Yesterday afternoon I had the honour of speaking at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue at their multi-faith Hannukah (Chanukkah) celebration.

A few people from different faiths spoke about sharing our light and love, and bringing peace into the world.

We need peace and togetherness more than ever today in our troubled world – and this was an inspirational reminder of what’s possible when people from all backgrounds and faiths share their common humanity.

The two main speakers were Julie Siddiqi (Islamic faith) and Laura Marks (Jewish faith), who both spoke eloquently about peace and bringing people together during this challenging time.

You can watch the entire celebration here:-

Multi-Faith Celebration of Chanukkah at LJS

I was asked to speak too from the Hindu perspective but as I was suffering from a sore throat, my friend Phillipa read out my speech.

Love-filled evenings like this fill me with hope and inspiration for the future.

Here’s the long version of my speech:-

Good afternoon, everyone,

It is an honour to be here with you all to celebrate Chanukkah, a festival that holds deep meaning not just for those of the Jewish faith, but for all of us who cherish the values of love, light, peace, 
and joy.

1. Common Threads of Light and Joy

In Hinduism, we celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which, much like Chanukkah, symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.

Tonight, as we gather to light the Chanukkah candles, we are reminded that light is a universal beacon of hope and positivity.

In these flames, I see a reflection of our shared joy – a joy that transcends our different backgrounds and unites us in celebration.

2. Love as a Universal Language

Love is the language that transcends all barriers – it does not know the boundaries of religion or culture.

It is the force that can bring us closer, bridge gaps, and foster understanding.

In a world often divided, love is our greatest tool for unity.

As we come together tonight, let us remember that our capacity to love is our most powerful commonality, the thread that weaves through every faith and every heart.

3. Peace Through Unity and Respect

Peace is not just the absence of conflict; it is the presence of respect and harmony among diverse groups.

Events like this, where we gather in mutual respect and celebration of each other’s traditions, are vital.

They are the stepping stones towards a world where peace is not just an aspiration but a reality.

As we light the candles tonight, let us commit to being ambassadors of peace, respecting and cherishing the multitude of beliefs that enrich our world.

4. The Light Within

In Hindu philosophy, we often speak of the inner light – the Atman or soul, which is a part of the universal spirit.

This divine spark exists within each one of us, guiding us towards righteousness and truth.

The Chanukkah candles, with their gentle, steadfast glow, remind me of this inner light.

They remind us that each of us carries within us the light that can dispel darkness, the light that can guide us to live with love, peace, and joy.

5. Joy in Diversity

Tonight, as we gather from different faiths and walks of life, we celebrate not just Chanukkah, but the beauty of diversity.

Each tradition, each culture, brings its unique light to the human experience.

It is this diversity that makes our world so rich, so vibrant.Let us embrace this diversity, learning from each other, growing in understanding, and finding joy in the multitude of ways we express our humanity.

In closing, I wish you all a joyous Chanukkah.

May the lights we kindle tonight illuminate our paths, guide us towards greater love and understanding, and remind us that, in the end, we are all part of one human family.


Reminder – you can watch the entire celebration here:-

Multi-Faith Celebration of Chanukkah at LJS

I wish you all a joyous festive time, filled with love, light and magic!

With Much Love


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