We Will Sing
I was in Brookline, MA last Saturday afternoon spending the day with my daughter Emily. We were attending a movie at Coolidge Corner, a busy Jewish neighborhood in Boston. I had spent the morning listening to the news and was still in shock about the synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill. As we walked into the busy movie theatre and sat down I felt a palpable fear rising in my chest. Panic overtook me as I realized that any moment could mean another xenophobic maniac might come into the theatre and open fire! The words of Reb Nachman of Bratzlav immediately came to my mind, words on which I based my song, “We Will Sing”. Reb Nachman said: “the whole world is a very narrow bridge, we must cross it unafraid”…I added the words: .”with fear all around us our faith in God is tested, it’s hard to find the strength to be brave”. The chorus of the song reminds us of the dark history our people has already endured and how the power of music and singing helps us pull through even the most horrific times.
We will sing, we will sing
Though darkness surrounds us
We will sing, we will sing
For a brighter day
Find the good in the world,
Give thanks for all our blessings
We will sing
And chase the darkness away.
Even now many days later, I am still in shock and still trying to grapple horrific events of the past Shabbat morning. The mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh has shattered our sense of safety and challenged us to our core. Jews around the world are scared, as I felt walking into that movie theatre. How do we know that we won’t be next? How do we move past and heal from this senseless act of hate and terror? How do I keep the children and adults of our congregation safe without causing fear and panic? These are questions which challenge us all as we enter a new age of protecting our innocents.
The outpouring of support I have received from colleagues in the Rehoboth faith communities has been overwhelming. I am so grateful for their solidarity and expressions of grief and love. I know that we will stay strong together and persevere against this tide of anti-semitic hate and violence that is sweeping our country. We will sing for an end to gun violence, we will sing for an end to hate, we will sing for equality, we will sing for courage, we will sing for justice and peace.
Now is the time to stand bravely, take hands and cross the bridge together. I pray that the flames of faith and courage illuminate the darkness of evil and hate. May we be vigilant and stay safe while opening our arms to healing and hope.
We will sing and chase the darkness away.