Outreach Coordinator for WAIPL
We are already at the final day of Hanukkah, and the weather in our part of the world is compliantly bringing us an early taste of winter. For the Western churches this Sunday marked the beginning of Advent, and we begin the countdown to the return of light to our world. Around the (northern half of the) world, people are watching the darkening days and, especially here in the northwest, huddling around our fires and space heaters. The Talmud relates:
Our Rabbis taught: When primitive Adam saw the day getting gradually shorter, he said, 'Woe is me, perhaps because I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!' So he began keeping an eight days' fast. But as he observed the winter equinox and noted the day getting increasingly longer, he said, 'This is the world's course', and he set forth to keep an eight days' festivity. In the following year he appointed both as festivals. Now, he fixed them for the sake of Heaven, but the [heathens] appointed them for the sake of idolatry (Tractate Avodah Zarah, 8:a).
|Roger Glenn, www.flickr.com/photos/rogerglenn/|