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Festival of Lights


Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” which begins Sat. night, Dec. 24, 2016 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. It is also Christmas eve, another festival of lights.

In this TED Talk, Rabbi Sharon Brous pleas that we must reinvent religion to meet the needs of modern life. In this impassioned talk, Brous shares four principles of a revitalized religious practice and offers faith of all kinds as a hopeful counter-narrative to the numbing realities of violence, extremism and pessimism. She offers a prescription of Wakefulness, Hope, Mightiness and Interconnectedness.

Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, a community “that has become a model for Jewish revitalization in the US and beyond. IKAR’s goal is to reinvigorate Jewish religious and spiritual practice, inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice in counter-testimony to the small-minded extremism now prevalent in so many religious communities.”

As Rabbi Michael Lerner says in Tikkun Magazine on December 21, 2016:

“This Chanukah (which begins on Saturday night, December 24th this year) and Christmas can be turned into occasions for the spiritual progressives in these religions to unite, affirm their shared message of hope and insist that all our friends and families stop wallowing in despair and cynicism and instead join us in challenging the forces of fear that have led so many people to embrace militarism and xenophobia.”

“Let them hear the voices of those who raise high the banner of love, kindness, generosity, social and economic justice, environmental sanity and awe and wonder at the grandeur of the universe — and let that message be prominently and explicitly articulated by YOU, dear reader, throughout this holiday season.”

“It’s a spiritual progressive approach — and you can be a militant atheist, agnostic or secular humanist and still be a spiritual progressive — you don’t have to believe in God or be part of any religious community, you only have to be willing to commit your energies to building a world of love, justice and environmental sanity, and do it with us by reading our vision at www.tikkun.org/covenant and then joining our international movement at www.spiritualprogressives.org/join.”

Let there be light this sacred season, among all of us!