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Thu Dec 18, 2014, 02:42 AM

The Darkness Is Real. So Is The Light.

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But this year, let's own up to the fact that the darkness is real.
The 148 victims of the Taliban terror attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan -- a grim, gory testimonial to the fact that religious freedom is, for too many, still a fiction.
The racial and class divisions in this country. We might imagine that race relations have moved forward, and in some ways, we would be right. But until African-American parents no longer have to have "The Talk" with their teenaged sons, we are not free. No way.
The grim and horrific revelations about our country's implicit endorsement of torture. And why aren't there more religious voices screaming about this? Isn't this a theological issue -- or do we no longer believe in that hoary concept of "the image of God?"
The growth of anti-Semitism. And not even, just, international anti-Semitism. This is not just about Europe. This is about what is happening on college campuses in this country. When a mother of a soon-to-be college freshman asks me, in all candor, whether she should have her own version of "The Talk" with her son, and tell him to take off his kippah, you know that we have a problem.

And yes, there is some light as well. American Jewish prisoner Alan Gross has been released from his long incarceration in Cuba -- making the theme of freedom even that much more powerful.

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May your Festival of Light -- however you choose to spell it -- be filled with precisely that -- the light of moral courage.

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