The day ends. The earth turns from sunshine to dusk and then to darkness. We assume for ourselves the task of kindling candles in the night, to enlighten the dark corners of our world. We still live in perilous times. Behind us, though receding into the memories of even the oldest among us, we can still sense the fires of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Before us, the threat of acts of terrorism and gun violence. We gather tonight to create from fire, not the heat of destruction, but the light of instruction; indeed to see more clearly the wisdom, strength and caring that glows from within each of us.
TOGETHER: May these candles, lit on the Festival of Freedom, bring light into our hearts and minds. May they renew our courage to act for justice and freedom here and now. May they illumine the path to truth, justice and peace. And so we repeat the ancient blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּֽנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁלְ (שַבָת וְשֶל) יֹום טֹוב
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kiddishanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu lehadlik neir shel [Shabbat v'shel] Yom Tov.
We praise God, spirit of everything, who has made us distinct through Your directives and has directed us to kindle [the Shabbat and] holiday lights.
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