Despite the gloomy morning… despite the terrible news… despite this head cold… this one makes me feel like dancing.
And not just because it’s a joyful song that people dance to, but because I’m a bit delighted by this choice as the final song of this hymnal. You see, for all the seriousness of the work to assemble a hymnal, I imagine there were moments of great wit, laughter, and joy. Of course the Hymnal Commission decided to end with this traditional Jewish song, whose literal meaning is “We have brought peace to you.”
This delights me, because while I am sure there was plenty of controversy, debate, and possibly outright fights… and while there are still a fair number of controversies, debates, and outright fights, and I am sure you knew that would be the case even as you did your very best to bring peace to us.
Well played, Hymnal Commission, well played.
Hevenu shalom aleychem,
heveno shalom aleychem,
hevenu shalom aleychem,
hevenu shalom, shalom, shalom, aleychem. (Repeat)
And so we go out of Singing the Living Tradition laughing and dancing.