The hope for peace

By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,

Summer is the time for camp and many of us have wonderful camp memories. I am truly blessed because I create new memories each summer as I continue being a camper all my life. Teaching Jewish values in a camp setting requires one thing: a great singing session. We have found that the lessons that our campers (and counselors) learn through singing stay with them forever. For the nine weeks of camp, I will introduce a new song each week in this column. If you want to know the tunes, just check out iTunes.

Two very simple songs with a very important message — peace! The songs are not about what peace is but express the hope that peace will be ours. How do we create a time when the world will be at peace? What can we do to make the world a more peaceful place? Is there something we can do to make the appointed time NOW?

The music for “Salaam” comes from Moshe Ben-Ari of the Group Sheva and “Ki Va Moed” is music from Shlomo Carlebach. Rick Recht arranged both in very rhythmic songs.

Salaam

Od yavo shalom aleinu (2)
Od yavo shalom aleinu v’al kulam. (2)
Salaam, aleinu v’al kol haolam salaam. (2)

Peace will yet come to us and to everyone.
Peace to us and to all the world.

Ki Va Moed

Ki va moed. (4) Ya lai lai lai lai…
The appointed time (of peace) has come.

The energy we feel when we sing this song makes us believe that we can bring a peaceful time. It is up to each of us. Another special feeling that singing gives us is the feeling of belonging to a community. Can we bring peace alone? We can do our part but we need each other. We need to be part of a community to work together.

For many of us “former” campers, there is one other song of peace that we remember:

Lo Yisa Goy

Lo yi-sa goy el goy he rev, Lo yil-m’du od mil-ha ma.
And every man ‘neath his vine and fig tree shall live in peace and unafraid
And into plowshares beat their swords and nation shall learn war no more.
Gonna lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside (4)
I ain’t gonna study war no more.

Laura Seymour is Jewish experiential learning director and camp director emeritus at the Aaron Family JCC.

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