At our Passover seder every year, we always try to bring a few new songs and readings to enhance the seder, while of course continuing to do everyone’s favorite melodies and passages to honor their childhood customs.  It is such a wonderful way of keeping our family traditions alive, while also adding new ones to make sure that Passover stays relevant and fresh.  What a great symbol of the kind of transformation happening across the Jewish world today!


This year, we decided to close our seder by singing Matisyahu’s One Day, a song of hope and faith in a world where people believe that we are more united than we are divided, and that our common humanity will heal the world.  The day after our seder, our next door neighbors told us that they opened their windows and doors so they could listen to us singing our hopes and dreams into the night sky:


All my life I´ve been waiting for
I´ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we don´t wanna fight no more
They´ll be no more wars
And our children will play
One day, one day, one day!


Soon after Passover I discovered this incredibly inspiring video created by Koolulam, an Israeli mass singing experience whose mission is to spread joy through music by bringing together diverse groups of Israelis.  On February 14th, Koolulam gathered 3000 strangers for one hour to learn One Day, and then sing it together in three languages, as a symbol of coexistence.  It is impossible to watch this video and not feel your hope in humanity renewed.


I have watched this video so many times, in moments of despair about our country and our world, and in moments when I want to enhance the hope and joy that I am already feeling.  I share this video with you as a way of reminding us all this Shabbat that sometimes a simple act-bringing people together to sing-can have a transformational impact on our spirits and souls. May we all be inspired by the courage and joy of the people in this video to take leaps of faith for what we believe in and to always hold onto the belief that love wins.



Shabbat shalom,

Cantor Chabon