We pause in this historic moment as we witness as these esteemed electors fulfill their democratic mission. These electors are representative of the diversity of our people and of the values of this Commonwealth. We take a moment to express our gratitude to the Holy One, the Source of All, for bringing us to this historic moment. We give thanks for the good that has come from the historic administration of the first African-American president of these United States. And we give thanks for the goodwill of the American people, for these leaders, and for all who are committed to the highest ideals of this democratic republic, for the ideal of public service and good governance, and for the ideal of working together for the common good.
In the Jewish tradition, we mark the end of reading a sacred book by standing as a community and proclaiming, in Hebrew chazak, chazak, venitchazek, meaning “be strong, be strong, and we shall be strengthened.” As we close the book on one era and prepare to open another, we speak to one another as a sacred community and say “I pledge to be strong, you pledge to be strong, and we will be stronger together.”
We pledge to be stronger together to resist the forces that seek to divide us.
We pledge to be stronger together to support one another when
faced with bigotry and hatred.
We pledge to be stronger together to preserve our planet’s life and health.
We pledge to be stronger together to defend the Constitution.
We pledge to be stronger together to protect human rights.
We pledge to be stronger together to sustain our democracy.
Chazak, chazak, venitchazek. Holy One, Source of All, give us all the strength to stand together through adversity and challenge as we have stood together through prosperity and progress. Stand with us, Holy One, and make us stronger as we face the days ahead.
Rabbi Barbara Penzner
December 19, 2016