As I sat down in my chair after tonight’s dress rehearsal, I noticed my favorite dried flower peering at me from the center of the chair. I was a bit disoriented, as I usually give myself a vigorous shake and brush off to get as much of the dog hair and plant parts from my wildly overgrown edible forest before walking into any building. I chuckled at the wonderful coincidence of this flower that wanted to be a part of tonight’s Rosh Hoshana/Kol Nidrei music infused ceremony at the Harmony Gold Theatre on Sunset Boulevard…
The reason why I have a magnificent wall of Morning Glory ivy plants on the southwest side of my house is in celebration of a most memorable walk I had one morning in the Negev- the sun was brilliant and already warm at 7:00am. One side of a dividing fence functioned as a trellis for the most magnificent burst of color as the Morning Glory ivy seemed to not only cascade over both sides of the fence (which happened to be on the southwest side of the property), but it seemed that the curly cue tendrils were actively reaching for me, the unwitting passer-by. When I look outside of my bedroom window, I see the vibrant lush green foliage and breathtaking purplish-blue color of the petals. I also see/remember that awesome walk in Israel and am instantly transported there again.
And so with this time/location travel, the delicately shriveled flower instantly transported me to my house in Venice as well as to the village in the Negev. It seemed to start making sense, these seemingly unrelated pieces of music combining a traditional Jewish melody with the words and music of a popular R&B/Pop music song. The excellent Music Directors James Laff and Jeremy Gimbel are very hip music writers/arrangers, but that one piece just seemed VERY out of place- the mashup of a traditional High Holy Day song with the anthem “Freedom” by Common and John Legend. Well, the Rebbe explained her recent trip to walk with some 200 other Rabbi in Selma to recognize the need to support voting rights there for the Black and Latino communities. From there, the Rebbe turned it around and had me and most everyone crying. I can’t remember the last time I lost a tear during any sermon- this was a brief but wonderfully cathartic experience for me. Her entire presentation was intended to encourage each individual to stand up on behalf of others in this life experience. The Rebbe defines a “Global Village”~ To intentionally visualize life without distinctions between the diverse groups of human beings.
Happy New Year
Happy Rosh Hoshanna