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    The Religion Network publishes Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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Welcome To The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.

Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.

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ON TODAY'S SITE:

Tzvi Freeman, Lisa Katz, St. Augustine

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Dear Readers,

I can't help it. I know Chanukah isn't the most major of Jewish holidays, but it's impossible to
resist a holiday based upon miracles, especially when one of them is a miracle of light. Seems
to me that light alone is a miracle. Without the sun's light, all but the critters in the dark of the
deep sea and the depths of earth would not exist. Without the light that Love brings into our
lives, I believe our hearts would shrivel up, become dust and blow away. And don't we think
of knowledge and wisdom in terms of light in the mind? We can only see with light, whether
it's light in our hearts, our minds or our souls. That's why light holds the hand of miracles.
What's not to love about a holiday that celebrates both? And the swirling light ablaze in the
paintings of Vincent van Gogh is simply too miraculous not to pair his work
with the miracles and light that are Chanukah.

- Lisa

vincent van gogh's "starry night over the rhone"    
"Starry Night Over the Rhone"  c. 1888               Vincent van Gogh


All that came into being...

...all the created worlds and all the ethereal entities that live in them,
even the worlds that are mere emanations without tangible substance,
even the worlds of thought and beyond to the realms
of infinite light that preceded Creation...

--all this came to be only as a result of the thought of you, the earthly
being, struggling in a world that only a infinitesimal glimmer of G-dliness
has reached in its purity, bringing light where light could not be.

And so it follows, that with one simple act of beauty,
all those worlds and realms of light find their purpose fulfilled,
and so shine yet brighter--and reciprocate with a burst
of illumination into our lowly world.

That is why the entire creation can be transformed with one simple, sincere deed.

Never underestimate the power of light.


From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)
Words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
Courtesy of
Chabad.org



vincent van gogh-starry night
"Starry Night"  c. 1889                           Vincent van Gogh        


Without miracles, we might come to believe that the laws of physics
define reality. Once we witness the inexplicable, we see that there is
a higher reality. And then we look back at physics and say, "This,
too, is a miracle." The miracle of a small flask of oil burning for
eight days was this sort of miracle.

Then there are those small miracles that occur every day. Those acts
of synchronicity we call 'coincidence' because, in them, G-d prefers
to remain anonymous. But when we open our eyes and hearts, we
see there is truly no place void of this wondrous, unlimited G-d.
These were the sort of miracles the Maccabees saw in their
battles against the mighty Greek army.


From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)
Words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman
Courtesy of Chabad.org


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About 2200 years ago, Greek kings, who reigned from Damascus,
ruled over the land of Judea and the Jews living there.

One Greco-Syrian King, Antiochus Epiphanes, forbade the Jewish people
from praying to their God, practicing their customs, and studying their Torah.
Antiochus forced the Jews to worship the Greek gods. It is said that he placed
an idol of the Greek God Zeus on the alter in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

In response to this persecution, Judah Maccabee and his four brothers
organized a group of resistance fighters known as the Maccabees...

The tenacity of the rebels, which came from their steadfast faith in one God,
is one reason this military victory has been so celebrated
by Jews in  future generations...

Against great odds, after three years of fighting, the Maccabees succeeded
to drive the Greco-Syrians out of Judea. Hanukkah proclaims the message
of the prophet Zachariah: "Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit."

The Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They cleaned the Temple,
removing the Greek symbols and statues. When Judah and his followers
finished cleaning the temple, they rededicated it...

According to tradition, when the Maccabees entered the Holy Temple, they discovered
that the Greco-Syrians had defiled the oil which was used to Temple's menorah. Only one
vat of purified oil remained - enough for only one day. It would take the Jews a week to
process more purified oil. Then a miracle occurred. The Maccabees lit the menorah and
it burned for not one, but eight days, by which time the new, purified oil was ready...


Excerpted from "Hanukkah Story,"
by Lisa Katz
Source: About.com


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The Last Word:

O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected
dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.

St. Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo; philosopher, theologian



 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

Totally Random Bonus Quote:

The Heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher

 


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