Christmas and Hanukkah
The lights of Hanukkah and Christmas will shine together in the coming days, one discreet and obstinate in Jewish homes, the other in churches and Christian homes, discreet too, although drowned in the illuminations of streets and monuments.
Lights that, in today’s world, each in its own way, signify a vision that runs through the anxieties of our world, and even its all too familiar dramas. Hanukkah: the light in the heart of the Temple, victorious over a totalitarian enterprise that wanted to level the Empire under the same power, the other, the Star of David, is a witness to a Kingdom whose subjects are destined to become princes and princesses flooded with divine glory.
Jews and Christians, we carry these lights which, in essence, offer a similar message: that of a transcendence of love which radically challenges the contemporary undertakings of levelling humanity under blind dictatorships, of dreams of power which become mortal enslavement, of the will to impose profane or religious ideologies which refer only to themselves, excluding anything resembling a dialogue. We know that anti-Semitism, unfortunately still very active, touches the dark root of these trends.
In frontal opposition to all this, the lights that we, Jews and Christians, witness, beyond the differences that we respect, are bearers of the same transcendence, that of the One God, bringing together a humanity in which the differences shine with the same fire. It is in this project that our Jewish-Christian Friendship is inscribed, a mission that we must keep with obstinacy and happiness, and at the heart of which our commitment is necessary.
Jean Massonnet is a French biblical scholar and Catholic priest of the diocese of Lyon. He has a doctorate in theology and is a graduate of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.