May their memories be a blessing
The rabbi as citizen in the midst of world crisis

Unexpected song

I followed my room-mate Aura to a table at the far end of the mezzanine where I had eaten dinner with a few of my Biblical History classmates and our professor a few hours before. She had gathered half a dozen people from DLTI III (the cohort before mine in the two-year liturgical leadership training program I loved so much) who graciously invited me to hang out and sing with them.

The first song we sang after I sat down was actually one of mine -- "The Talmid," a filk of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" which I wrote for the PANIM interdenominational rabbinic student retreat a few years ago! (Each rabbinic program delegation did a skit spoofing their seminary; this filk was ours.) How amazing, to hear these awesome people singing my song.

And we sang Leonard Cohen ("Hallelujah") and Nick Lowe ("What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" -- which reminds me of the Colbert Christmas Special now.) And some riotous Beatles tunes which had us in hysterics. And a beautiful melancholy waltz melody for "Adon Olam." And something gorgeous by Danny Maseng, and half a dozen things I've already forgotten, though we sang them in extraordinary impromptu harmony.

I left reluctantly after about an hour, knowing I would be wincing when my alarm went off for shacharit. As I walked back to my room I passed a table of people intently studying texts, and a handful of different little conversations on couches and in corridors. It was a moment of unexpected harmony and grace, the kind of thing I know I'll remember long after I've left the Boulderado for another year.

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