Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Od Yavo: The Song that Has Bookmarked My Life

"Od yavo shalom aleinu, v'al kulam. Salaam"
Still, indeed, peace will come, it will come upon us.

The first memories I have associated with this song make sense: song sessions at camp, closing services every shabbat evening. This song is used for a prayer for peace often. But this song started to mean something to me approximately six years ago when I found out that a former camp counselor (who I adored) was staffing my eighth grade Israel trip. I remember the sounds of the guitar at the end of that pre-trip meeting, and they indicated that even though, at the time, my life was slipping away, it was all going to be okay.

The second memory I have of this song is at camp between my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. I have a vivid memory of us dancing around the dining hall, the illuminating smile of my caring counselor reminding me that I was going to be fine. Throughout my time in high school, at every event that we sang this song, I was reminded that I was going to be okay.

This past summer, I sang this song with my campers, and this fall, every week at Hillel Shabbat dinner after we finish the prayer after meals, we break into song, without fail. The most significant memory is Fall Fest after I had just spoken to many people who I didn't know, and when I spent most of the song cleaning up bottles of wine and grape juice.

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to go to HUC-JIR for their college leadership weekend. We closed our Friday night service with this song, and I was reminded, that even with the pain and suffering of the world weighing on our minds, we were going to be okay. And as I smiled while blinking away tears, I remembered the true power of Od Yavo.

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