Tuesday, 19 December 2017

A Multi-cultural Week

Tonight I lit all of the Chanukah candles. Adding one each night makes the eighth night feel special, a climax of light. No matter how old I get I will never tire of looking a these nine candles burning (eight Chanukah candles plus the lighter candle).

I'm not going to tell the story of Chanukah again, or go on about miracles and about the magic of a tiny candle flame and how it has the power to light up a whole room. I've said all that before. I just wanted to share with you my multi-cultural week. So here is my fully lit Chanukiah:


The other morning I popped to Marks & Spencers for a few bits and who should be helping out at one of the checkout tills, but Father Christmas himself, in person! I nipped to the front of the queue and asked if he minded me taking a photograph. Well, it seemed only polite to ask even though I'm sure he's quite used to paparazzi media attention. He enthusiastically agreed and flung his arm around my shoulder. Strange, I thought, and then I realised that I was meant to take a selfie. After an embarrassing fumble to work out how my phone takes selfies, I did it. 

Before you glance down any further, 
I must warn you that I was not looking my best that morning! 



This evening, after my Chanukah candles had burned down, I went out for dinner to the Leicester Dialogue Society. This was a true multi-faith event. The Dialogue Society is run by a group of local Turkish Muslims. Their aim is to get people from all faiths to talk to each other - to have a dialogue together. There were talks given by representatives of a range of faiths including the Christian Church, the Islamic Foundation, the Jewish Synagogue, the Secular Society... and then we ate. 

The Dialogue Society call this type of shared meal Abraham's Dining Table. I think I'm right in saying that it's a Turkish Muslim tradition derived from both the Torah and the Koran where it says that Abraham always welcomed people to his dinner table... and we were certainly made welcome with lots of delicious food, all freshly prepared by the group. 

This evening's dinner has given me food for thought. It would solve the problems of the world if we only talked and listened to each other. 

Quote from this evening's meal: 
We have one mouth and two ears - let's use them in the correct proportion 

(In other words we must listen to what others say rather than always try to have our own say.)


7 comments:

  1. Perfect observation for the season. You are doing it up right! Enjoy and blessings to you.

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    1. And blessings to you too, Joanne. Sorry for deleting your first comment. Computers are so unforgiving!

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  2. A Dialogues society - what a great idea. (I now light candles whenever I know of a festival in any faith - which includes Chanukah and Eid and Divali - and any others I come across. It is a privilege to have friends from different faiths and this is my small way of recognising that.

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    1. Lighting candles for all faith events is a lovely idea, Jo.

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  3. Hi Ros - so true ... and so wonderful you were able to have that Turkish gathering .. I'll be back - best off - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary and yes, the Turkish gathering was most successful.

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  4. How lovely! The idea of everyone getting together to talk together - just marvellous! By the way, I think you and Santa look just great together! Blessings on your Chanukah and for the whole of the festive season, Ros!

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