The diverse lights of the hanukkia and the diversity of our world

Our challenge today is to recognize that diversity is not a liberal value; it is the way of the world.

By
December 22, 2016 21:18
4 minute read.
Hannuka

IDF soldiers light on the northern border, 1994. (photo credit: ALEX ROZKOVSKY/IDF SPOKESMAN)

 
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This year the first day of Hanukka and Christmas fall on the same day. In 1968, Hanukka and Ramadan ended on the same date, and the next day was Christmas Eve. That evening in 1968, one-quarter of the world’s population saw, for the first time, images of the Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts from a lunar orbit. Our planet, a beautiful marble ball, appeared lonely and vulnerable floating against the black backdrop of the universe. The pictures captured the imagination of the world, triggering something in the consciousness of humanity that gave birth to the environmental movement and, two years later, the first Earth Day.

To frame that moment, the Apollo 8 crew read the first 10 lines from the Book of Genesis. The opening chapters not only include the account of the creation of the earth, but over and over tell us of the importance of diversity.

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