There was a time I was aiming for some culture for some hoydens I took on a visit to Boston. Y’know the typical Brooklyn jaded teen…that was who I was taking on this jaunt. As there is a wonderful music conservatory in Boston, it was my chance to introduce them to classical music played with a full orchestra and with the artful direction of a conductor. As a bonus, we were to be treated to some tidbits of opera right after.
At first they giggled as they watched the conductor waving about his hands. They had never been exposed to music and this was a novel concept and looked ridiculous to them. However, as the music began and swelled and filled the hall, each instrument complementing or merging in with the others in perfect harmony, the giggle fits stopped. Music experienced first-hand with a multi-pieced orchestra is a breath-catching ear-serenading moment.
This week, the Jewish nation lost a special soul, Avrohom Yisroel Yehoshua ben Shlomo “Avi” Zweiback of blessed memory. As he battled with his cancer, he was battling a larger war too. He was fighting for peace amongst us. He asked folks to bury disagreements and feuds and find a way to get along. That, he felt, would be his disease’s rallying call.
Tonight, while visiting someone in the hospital I turned on some choral selections, stuff like the Mezamrim and the Shira Choir. I played on my laptop some Yisroel Lamm conducted orchestral pieces. And as I watched singers and band members blend talents together, I suddenly understood what it was Avi wanted to hear and see. He wanted to see our nation creating that breath-catching arrangement, where we all complement or merge together in perfect harmony.
Those girls I took to Boston experienced music. So could we, as a nation, if we learned to get along.
(The giggles, however, did return to them when the operatic selections began…but that’s for another day’s tale.)