Project of IISHJ


Celebration (1988) 

The world we live in is ageless. It has no beginning and no end. It has no author and no conclusion. It may explode and contract. It may expand and shrink. But it never dies. It is simply there – with its infinite variety and its never-ending change. 

People give meaning to the universe. If we call to the stars and say: tell us the purpose of life, the stars are silent. If we caress the earth and ask: what shall we do, the earth gives no reply. If we pursue the wind and plead: let us know the path we must follow, the wind has no answer. The universe, with all its complexity, is mute. It can neither love nor hate. It can neither be born nor die. 

People give meaning to the universe. The commands of the gods are the echoes of our own striving. Although we are part of the world, we are different from all other things. We can hear and speak. We can love and hate. We can choose and deny. Out of our needs arise our desires. And out of our desires arises our passion for life. We are not told to be happy. We simply want to be.

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Note on sources: The Jewish Humanist  was the monthly newsletter of The Birmingham Temple. The periodical Humanistic Judaism was the quarterly journal of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Center for New Thinking was Wine’s adult learning program beyond Humanistic Judaism. Selections from Wine’s books are appropriately cited.
All texts, photos, audio and video are © by the Literary Estate of Sherwin Wine, whose custodian is the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism – North American Section. All rights reserved.