyone in your radius

And sets in motion a small incipient spark spreading

Wick by wick, flame by flame

Growing, glowing and great

Stand tall mighty Maccabee

And take your bow

For you are a link on the long chain of Maccabees past, present and future

And your flame burns ever so brightly

The above was previously published in The Jewish Link.

About the Author
Esti Rosen Snukal is a writer for the Jewish Link of New Jersey. She made Aliya with her husband and four sons on July 12, 2012 to Chashmonayim. Esti is also the adopted mom to a lone soldier from Highland Park NJ and an active volunteer at the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin.
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