The Reluctant Shamash
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Aloft on the dais
At the center of the menorah
For other candles look up to
Bestowed with the privilege
Of lighting the lowliers flickering by its sides.
The first candle lit, and ninth in line
The servant candle emits it’s special light,
No other could be as worthy.
Not asked for or elected to be
Like a guardian
Looking out for its charges
For eight straight nights
Held as its melting fire
Dubs each wick
In line to be ignited.
A ritual not chosen but rather bestowed
Unable to be relinquished, resigned or unowned
But even the most devoted of keeper of the flame
Needs a Shabbos nap now and then
But the Shamash at Hanukkah,
Has eight evenings more, to illuminate our prayer
With dignity and joy.
So when can the Shamash finally rest?
Not until Hanukkah next
The dutiful Shamash has until next year
To rekindle its strength and then reappear.