By Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA
We stand in humble gratitude to be blessed to live in a free society, free in ways our ancestors couldn't have imagined.
We acknowledge today, basking in the glow of Hanukkah's increasing light, that so many of the choices we are able to make are only possible because of the sacrifice of others who came before us.
In honor of the memories of those whose names we are blessed to know, and in memory of those countless nameless pioneers who bequeathed this free society to us all, we ask God's Blessing as we accept our parts in their great, sacred task of extending the dignity of freedom to others.
May we accept the bonds of citizenry, knowing that freedom is a responsibility we dare not expect without our collective investment.
May we give of our own light to continue building a society worthy of the freedom we've been granted.
May we remember to take pains for the sakes of those whose names we know and for the sake of those whose names we do not know, as we are only free if we are all free.
May the world be blessed to share in the blessings of human dignity and the glow of freedom's light.