A friend recently asked me how I fell in love with G-d, Judaism, with all of it. It’s not an easy question. So much is just experienced in the heart and the soul. And still, it’s a great question.
A great place to start? Music. Watch below as “A Bunch of Singers and Alumni from the U of MD” sing their hearts out at “NO FEAR: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People”. Passionate and talented, these young men sing for UNITY.
A very wise Rabbi once said that anything can be used for the good or the bad, including music. My lovely Jewish mentor also advised me that music is very close to the soul. I choose my music carefully with both these ideas in mind.
MUSIC is one of the major things that sparked my love of being Jewish. There are certainly others, but…
Music deserves a post all its own.
Music just creeps into our beings. All different kinds: dance, soulful, lyrics translated into American Sign Language, music for children… music for “children” of all ages. It brings out the child-like wonder in us. It was music that really sparked this whole blog. Singing with others serendipitously led me to writing.
My favorites childhood songs include – Havenu Shalom Alecheim, Hava Nagila (oh my G-d…that one is a killer!), Alan Sherman… then through the years: Adam Sandler singing the Chanukah Song, Shine a Little Light by Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz…and so many more.
This next song initially sparked my resistance. It’s lyrics are, “I‘m a Jew and I’m proud, and I’ll sing it out loud, cuz forever and ever that’s what I’ll be…”
Ironically I used to feel a little embarrassed of these words; I judged them as exclusionary.
I’ve taken a huge U-turn.
I now am filled with strength and inspiration at these words. Watching and learning from others who are both proud of their identities and humble and dignified has pushed me past my own fears of being judged. I now can experience the dignity of owning all of me, thank G-d.
This does not in any way reduce others. All made in G-d’s image. I don’t have to be jealous, better or worse than another group’s strong identity. I admire and respect their passion as I know mine.
Now if you’ll indulge me, I will drop in some music. We’ll start with….
“IVRI INOCHI”. Maybe you’ll even feel moved to jump in yourselves. Linked here starting at 2:31 they lead us in “I’M A JEW AND I’M PROUD“
“SHINE A LITTLE LIGHT” by Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz. There’s nothing for me to add. This song is through the ‘lovin” roof. (*Lyrics here)
I’ll say good night and leave you with KOOLULUM’S version of Matisyahu’s “One Day“. It’s magnificent.
Laila Tov lovely friends.
Love, Vivi ©
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#1 and #2 Music from “Bunch of Singers and Alumni from the U of MD” at “NO FEAR: A Rally in Solidarity with the Jewish People”, #3 Shine a Little Light by Yitzi Hurwitz, #4 Koolulum singing Matisyahu’s One Day