This is the time of miracles and wonders… Chanukah is all about miracles. Christmas is all about faith, which is all about miracles. When all the children we knew were little, we asked them “why do you light the menorah in the window”? And they all had learned the answer – “because you can”. The greatest miracle is that we live in a place and time where the freedom to worship is writ in stone. The most frightening is that the stone seems more eroded every day. Every day in e-mails spewing hate about muslims and their disregard for human life. Every day in political commentary that “evangelicals” are afraid of a Mormon becoming president because they aren’t “christian”. Every day when increasingly in this country the debate is not about who has the experience, knowledge, intelligence and compassion to run our out of control government but about who has the right faith, or enough faith to be an acceptable president. I am afraid that John Kennedy’s firm belief in the absolute separation of church and state is no longer possible. Sometimes it seems that the popular belief, and that of many of the candidates, is that faith is the only credential. I am afraid that here, as in France, anti-semitism will naturally arise as we become so centered in fundamentalist christianity that we become afraid of and hostile to everything else. So as I light my menorah in the window, I wonder for how many more holidays I will feel unafraid to do so. I wonder if my son will feel unafraid to light his in his future window, and if he is afraid, whether he willl have the courage to do it anyway. And so, in this time of miracles and wonders, the miracle I most pray for is that tolerance and acceptance flourish and that peace on earth prevails.
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