Turning Night Into Day

There was once a wise old rabbi who asked his students, “How can you know the exact moment when night ends and day begins?”

“I think I know,” said one of his pupils.  “Is it when, from a great distance, you can tell a dog from a sheep?”

“No,” said the rabbi.

“I know,” said another.  “It must be when, from a distance, you can tell a date palm from a fig tree.”

“No,” said the rabbi.

His students looked at each other and then at the rabbi.  “We don’t know,” they said.  “Please tell us.”

And the rabbi replied, “It is when you look into the face of any person from any nation…


…or woman…

…Jew or gentile…

…and see your brother…

…or your sister.”

”And that is the blessed moment,” said the rabbi,  “when the dawn is come.”


Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime.



    1. Hi Elyse,
      Thank you so much for the visit, and for your kind response.

  1. Lovely sentiment–hope that dawn is coming for the world!

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope so too!

  2. scillagrace says:

    Marvelous story and illustrations. I will be singing to greet that morning!

    1. Dear, Scilla, I will be singing in harmony with you on that wonderful morning!

  3. dogear6 says:

    The dogs took a vote and they think the first answer was the right one!


    1. Dear Nancy,
      Thank the pups for making me smile!

  4. raptekar says:

    Observations, in exceptional photography and perceptive writing, are beautiful. Naomi loves humanity.

    1. Hi Richard,
      Thanks so much for your very kind comments. Best wishes for an easy fast and a joyful Yom Kippur. See you soon!

  5. Lovely story and so beautifully illustrated, Naomi. 🙂

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      Thanks so much for the visit and the kind words.

    1. Thank you, Cathryn! It is so good to hear from you.

  6. prior says:

    how inspiring – ❤ ❤ ❤
    the flow of this post was just so awesome and Naomi I am moved! I also recall a story from a rabbi- and he told the complaining man "could be worse" and then different things unfolded to show the man that what he has can be appreciated when you really know it could be worse…
    anyhow, I am so glad I was able to drop by for another flowing post – peace 🙂

  7. Renate Flynn says:

    So beautiful! And, the photos complemented the story perfectly! Thank you!

  8. Thank you for a loving lesson!!

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you so much for your warmth and positive energy that you always manage to communicate like magic through the blogosphere.

      1. Most welcome. You are a lovely presence in my life. ❤ BTW, I take Crazy Gibberish with me when speaking to preschool teachers.

      2. That is so good to know, Mary, on both counts! Thanks so much being a lovely presence in my life too!

  9. Naomi says:

    Once again, I am misty eyed. I love the picture of your son sitting on the bench between the 2 men! It makes me want to know what they are talking about.

    1. Dear Naomi,

      Every picture tells a story! Eli and I were in Turkey and got separated–I think when I stopped to take some photos in a crowd and he didn’t realize it and kept going. I walked toward the market, our original destination, with my eyes peeled for the lad. I stopped to ask policemen the way, afraid that I might never find him. And then I looked across the street and there he was, chatting like best friends with the two old guys who were sitting on the bench watching the world go by. Apparently Eli went by looking a little lost. They spoke little English and he spoke even less Turkish, but it was so sweet to watch them communicate as best they could, practicing their language and sharing such obvious goodwill. I couldn’t help but snap a photo to help me remember that sweet moment.

      Thank you, as always, for your kind response and thoughtful comment.

  10. Carol says:

    This one makes my heart shout YES!!! Would that we could all learn to tell dark from dawn.

    1. Thank you, Carol! You helped me start my day with a big smile! I am eagerly waiting for this dawn with my face pressed against the window!

  11. Fabulous. Perfect for this ere of Yom Kippur. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I had that in mind when I put this post together. The rabbi at Stanford asked Bea to tell the story of Jonah to the whole campus congregation. She Skyped me to practice, and I am so proud of her and eager to hear all about it! Best wishes for an easy fast. Shalom.

  12. This is stunning — thanks to Lisa at cycling grandma, I found my way here this morning.

    1. Hi Louise,
      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your generous response. I wandered over to your blog and took a gander, and was very impressed. I look forward to reading more of it.

  13. Such wonderful words of wisdom and perfect pictures to illustrate them. Why, when the truth is so simple and beautiful, should the world be so full of complexity and violence?

  14. A good thought to keep in mind…

  15. Roy McCarthy says:

    Lovely thoughts Naomi and some heart-warming pictures there. You would hope that love will always overcome hate but I wonder if that will ever prove true worldwide? I wonder if in fact humans are genetically programmed so as to be incapable of seeing other nations and religions as brother & sister? It’s a bleak view I know.

    1. I know, Roy, and sometimes I get so discouraged, but we can at least start one person at a time.

  16. burner says:

    Wonderful and perfect for erev Yom Kippur. Thank you. Found you via Reb Shimon.

    1. Thank you for the visit and for your kind words. So glad to have met you. Best wishes on this special night.

  17. Meg says:

    Great story, Naomi and , as ever, your photos are a perfect match. Will tell it to the tour group I’m with.

    1. Wonderful! So good to hear from you, Meg. I’ve been hoping to get news! Take lots of photos!

  18. Meg says:

    Hi Naomi . Got into the wifi at the hotel at last. It is San Gimignano and 13th century! Good to read your blog and catch up on mail. About 5 people on the tour that share me sense of humour. It is a lesson in world politics for sure so that story is perfect. Enjoying Tuscany. Love Meg



    1. Dear Meg,
      I recall being quite charmed by San Gimignano! All those towers…all that gelato! It sounds like you have met some good people too. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  19. Beautiful Philosophy. Far more meaningful than many of the myths and superstitions that we associate with religion.

  20. Reblogged this on T. W. Dittmer and commented:
    Truth in this, and a ray of hope. A distant hope, because so many make their living (and a very good living, at that) keeping us in the dark.

  21. Kat says:

    Lovely piece! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  22. davidprosser says:

    Reblogged this on The BUTHIDARS and commented:
    Though I would not normally post anything based on religion here, this I could not resist.

  23. sue marquis bishop says:

    Really lovely Naomi! Sue

  24. diannegray says:

    Absolutely fantastic, Naomi 😀

  25. So beautiful!!! I love this!!

    1. Thanks for the visit, Aarene! Loved my virtual trip to Haiku Farm. Is there a way to sign up for e-mail notifications so that I know when you have posted?

  26. Jamie Dedes says:

    Bravo! Oh how this touches my heart, Naomi.

    1. Dear Jamie,
      I have had quite a few house guests, hosted a family reunion, and had kids to launch back to school. We had a lot to do before sending Eli off to Turkey to teach. I have fallen behind in my blogging–again. it feels good to step out of the current and take the time to post. I am always so glad to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your kind response.

  27. Love this, Naomi! So beautiful…

    1. Dear Jill,
      Just taking a wander through the older posts and found your smiling face here–thanks so much for your kind encouragement.

  28. Ann Koplow says:

    Wonderful! I am so glad I found my way here today.

  29. kathy says:

    Wow, what a wonderful story, Naomi! Thank you for warming my heart 🙂

  30. Madhu says:

    What a heartwarming story Naomi! Wishing that dawn of amity on the entire world.

  31. Mary says:

    Ah, Naomi. You are a deep pool of beauty, insight, and openness.Thank you.

  32. This is a great lesson, and so beautifully illustrated. 🙂

  33. Love every bit of this post. It teaches us to see beyond color, culture, ethnicity, social status, gender and many more difference and indifference. We are truly blessed when we see in others goodness and that we see and treat them as brothers and sisters, as a family, as a community. A treasured lesson to keep and cherish for all. Thank you. God bless you and your amazing family always.

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