Invocation: State of Michigan Holocaust Commemoration

God of justice, God of mercy. We seek Your wisdom and Your strength.

How can we assure our children and all the children of the world that never again shall they face the sword because they are part of a people that is different from the people in power, or because their faith is opposed by those who have lost faith in human decency?

Throughout history, powerful rulers drunk with greed and blind with fanatic cruelty have deployed fighting men with deadly weapons to increase their power and oppress the innocent.

When Cain slew his brother and set the whole cycle in motion, You left his question unanswered—Am I my brother’s keeper?

God of justice, God of mercy, the time has come to answer Cain’s question. Enough is enough. We are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s protector. We stand here before You today to remember six million of our kin and to honor their memory with the commitment to end the atrocity once and for all. We seek Your wisdom to help us find the answers. We seek Your strength to give us courage to keep asking the question.

You said to Cain, “Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground!” Can You not hear the cries of the blood of millions of our brothers and sisters from Hitler’s death camps, and from the Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Cambodia, Chechnyia, Bosnia, and Armenia? Is the collective wail too much even for You to bear? Like us, when You’ve had enough, can You flip the remote to another channel?

Today we flip to the channel of hope. With Your help we will stop the savagery and bring the perpetrators to justice. Extending hands across continents, we will build a global society dedicated to peace and human dignity, protected by the rule of law and the willingness to carry it out, inspired by the prayers of hundreds of religious orientations, rising together in a glorious chorus of diversity:

Oseh shalom bimromav hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol yoshvei tevel v’imru amen.

May the one who creates peace in the heavens grant peace upon us and upon all who dwell on earth. And let us say, Amen.