We have dedicated this festival tonight to the dream and the hope of freedom, the dream and the hope that have filled the hearts of people from the time our Israelite ancestors went forth out of Egypt. Peoples have suffered, nations have struggled to make this dream come true. Now we dedicate ourselves to the struggle for freedom. Though the sacrifice be great and the hardships many, we shall not rest until the chains that enslave all people be broken.
But the freedom we strive for means more than broken chains. It means liberation from all those enslavements that warp the spirit and blight the mind, that destroy the soul even though they leave the flesh alive. For people can be enslaved in more ways than one.
They can be enslaved to themselves. When they let emotion sway them to their hurt, when they permit harmful habits to tyrannize over them, they are slaves. When laziness or cowardice keeps them from doing what they know to be right, when ignorance blinds them so that, like Samson, they can only turn round and round in meaningless drudgery, they are slaves. When envy, bitterness and jealousy sour their joys and darken the brightness of contentment, they are slaves to themselves and shackled by the chains of their own forging
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