Home > Emotional, Louis Lewandowski, Music > Haunting Moment at the Cemetery

Haunting Moment at the Cemetery

A quick post before Shabbat… I will have much more to say about this later, I’m sure.

Today, we visited the grave of Louis Lewandowski at the Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of Berlin… most all of us, from all eight choirs, went. As we arrived, the first thing we saw at the cemetery was a memorial to the perished Jews of the Holocaust, and on the monument read the words זכור מה-היה לנו – “remember what we had”. A cantor, presumably one local, did the El Malei for the six million of which I am familiar from the Yizkor liturgy in the voice of the Gabbai at my childhood synagogue. After the El Malei, those present spontaneously broke out in song, singing Ani Maamin and Ha-Tikva.

At Lewandowski’s grave, the Johannesburg Jewish Men’s Chorus sang an El Malei for the Maestro himself. Folks from the Zamir Chorale of Boston sang Lewandowski’s Halleluyoh, proclaiming our presence there. At the grave of Bar Yochai one might pray for love. At the grave of the maestro, there is nothing to do but sing.

But the most potent moment at the cemetery was in the stone chapel, where seven of us sang a greatly moving rendition of Enosh, which bounced off the walls like a rubber ball in a raquetball court. Most of us were choked up halfway through.
Life is fleeting, we know. But we are still here, still making music.

More about this later.
Shabbat Shalom!

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