THE POWER OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT

Lord Jonathan Sacks
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

I THANKED THE CHIEF RABBI WARMLY for having become “a spiritual guru for our nation” a Roman Catholic clerical friend told me today. “It was an absolute delight to meet him and Lord Sacks responded with his usual gracious modesty.”

I’d have been similarly delighted, and would also have offered heartfelt words of thanks. And the kind of teaching that my friend and I bring readily to mind when we think of Lord Sacks is contained in his recent Radio 4 Thought for The Day (2 December 2010).

[the] simple symbolism of candle-lighting shared by so many faiths, not just Jews on Hanukkah but Christians at prayer, Hindus and Sikhs at Diwali, reminds us of the power of the human spirit, sustained by memory and hope, to shed light in the midst of darkness and to move us beyond the fear that leads to repression in the first place.

For my flame does not threaten yours nor does yours diminish mine, and each time someone lights one, whatever his or her faith, the world becomes a little brighter for all of us. That’s why religious freedom matters and why religious diversity enlarges us all.

Whole text here

For my flame does not threaten yours nor does yours diminish mine …

Let us all say: Amen!