Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jerusalem In My Heart

Here’s another example of writing out of need. The middle schoolers where I taught were having what would amount to be a Shabbaton, an overnight at the school, but it started at Havdalah (Saturday night) and went through Sunday. The theme was “Jerusalem.”

I was asked to come for the evening and lead Havdalah, and did I have a nice opening song? I would find one, I said. Saturday night, an hour before I was to lead the service, I still hadn’t found a song. So I wrote one.

I was doing dinner dishes at home (see, not trying again) and the words “Jerusalem In My Heart” came to me. I dried my hands, sat down, and wrote out three simple verses. I wrote it as an echo song. Nobody would have heard it before I played it that night (including myself) and I wanted them to participate actively. They did. The song worked and it stuck around.

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