Tonight is a solstice. A full solar eclipse.
It is New Year's Eve and Yom Kippur, rolled into one.
We're going to Mos Eisley with a hermit we know only from legends. We're carrying a ring we don't understand to a place we can't fathom. We are sailing to Crete as tribute, determined to return having slain the Minotaur.
It is the beginning of our journey. We will meet the people whose skills, knowledge, and experiences we will rely upon and learn from. We will travel to the underworld - of fear, doubt, self-loathing, and yes, death - and we will return home. We will return home with the power to bestow gifts and restore order to our lives.
I wish everyone the best in the days, months, and years ahead. Be strong, be kind, be loving. Be secure in your ideals, and beholden to the truth. Be honest about your biases, but don't be cowed by others' prejudice. Know that we - whether as Jews, as Americans, or maybe as the combination of those two impressive designations - are united with the heroes of our past who have always stood up to oppression and fought for tikkun olam, the healing of the world.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.
For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.