Jerusalem is trying hard to embrace us all for our respective holidays, Hanukkah and Christmas. Jerusalem is trying to put on her winter dress: the cold, the rain, the snow but this Hanukkah we lit the Hanukkah lights and rejoiced in the miracle of the oil in a spring-like Jerusalem. The sun was out and temperatures were close to 20 degrees. And as Christmas is only around the corner it feels as if Santa Claus will get here way overdressed in the Christmas Jerusalem temperatures of 2017.
What is the message behind this weather, behind this heat that embraces us all whether we are Jews, Christians, Muslims or atheists? This unusual holiday season, I sense that the point is that we are all together in this. That rather than focusing on our differences we need to join forces to bring down the rain that sustains us all.
As we add to the light during Hanukkah, and add an additional candle each day, we can add up our cooperation with the various communities in our city. So from my standpoint, that of a traditional Jewish woman, that feels most at ease with the secular and light-traditional communities of the city the message is cooperate with the Orthodox, the ultra-Orthodox, cooperate with Christians, and cooperate with Muslims and cooperate with Atheists, and cooperate with your neighbors beyond ethnicity and religion, to bring down the rain that sustains us all.
My sense is that we are each trapped in our micro concerns, and micro lives, micro challenges, and micro conflicts and disputes. But neither Palestinians nor Israelis will be able to carry on our lives here as we know them in the lack of rain, in the lack of cold, in the lack of water.
Water sustains us all! And this Christmas the message that permeates Jerusalem is that only through an ecological cooperation among us will we be able to carry on our lives here.
The weather pushes us to grow into our responsible selves, into our “knowing what is right selves,” into our leading selves, and into our co-creating selves. It pushes us to be in our power, and take responsibility for our lives and that of our children and grandchildren, it pushes us to take our heads out of the sand and see clearly that we are able to contribute our share, that we do have the power to influence things, and shape the course of this city, that is our world.
This is a time of empowering and empowerment of our way, of the good that we do with our work and our deeds, of the leadership that we assume, of the power of our daily choices. And this is a time when we can all choose to be pro-life with our actions.
And yes we answer this call that Jerusalem is calling us to awaken to this year, and yes we agree to grow, we agree to be in our power, we agree to co-create a sustainable city for all of its citizens and its creatures, and do our part in cooperating with our neighbors to get the blessed rain coming.
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