Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

A prayer for rain

Today’s rains are much needed. The parched earth is smiling. Our prayers have been answered. Likewise with our fragile nation which is at a crossroads.

This week we are due to hear the initial decision regarding the prime minister’s indictment for possible crimes (some of them serious). Some out there are worried. Others, like me, are giving thanks that our prayers have been answered. We pray that like the rains, anticipated events will help begin to wash away the corruption in our mist.

Yesterday we witnessed Michael Cohen spewing his guts out, in a torturous presentation before a congressional committee, divided by partisanship, one side questioning the validity of the witness (hence protecting the current POTUS) and the other, questioning the same POTUS’ moral fabric to continue leading.  The committee chairman Representative Elijah E. Cummings said one phrase, “We can do better than this”.  It was almost a biblical moment. Similarly, given all that has transpired, all the threats and backstabbing, our fragile nation is in mortal danger.

We do not need a king, but rather a sensitive leader who is capable of listening as well as choosing the wisest people sitting in the “inner sanctum,” souls who can provide the best possible advice.  The age of enormous egos is over.  The new age of cooperation and sharing has begin. Our problems have so much complexity that no one leader can possibly go it alone.  We must strive for solidarity and commonality, NOT ways to divide ourselves.  We also cannot build our future on a leader (i.e., the current POTUS) who is as fragile as our own prime minister.

In my opinion, the days of both leaders are numbered. There will be a time that rather than cheering the new US Embassy plaque with Donald J. Trump’s name affixed to it, we will beg for it to be exchanged for another. We will not want the blight of his suspected crimes in our midst. Likewise, I can also anticipate similar hesitations regarding “Bibi” and his “legacy”.  No doubt it will be mixed. We will need remember the good with the bad, but unfortunately our natures are built so as to easily remember the bad.

Meanwhile, out my window the plants are springy green, the branches are flowing like deep rivers and the rains are visible against the green-grey skies.  There is a softness in the air, though when lightning strikes it is fast and swift.  Such are verdicts in criminal cases.  When lighting strikes we can forget quickly because it is nature’s way.  When verdicts strike, we do remember.  We record these things in our collective memories.  History is made from such verdicts.  Hopefully in the future our history will  be more about our discoveries, educational advancements, a society with more equality, less division between rich and poor, universal health care which is one of the best in the world and the celebration of our commonalities as well as our differences…..And so, as we continue to pray for rain, for the cleansing of our environment, we also pray for a new beginning and a future for ourselves, one that blossoms and embraces, one that gives all of us (yes, all of us) newfound hope.

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About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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