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. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

    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.

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    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.

  5. 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.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s