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There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby …

I never thought I’d do this in my blog, post an horrific image such as one with Hamas militants with a victim’s body. I only know that facing the Truth is particularly brutal right now, and doing it with sensitivity is called for. And what I do is write, in hopes that the magic of connection through words has some higher realm purpose. Although I admit I cannot see one at the moment.

As we watch a tragedy of 9/11 proportion unfold, in Israel, and to similar extent, Ukraine and other parts of the world where power destroys lives, I don’t know what to say. I am compelled to share that I had finally after decades of fear decided to go out of my comfort zone to visit this sacred land I heard of in what feels like lullabies. Beautiful melodies in minor keys to evoke my ancestors who loved and honored Judaism and the sanctity of life it has always tried to foster. Never perfect, but what in human form ever is, really. Not perfect, but miraculous in what it has fought and died for, and has always tried to be, despite the formidable forces wanting only to destroy it. Good versus evil, the essence of many a fairy tale.

Yet the tales and lullabies I heard growing up and saw come alive through my friends and families that have been to the Holy land were too compelling, too precious for my heart to ignore forever. So miraculously I finally made the arrangements,, found a way to fit the trip into my life, and now …

The reference to the golden lyric from Over the Rainbow is made because I thought midst this horrendousness, that it was worth sharing that the song is considered to have been written about hope for a Jewish homeland. Israel, despite the pogroms and the Holocaust, and all that aimed to annihilate it, has grown and strengthened and beautified hopes and dreams far beyond rainbows. Has tried to provide a haven for “never again” to hold significant meaning. Has sown the seeds of greenery in deserts, planting seeds of hope every time a tree was planted. I know there are several trees in my name, and in the name of many loved ones, somewhere over there ….

The lyrics of Over the Rainbow were written by composers of Russian-Jewish descent. In order to do so, they had to reach deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness to write this indelible song. That’s how powerful hope is, how fragile. How magnificent it can be to be captured in a song that can’t help but move us at any age.

I know the question why doesn’t necessarily have a place in this conversation, but isn’t that the question that is on our lips as we cringe while witnessing what we are capable of doing to each other. This is beyond man’s inhumanity to man. Yet I can’t help wondering, why oh why ….

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Debra, your writing here is its own lullaby, an ode to hope in the face of human hate and barbarism, a call to the Divine to please hear our demand for a just end to the forces that destroy and to bring forth the reconciliation, peace and love that will move humanity forward, even if by small increments, into its more perfect form. As I wrote to you earlier, I am deeply moved by and appreciative of your being the stand for love,, light….. and music.
    I would only add as you enlighten us on the link between the lyrics of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the yet indomitable hope of the Jewish people in the midst of immense darkeness throughout the ages, that the Israeli national anthem is HaTikvah, Hebrew for “The Hope”. I hope you might be inspired by these IDF soldiers singing The Hope, HaTikvah, as they prepare to go to defend their homeland:

    1. How could I neglect to include the English translation of the Hebrew for HaTikvah:
      As long as within our hearts
      The Jewish soul sings,
      As long as forward to the East
      To Zion, looks the eye –
      Our hope is not yet lost,
      It is two thousand years old,
      To be a free people in our land
      The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

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