Dear Ones -- participants and encouragers of Palestinian-Jewish relationship-building,

     January 1, 2005 is a good time to strengthen ourselves with Ralph Waldo Emerson's insight:
                "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

     On Earth, y-o-u are the "stars" through whom Light comes to humankind.
     Through y-o-u is fastened to the planet the creativity, generosity, spirit, information, and energy that can make us and our shared lives truly great.
     Today we view more Palestinians and Jews seeing Light, carrying Light, turning a corner together with their faces toward each other and Light.

     For over six years we have sent you success stories of People of Light -- Jews, Palestinians, supportive others -- who have moved toward one another, defying old prejudices and walls, becoming engaged, choosing to live up to our high destiny, neighbors forever.
     Those 400 stories reside for all to read at .
     May they bless us and remind us what we can become -- more human -- and what is within our reach.

     TODAY calls us to look even further beyond ourselves -- the small "us" -- to the even-larger "Us."
     Here on Earth, an unimaginable earthquake-tsunami has caused catastrophe beginning with the death of more than 100,000 fellow human beings.
     And the loss of health and of all life's possessions of many more hundreds of thousands, even millions of beautiful people.
     These are women, youth, and men in great, great need. 
     They are just like us, we know and feel as we stare into our television screens.

     At this New Year of new possibilities, how we Respond matters so much.
     Because Crisis can leader to Danger or to Opportunity.
     The Danger is that we allow ourselves to be indifferent to another's suffering, clinging to the illusion that there is individual survival any more.  And thus become less human, less alive, less religious, we'd say.

    The Opportunity this 2005 eve is that, from today forward, we can become more human -- forever, if we wish.
     We can decide to Respond -- -- to love in every situation.
     Respond to others in need, others not necessarily not like ourselves.
     In fact, we are mostly alike, from the soul outward.  The soul that remembers union and longs for reunion.

     For those of you who wish to help and believe that grassroots organizations are most efficient, and best oversee funds and materials, consider donating something -- not too little, not too much -- through these endeavors that already know the terrain well through years of service there:


American Friends Service Committee

The Karuna Trust

The American India Foundation

The American Jewish World Service

In this Season of Light      
To our dear companions:     
Palestinians, Jews, and     
Others who help keep us       
   on the Path of Light
Even in dark times
When people lose their way, and
When Carriers of Light are
Needed the most

We were wisely created:
Different and interdependent
Neighbors forever

We were given Light to see
Our one-ness

We were given two ears, one mouth
To listen -- hear each other's "stories"
To discover our shared humanity
To then want the best for each other

We were given hands
To reach out to one another
To help each other

Let us live our lives that way
With imagination, courage, love
More every day
Growing closer, together

We can, and
We will

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Libby and Len