July 2018

    Do you remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, “The Sound of Silence?”  Written by Paul Simon in the 60's, it was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress about 5 years ago for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.”  Simon wrote this song 50 years ago about our lack of communication.  What a timeless concept! 
    So, what exactly is the sound of silence?  It’s actually quite noisy.  Even silence, we tend to fill up with noise!  How can we navigate through the loudness to find a good, useful silence?   Music organizes the loud sounds so that we can recognize the power of the quiet, which acts as an intermediary between God’s external “persona” and the quiet, holy inner being where truth is found.  Music hangs in the subtle balance between sound and silence.  It allows for an interchange between the soft, inner and the loud, outer world.  Paul Simon knew that, and so do we. 
    Communicating is not easy, especially today when we rely on texts and emails instead of speaking with one another.  Wouldn’t it be easy just to send an email to God with gratitude or requests?  What’s missing?  Our heart.  We need some silence to pave the path toward our Creator, so that we can share our truths, and then music may enhance the connection.  Music lifts us up, inspires us, and helps us to link up with others in a unique way.  Many congregants have told me this over the years, and I, of course, believe it wholeheartedly.
    Music helps us express what words alone cannot.  Singing is not only about singing, it is also about listening – to each other, and sometimes to the silence.  As you enjoy nature and hopefully some quiet moments this summer, think about the sound of silence, and treasure it.     
  L’hitra’ot, until next time!