Rabbi Marc’s A Dash of Drash – The Violin Of Your Songs – A Poem for Jerusalem Day – Episode 115

Today (May 19) is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which is beautiful and very complex for most of us.  Inspired by the amazing line “am I not the violin of all of your songs” in Naomi Shemer’s song Jerusalem of Gold, I wrote a poem this morning, which is on my podcast here and the words are below. 

Jerusalem is really a promise not yet fulfilled. May we see it in our lifetimes as a shining city of light and peace!

Shabbat Shalom, Marc

I am a Violin for All your Songs
A Poem for Jerusalem Day
May 19th 2023

I am a violin for all your songs
The haunting harmonies
The mournful melodies
The soulful songs
The never ending narratives
Of the broken and the whole
City of Peace
City of shattered dreams
My heart is in Jerusalem
And Jerusalem is in my heart
Jerusalem is the heart
Pumping deep red blood
Pulsating vitality
Promising life and renewal
Even in the midst
Of death, destruction and despair.
Ani kinnor – I am the violin
Or is it a lute?
My strings vibrate with
Hundreds of generations
Of home and exile
Of presence and absence
Of leaving and returning
Sacred Spaces
The broken promise of unity
Lost in the rubble of enmity
A House of Prayer for all peoples!
A two thousand year old dream
Alive for some
A terrifying nightmare for others.
The songs never cease
The eternal flame cannot be extinguished
Even if its flickering, fickle in its finitude
Diminishes the dream.
Play on, as long
As those ancient strings 
Produce music
And tears
And possibility
This bow does not shoot arrows
But releases melodies that
We have not dared to sing
The soul’s score
To a history that is still being written
Whose Maestro is veiled in
Mystery


I am riding from Auschwitz to Krakow in June raising funds for the JCC of Krakow.  I am close to my goal. You can sponsor the ride here.

Listen here on Soundcloud or on itunes here.
Thanks for listening with a generous heart and sharing with others!

About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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