An old Rabbi once asked his pupils…

An old Rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun.

“Could it be,” asked one of the students, “when you can see an animal in the distance and tell whether it’s a sheep or a dog?”

“No,” answered the Rabbi.

Another asked, “Is it when you can look at a tree in the distance and tell whether it’s a fig tree or a peach tree?”

“No,” answered the Rabbi.

“Then what is it?” the pupils demanded.

“It is when you can look on the face of any man or woman and see that it is your sister or brother.  Because if you cannot see this, it is still night.”

Hasidic tale, quoted in Peacemaking Day by Day

found in Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life.  Frederick and Mary Anne Brussat.  NY: Scribner, 1996



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  1. What a great quote! Wow, to be able to see ANY man or woman (not just a fellow “believer”) as brother or sister. “Peacemaking” indeed!

    1. Thanks, Darryl. It is a great quote. You are right that it is great to see peacemaking beyond fellow “believers.” To me the image of growing brightness as we learn to truly see one another is very powerful.