I am a novice with limited knowledge of the Israeli music scene. Yes, I listen to the local army radio station, GLGLZ daily on my way to work. It is a terrific combination of Hip-hop, Pop, Classic Rock, and Israeli hits from today…and beyond.
As I listen to the words to the songs, I try to sing along, but sometimes I get the words wrong. I know the melodies, and that is honestly all I really care about. Sometimes, I surprise my kids by learning a song that they love. When they hear me belt out the refrain from their favorite song, they look at me in shock and say “How do you know that?” They think I am an ancient relic who has no clue about current music trends or culture. Oh, to be young again, and think that only kids know best….
And so it is…I listen to my American hits, but I have a secret place in my heart for current trends in Israeli music too. Legends such as Hanan Ben Ari, Ishay Ribo, and Akiva are gold to my ears. But, I also have a soft spot for the mellifluous voices of classics like Naomi Shemer and Rita. But, I also like the new trendy voices of Noa Kirel, Netta and Jasmine Mouallem.
Of course, this morning I decided that I needed to listen to something in Hebrew. The days have been so long for me…up at the crack of dawn…worrying about my soldiers, their friends, and the sordid state of the world. I figured that maybe listening to something in Hebrew this morning would calm me down, and get me into a brighter mood..
And then Jasmine Mouallem appeared on my Spotify screen. It was as if she was beckoning to push “play”. It was יהיה טוב, roughly translate “Everything will be Good”.
The refrain of the song:
יהיה יהיה טוב
הפרחים ישובו לפרוח
תראה שיהיה טוב
יהיה טוב גם מתוך החושך ידלק האור
In the end, everything will be good,
The flowers will return to bloom,
You will see that everything will be good.
Also from the depths of darkness we will turn on the light.
I heard the refrain and began to cry. Yesterday, my school’s principal called an emergency meeting for all Home Room teachers. We had to report to the library for a two-hour meeting. Most of us were exhausted and did not know what to expect. Some of us wondered what she could say for two hours….we just wanted to go home, and be with our families.
We all sat in a circle, and suddenly, like a burst of cool wind, Racheli Frenkel entered the room. I immediately began to cry. Racheli Frenkel is the mother of Naftali Frenkel. Naftali, Gilad Sheer, and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped and killed in July of 2014 by Hamas Terrorists. Racheli Frenkel is a Torah scholar who shares her wisdom with countless schools and Torah organizations. She is a beacon of hope to all who hear her lectures, her wisdom, and her insight.
As Racheli began her lecture, she looked at us…a combination of mothers, wives, sisters, and aunts of soldiers and kidnapped Israelis, and she began to cry as well. She swept her tears away, and she said that the best thing we can do is learn together. She then proceeded to give a terrific lecture about Faith and Courage. I asked myself: How could she do this? Inspire us? After all that she has gone through?
The words of the Torah flew out of her mouth as if she were a conduit from God, speaking to each of us about the power of faith and strength in times like these. She quoted Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who states in his To Heal a Fractured World, page 166:
Optimism and hope are not the same. Optimism is the belief that the world is changing for the better; hope is the belief that , together, we can make the world better. Optimism is a passive virtue, hope is an active one. It needs no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to hope. The Hebrew Bible is not an optimistic book. It is, however, one of the great literatures of hope.
This truly spoke to me. I am not giving up my faith, or my hope for a better world. A world in which Israel can live in peace, without the barrage of rockets fired daily. We hope to live our everyday peaceful lives, without gunfire. We hope that our captured kidnapped neighbors and friends will come home and sit at our Shabbat tables.
We hope and pray that everything will be good. As God said at the beginning of the Creation story וירא אלוקים והיה כי טוב, “And God saw and It Was Good” (Genesis 1:4). Yes, Everything will be good, because this is the world He created. In the end, He wants Good to prevail.
Everything will be good. It must be so. We all have hope.