An old rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun. “Could it be,” asked one of his students, “when you can see an animal in the distance and tell whether it’s a sheep or a dog?” “No,” answered the rabbi.
Another asked, “Is it when you can look at a tree in the distance and tell whether it&’s a fig tree or a peach tree?” “No,” answered the rabbi.
“Then when is it?” the pupils demanded. “It is when you can look on the face of any man or woman and see that it is your brother or sister. Because if you cannot see this, it is still night.” (from Peacemaking Day by Day, Pax Christi USA)
Nine years ago, when the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program had provoked rumors of a U.S. military attack with bunker buster tactical nuclear weapons, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a New York-based group promoting social justice, sent an interfaith delegation to Iran with the aim of talking with ordinary Iranian citizens about peaceful solutions to the stand-off.
After their visit, Dave Robinson, then executive director of Pax Christi USA and a member of the 25-person delegation, wrote about meeting a group of young women in the town of Natanz, the site of the Iranian uranium enrichment facility, and imagining what would happen to them if the U.S. made good on its threat to bomb the site…