Another wonderful visit to Connecticut this past week, with my first presentation in Bristol. There, 6th graders from all 4 Bristol middle schools, West Bristol School, Northeast Middle School, Greene-Hills School, and Chippens Hill Middle School, were bused to the Bristol High School auditorium.
The students were receptive and responsive, and at the conclusion of my talk, had a special surprise for me: the large and talented 6th grade chorus sung Ani Ma'amin.
The song was sung beautifully and with much love. A big thank you the music director pianist and high school violinist, who added to the musicality of the performance. I hope you enjoy viewing the YouTube video that was produced.
A little explanation about Ani Ma'amin:
(from the Anton Armstrong Choral Series, St. Olaf College, MN - arranged by Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory):
Ani Ma'amin is an ancient Hebrew affirmation of faith. The text can be interpreted as follows: I believe in God, in a greater truth, and in things greater than this world in spite of all that has happened. I believe that the Messiah will come, and he will find me waiting. No matter how long, he tarries, no matter how long he delays his coming, I will continue to believe. No matter what the future holds, I believe.
The song has had a rich history in the heart of Israel and gained its greatest significance during the Holocaust. Thousands of Jews entered the gas chamber singing this very song, proclaiming allegiance to God until their last breath. Eyewitness accounts tell us that the music would decrescendo to silence only as the gas choked the singers.
"No matter how long he tarries, he will find me waiting." Today we sing Ani Ma'amin out of respect for the faith for which so many millions of children died. Today we sing Ani Ma'amin, knowing that if we join hands and hearts and voices and sing the songs of those who suffer, we will learn that, while we may be different, we are all truly beautiful. And if we, the children of the world, value all other children as beautiful people, we can prevent such atrocities from happening again in our lifetimes.
This is why we sing. This is what WE believe.
With love & hugs,
P.S. Tomorrow we observe Memorial Day. May we remember all those men and women who have given up their lives to keep our country free. May we respect and pay honor to all those who continue to serve to keep our country free.