This evening, my dear friend Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb sent an email to many of her friends. IT was written as a response to reading my book Divine Attunement: Music as a Path to Wisdom, and itself, this response of Lynn is so inspiring and a call to action, that I was moved to bring it to you below in its complete text. Please share with your friends and family.
I encourage you to read Yuval’s book of music and stories called Divine Attunement. Yuval opens the door to the world of divine music with a tuning fork that releases the song of the heart. This book is well worth the read. Yuval Ron’s music is available via the web. One of my favorite artists!
The stories in Yuval’s book inspired me to dip into beloved memories of the Jerrahi Sufi Order in Spring Valley where I have sought comfort, friendship and prayer for several decades.
The three photographs below were taken by Doug Hostetter, another fabulous human being with a great heart.
In the first picture and second picture were taken during an evening of music and stories.
In the second pic, Sheikh Tosun Bayrak and I often spoke about the link between nonviolence, direct action and the service of the heart in Sufi and Shomeret Shalom traditions.
The Spring Valley Jerrahi community does amazing work. Among many other serivce projects, this community initiated the Bosnian Student Project during the period Serbians were putting Bosnian Muslims in concentration camps. In partnership with the FOR, under Doug’s guidance, The Bosnian Student Project brought 150 Muslims high school and college students out of Bosnia during the war to finish their education. The Jerrahi Order also graciously participated in one of the Interfaith Wilderness Peace Camps that I led by sending several kids from their community for a week of wilderness peace making. When RH and Ramadan coincided, I spent the first night in the mosque, praying with Sufis, seeking refuge
in a place I could feel wholly at peace with people on the same page of justice.
The third picture was taken near Hebron in 1998. My dear friend Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship, a member of the Jerrahi Order and a great teacher of Sufism and nonviolence, Doug and I traveled to Palestine and Israel together on the first IFPB delegation. We spent a day with a Palestinian family whose home had been destroyed by the IDF. After several hours re-terracing a garden wall with stones, we planted a rose bush, and then, listened to the family’s testimony. One of their kids filmed the destruction! which we viewed (thanks to a generator). Her youngest child, a boy, had not spoken a word since witnessing the destruction of his world. Our hearts shattered, and tears became our only song.
At that moment, I wished I could play oud instead of drum.
These days, I feel an intense longing for peace pulling at my heart. Hardly anything quenches this longing, as we witness ‘the situation’ continue to deteriorate in the holy land.
And on account of other brutalities taking root.
For I, like you, have tasted the fruit of that beautiful garden, where souls sing together and, thus, transcend every boundary, and none are afraid, and so I know
the wounding is not necessary. Let us be sumud in love and devotion to what is good and right to do in this world. lg
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Open Tent Shul of the Arts
and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence