Source of comfort for those in despair,
Source of strength and courage for those who must resist hatred and prejudice,
We read in this week’s Torah portion that the Israelites could not hear
The hopeful message of Moses
About deliverance from slavery
Because of their broken spirits
And their harsh labor.
In our day, God of our freedom,
Help us to lift each other’s spirits
When we feel that our voices are no longer heard.
Enable us to stand when we think we might fall
Because of the burdens of our own lives
Or due to a sense of defeat
That what we have worked for throughout our lives
Could disappear all too easily.
Help us to remember those who were at Auschwitz who were liberated on this day in 1945
Survivors of diabolical hatred, abuse, cruelty and harsh labor
that echoed the unfortunate situation of the Israelites in Egypt.
May we also remember those who had died at Auschwitz, other camps and in other communities who did not live long enough to experience freedom once again.
May we be their voices
So that such atrocities will not happen again to anyone in our time
as it did to Jews and to members of other groups of people
whose existence the Nazis begrudged and whom they marked for certain death.
May our words ring out against discrimination
May our declarations of liberty
Resound with all the citizens in our nation
And throughout the world.
As you bring us healing, O God, may you also inspire in us
Optimism and fortitude
So that we will know that practicing Your compassion and Your mercy
Will bear fruit within the human family and throughout the world.