Jan. 3rd, 2016

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As I read the various blogs, journals and tweets I notice there is a curious dichotomy that spans countries, cultures and languages: Hope and despair.

The despair is fairly simple to find, the feelings after a long holiday season of such bright lights, giving and feasting; or the lack thereof. The theme of hope is more subtle.

In all the feeds I have read so far, some of the subtle themes for hope are:
Hope that the winter will end and spring will bloom;
Hope that life and prosperity will become greater than the previous year;
Hope that a better life and direction will transpire in the coming year;
Hope that the meaning of the particular holiday you celebrate will have a deeper or more profound meaning;


Some may even have far flung hopes of:
Universal peace, brotherhood or fraternity will break out;
or, some disease will hopefully cured in our lifetime;
or sense and reasoning will suddenly come to our politicians and justice in pure tranquility become reality.


However, what is never written, but present in the undercurrent of the writings is this:
Hope that pressures of life will ease;
Hope of food on the table;
Hope that our relatives and family not irritate us;
Hope our employment will remain in tact;
or in the alternative, a better situation becomes reality;
Hope that in our advocations and hobbies, we find a small modicum of peace.


None of these hopes are new, in fact you only have to look to the Hanukkah blessing:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who has sanctified us with His commandments
and commanded us to kindle the hanukkah candle.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this moment.

Or to look to the latin hymn:
Veni, veni O Oriens,
solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas,
dirasque mortis tenebras.

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,
veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscios.

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death's dark shadow put to flight.

O come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven's peace.

This is the reason we have such hope, the underlying theme of the Holidays are hope. To remind us to dare to hope, to keep our hopes alive and sustain our hopefulness until the next year, in the deep of winter when our hope seems lowest.

o'n!

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