Eternal Spirit of the Universe,You are the Oneness that binds us together and that reminds us that we are also one.
My tradition teaches that not only are we created in the divine image, making us all a reflection of creation, and part of the universe, but we are also beloved to God and to each other because we have the capacity to realize that we hold our humanity in common.
We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love the stranger so that we will empathize with those who seek freedom, opportunity, or asylum or refuge among us or anywhere in the world, remembering that perhaps some of our ancestors or we, ourselves, sought that same freedom.
We have learned that with our freedom comes responsibility to support our communities, our state and our nationand to preserve the rights of individual citizens to make personal decisions in their lives
according to their conscience and their beliefs and to recognize when changes need to be made so that our nation can become more accepting and inclusive, truly providing liberty and justice to all.
In greeting the American Committee for the protection of the Foreign born in January 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared:"We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization."
And in my heritage is the teaching that we should open our hand to those in need, to those whom we know and to those whom we do not yet know. We are obligated by scripture and based on human decency to care for the most vulnerable members of society.
And so, in the days to come, may we, in the words of Isaiah, observe what is right and do what is just.
In the teaching of Micah, may we be guided by a sense of fairness, may we love performing acts of kindness, and may we move forward with confidence tempered by humility. And may the words of the Psalmist lead us to a meeting of minds and hearts which will enable us to joyously proclaim: HINEI MAH TOV UMAH NAIM SHEVET ACHIM GAM YACHAD - how good and how pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity.