Shalom, shalom, peace be with you


This past Sunday morning Sid and I had the wonderful experience to be guest DJs on the Chagigah Radio show. This program is filled with Jewish music of all genres, Jewish humor, and Rabbinical reflections, the audience being 80% Jewish, 20% Christian with national access through the WERS app.


We were asked to introduce three songs of our choice by Jewish songwriters and/or Jewish performers. In the course of the 20 minute segment we were able to share with Hal the host and the approximate 7500 listening audience highlights of our Jewish upbringing and favorite Jewish memories. In addition, through the last song that I chose, Paul Wilber’s “Shalom Jerusalem” we were able to share our love of Messiah.


The morning was so Ruach filled. I had actually chosen the three songs weeks ago. The first one was a Klezmer tune in honor of my Yiddisha grandmother. I had no idea when I chose that song that Rabbi Rich’s Klezmer jam session at Ruach would be the day before!! What synchronicity!  I was so easily able to give a shout out to him on air to thank him. Just the day before Cheryl and I had sung “Bei Mir Bis Du Shoen” at that jam session. I had no idea Hal would play a medley of that song to close out our segment! What synchronicity!


I had no idea who, of that 7500 audience number, would hear the words of “Shalom Jerusalem” with new ears. At our lunch together with Hal afterward I had no idea the topics of conversation would be so meaningful, how we could relate so deeply on so many levels including emotionally charged issues such as the Israel-Hamas war. I had no idea this relationship would be growing to such depth of understanding when we began interchanging several years ago.


I had no idea but God knew it all, planning every last detail. . .


With all the morning activities, I had not yet listened to that day’s Daily Dvar. So on the way home as I was listening to Sunday’s Daily Dvar a car passed us with a one word license plate – “Dieu”. The only languages I know besides English, other than Yiddish and some Hebrew, is French, which I took through college. As some of you may know, “Dieu” in French means “God”.


It felt as a spiritual pat on the head to always remember to keep Him front and center, to keep my spiritual discipline of daily Bible study, to keep God my top priority always no matter how busy the day may be. I may have had no idea the morning and lunch would have gone as they did, but God has been the Master Weaver from the beginning. He has been in it as the relationship grew, and in it Sunday morning. He’s actually in it, in our lives, all the time. We just need the spiritual eyes to see it when His Presence isn’t manifested through perfectly timed “God” license plates!


It had been a Ruach filled morning. My eyes were open to His Presence in anticipation before the show as I prayed and I continued to be able to see even more deeply His Presence as the day unfolded. My listening to the Daily Dvar only further opened my spirit’s ability to perceive His promptings.


God puts us in the places we are to be, to serve as He directs, in these times perhaps in ways accelerated to reach even more of His loved ones in unusual ways. Especially during these challenging times, perhaps He knows we need to feel His Presence even more to help us to keep on keepin’ on for Him. He is the Great Encourager and our Rock.


I don’t know the impact of the songs, the interview and interchanges. I don’t need to know, for that part is all being beautifully orchestrated by God and is between the person receiving His promptings and Him. What I do know is prayer helps us hear and heed our Creator. I do know we are all put on this earth to serve Him and to serve each other.


What constantly amazes me is how intricately involved He is in the minute details to give us encouragement, to help us overcome hesitancy and discomfort, to help us act outside our comfort zones, to help us understand if we’re doing okay, to help us listen correctly. These are the incredible tiny but huge interchanges we actually have with the Divine as He coaches and consoles us. We lean on His strength that helps us complete the task assigned.


Sometimes, as with the perfectly timed license plate with “God” on it, His ways are not so subtle. Perfect timing always is His way to keep us reminded of His Presence, not just in such a good time as was last Sunday, but even in the challenging and sorrowful times. It is that feeling of true shalom that Yeshua provides that we all have in Him, no matter what or when.


To pray it so, Paul Wilber sings of this shalom so beautifully for the world, and especially for our brothers and sisters in Israel:


Shabbat shalom.


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