On Friday December 13 at 7PM, the Kolot haLev Choir will offer three musical selections in tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, a visionary who found hope in the dark days of apartheid.
I’ll try to convey a few of President Mandela’s profound contributions to the world with quotes from two Jewish sources:
1) Mi ha ish hehafetz hayim, ohev yamim lirot tov
Who is the man who desires [long] life, who loves all his days, that he may see goodness?
Netzor l’shonkha me rah u s’fatekha midabber mirma Guard your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from speaking guile.
Sur me ra va 'ase tov bakesh shalom verodfehu Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 34:14-15
2) Ben-Zoma says: … Eizehu gibor? Hakovesh et yiztro (Pirke Avot 4:1)
Who is a hero? - One who conquers his baser instincts; as it says (in Proverbs 16:32) "Better is patience than a hero, and one who controls his spirit than he who conquers a town."
Remembering Mandela and his many gifts, Kolot haLev will include the following musical excerpts in our service:
• A Sufi version of “Hine Ma Tov” (Psalm 133:1) describes Mandela’s eagerness to bring people of all colors and parties together into a grand tent. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity!
• A version of “Shalom Rav” (Establish abundant peace) composed by Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn that captures Mandela’s desire for peace, recognizing that our best efforts to make it part of our daily lives have not yet been fulfilled.
• Bobbie McFerrin’s musical setting of Psalm 23 (…The Lord is my shepherd…) sung in English: a setting that brings to our awareness a deep emotion that Mandela surely embraced (“…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me ;…”), as well as a reflection on life that Mandela equally endorsed: “… my cup overflows…”
Finally, we will all sing together Shnirele Perele, a Yiddish song and an extension of the "Got fun Avrom" prayer that women recite at the conclusion of Shabbat. This hymn invites us to dream of the whole earth touched by blessings. Its universal message is one Mandela wholeheartedly affirmed.
So, join us this Friday evening as we sing together to pay homage to a great leader:
Shnirele Perele, gilderne fon - Ribbons, pearls, golden flags
Moshiekh ben Dovid zitst oybn on. - The Messiah, son of David, is above us
Halt a bekher in der rekhter hant, - he holds a goblet in his right hand
Makht a brokhe oyfn gantzn land. - gives his blessing to the whole earth.
Oy, omeyn ve omeyn, dos iz vor, - Amen, amen, this is the truth
Meshiekh vet kumen hayntiks yor! - the Messiah will come this year.
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