It's been a while since I've written anything. With the troubling climate in the world right now, it's actually been a challenge to create content when there has been so much to consume.
The last month has seen a series of horrific terrorist attacks in France, Mali and Israel. There are currently threats of more attacks in Europe and several other parts of the globe. It goes without saying that our world is the darkest it's been for quite some time.
The combination of individual accounts from people who have survived the attacks, mixed responses from world leaders, and a flurry of outrage on social media - has given us a lot to think about.
Ultimately, we're left with more questions than answers.
Here are a few thoughts and queries I have:
1) It is undeniable that the people responsible for these attacks embrace death; in fact they seem to welcome it. Their actions are a declaration of war against those of us who embrace life. We clearly can't coexist.
Some may rightly say that 'there are no winners in a war' - so if war isn't the answer, then what are the alternatives?
2) As expected there has been a backlash around the world against Islam. The reason for this is that most of the recent terrorist attacks have been performed in the name of Allah. If the terrorists involved are misrepresenting their faith by performing these violent acts, then why aren't community leaders doing more to stop the spread of this hatred at the grass roots?
It's too easy to lay the blame on a 'tiny proportion of nutcases'. We can't escape the fact that the number of faith fuelled terror attacks are increasing each year. It's the role of religious leaders to take responsibility for those performing these acts in the name of their faith.
3) Most terrorist attacks are carried out by young men, who are both vulnerable and impressionable. Reports suggest that many of these young men are now being targeted through social media from a young age.
Terror cells aren't confined to a physical location any more - they are clearly able to operate through virtual networks. Why isn't more being done to shut down the online networks that are grooming future perpetrators?
The reality is that these issues are complex and certainly more grey than black or white.
In my view, the preaching of hatred in any faith must be stopped. Sure freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but a line has to be drawn when the end result is violence and terror.
The major religions of the world must all be accountable in promoting the true monotheistic values displayed by our ancestors. To be more specific, this means embracing the sanctity of life, loving your neighbour even if he or she is different, giving charity, helping each other, forgiving for mistakes from the past and so forth.
The holiday season is coming up, starting with Hanukkah this Sunday night. Its arrival could not be timelier.
When the Almighty created our world, he stood at the abyss of darkness and famously said "let there be light".
In these dark times, may we come together by embracing life, showing kindness to one another and striving to do whatever it takes to bring back the light.
The holidays are a time of hope, reflection and spending time with loved ones.
May the upcoming season bring in peace for all of us.
I've thoroughly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you in this column, and look forward to sharing plenty more next year.
Signing off for 2015Suggest a correction