(New to shabbos blessings? Learn more here.)
I’m just going to jump right in, since I think blessings this week are about as necessary as breathing. Plus I gotta keep it quick, because I went on another trip today and shabbat is super early again (as it will be for a good long while). This week’s blessing comes from a choir friend, who emailed me shortly after I arrived here. He sent this link to a song (lyrics are here) and wrote:
A song for your journey: You might already know this song. I heard it for the first time about two weeks ago, and I can’t stop playing it. I find it incredibly beautiful and calming and thought it might bring you some peace and happiness as you continue your journey in Israel.
Bill Clinton came into office when I was 5. At the age when I was playing with dolls, the nation was entering its first democrat-controlled White House since my Reagan-era birth. I came to political consciousness under the end of Clinton and throughout the Bush years. I cast my first presidential ballot for Barack Obama and followed him joyfully through re-election. I have yet to vote for a white man for president, and I’m damn proud of my chosen party for that.
This song is indeed calming, a lullaby sorely needed after this week. It’s incredible how healing music can be. Yesterday I was texting with my Dad, who was excited to be conducting an orchestra he works with in a political piece that would let him get out some of his election-related feelings. And I know I’ve been strumming my guitar and singing quite a lot over the last 48 hours. And listening to quite a lot of Hamilton.
Also in the interests of calm, I bought this marvelous chai earlier this week. The milk was so foamy and I accidentally got so excited about drinking it all that I gave myself a cinnamon unibrow that I didn’t notice for hours. It’s important to drink things like foamy chai these days. We need to take care of ourselves to stay woke for the work.
May this first shabbat, this first period of perfection-in-creation since the creation of President-Elect Trump, be a period of calm for you. May you use it to care for yourself so that you can care for others. It’s been 3 days. We’re still here.