Life Is Worth Living by Justin Bieber

Ended up on a crossroad
Try to figure out which way to go
It’s like you’re stuck on a treadmill
Running in the same place
You got your hazard lights on now
Hoping that somebody would slow down
Praying for a miracle
Who’ll show you grace?
Had a couple dollars and a quarter tank of gas
With a long journey ahead
Seen a truck pull over
God sent an angel to help you out
He gave you direction
Showed you how to read a map
For that long journey ahead
Said it ain’t never over
Oh, even in the midst of doubtLife is worth living, ou ou ou ou
Life is worth living, so live another day
The meaning of forgiveness
People make mistakes, doesn’t mean you have to give in
Life is worth living againRelationship on a ski slope
Avalanche comin’ down slow
Do we have enough time to salvage this love?
Feels like a blizzard in April
‘Cause my heart is just that cold
Skating on thin ice
But it’s strong enough to hold us up
Seen her scream and holler
Put us both on blast
Tearing each other down
When I thought it was over
God sent an angel to help us out, yeah
He gave us direction, showed us how to make it last
For that long journey ahead
Said it ain’t never over
No, even in the midst of doubt

Life is worth living, ou ou ou ou
Life is worth living, so live another day
The meaning of forgiveness
People make mistakes, doesn’t mean you have to give in
Life is worth living again, oh whoa oh
Life is worth living again

What I get from my reflection
Is a different perception
From what the world may see
They try to crucify me
I ain’t perfect, won’t deny
My reputation’s on the line
So I’m working on a better me

Life is worth living, oh yeah
Life is worth living, so live another day
The meaning of forgiveness
People make mistakes
Only God can judge me
Life is worth living again
Another day
Life is worth living again

AZLyrics.(2017). Life Is Worth Living..Retrieved from

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/justinbieber/lifeisworthliving.html

 

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Beautiful by Sarah Brightman

Rise Up by Andra Day

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
Move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountainsAnd I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For youWhen the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
Move mountains
Bring it to its feet
Move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

All we need all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you

AZLyrics.(2016). Rise Up.Retrieved from

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/andraday/riseup.html

 

Hold On by Shawn Mendes

Stop, take it in and I
Breathe for a minute, I
Think too much when I’m alone
I never win when I
Keep all my thoughts inside
So I’ll pick up the phone

And my dad says, “Shawn, stay with me
Everything will be alright
I know I haven’t seen you lately
But you’re always on my mind

I don’t know what
You’re going through
But there’s so much life
Ahead of you
And it won’t slow down
No matter what you do
So you just gotta hold on
All we can do is hold on, yeah”

These days are flying by
Weeks feel like minutes, I
Can’t remember being small
I try to figure it out
I can’t seem to find out how
I guess I don’t know much at all

And my dad says, “Shawn, stay with me
Everything will be alright
I know I haven’t seen you lately
But you’re always on my mind

I don’t know what
You’re going through
But there’s so much life
Ahead of you
And it won’t slow down
No matter what you do
So you just gotta hold on
All we can do is hold on, yeah
All we can do is hold on
Yeah, you just gotta hold on
Just, just hold on
Just hold on for me”

And my dad says, “Shawn, stay with me
Everything will be alright

I don’t know what
You’re going through
But there’s so much life
Ahead of you
And it won’t slow down
No matter what you do
So you just gotta hold on
All we can do is hold on, yeah
Yeah, you just gotta hold on
Just hold on for me”

AZLyrics.(2016). Hold On.Retrieved from

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/shawnmendes/holdon.html

Broadway Shabbat at Congregation Shomrei Torah

Music brings people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”~ John Denver ~ 

I had the opportunity to attend a Friday night service at my local synagogue, Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa, CA. For those who do not know, Shomrei Torah is a progressive reform synagogue in Sonoma County.  They base their tenets on traditional, yet innovate Judaic practices.  It serves a congregation of over 400 families and strive to welcome Jewish life in any way possible. Occasionally, they have special events whether speakers discuss various topics, performers,  and a whole bunch of amazing programs throughout the year cultivating and strengthening the Jewish community throughout the region.

Last night, at their typical Friday night service was a remembrance of Broadway musicals.  The head cantorial soloist Erica Wisner, (a former singer on Broadway) arranged the traditional friday night prayers into Broadway pieces ranging from Oklahoma written by Rodgers and Hammerstein to Rent written by Jonathan Larson. It truly was remarkable. The service was led by the Assistant rabbi Stephanie Kramer, and the two cantorial soloists Erica Wisner and Malcom McElheney.  It was also accompanied by the temple’s piano accompanist, Yvonne Wormer, a drummer and  a bass guitarist (I believe).  I am a musician myself, have a love for both Jewish and Broadway tunes (being a former nyer), and have a life’s purpose of bringing people together through music.  So, seeing this collaboration of completely different musical genres coming together into an hour service of worship, in my opinion, through the power of music, demonstrates the capability of human potential, demonstrates the underlying need of a sense of community among people of different cultural backgrounds, and exercises our faith in God through music in hopes to repair the world (tikkun olam). For some, that may not know, the jewish history is a long story of faith and hope, the story of Exodus, the execution of Jews throughout the holocaust, the spanish inquisition, and other traumatic events throughout time. Yet, we have fought as a people throughout our endurance, throughout our faith and throughout our belief for a better world, tikkum olam. That being said,  witnessing all of these motivational forces through works of art was truly spectacular. As seen last night, music essentially is a metaphor of human experience…

My favorite selection last night was Misheberiach, the jewish prayer of healing… It was arranged to You’ll Never Walk Alone by Rodgers and Hammerstein from the musical Carousel. Over the years of living in California, this has become my favorite Jewish prayer and traditionally this has been my favorite Broadway tune… The song’s message of resilience and hope combined with the prayer’s message for healing of both individuals and groups, not only shows the influence of prayer, but also exemplifies the courageous inner strength to overcome anything that life throws at us.   This need for our inner strength and our prayers for the healing of others, described in the music, is applicable even today.  For example,  all the school shootings, the fires taken place in Sonoma County, the illnesses that still prevail. We pray for the healing of those individual but ultimately, we are also praying for them through our faith to God, that they can overcome their difficult situations. In light of this, music veritably is what human beings are (Schneck, p.28)  A mirror of our deepest needs, desires, emotional experiences and behaviors….

Last night was not only a dedication to Broadway musicals, but furthermore it was a ceremony of prayer to faith in god, a hope for unconditional love for all including the Jewish people, an aspiration to unite the human race.  Having the opportunity to attend last night’s service was truly a blessing. It reminded me of my own dedication to the Jewish people, to have faith in my own situation and continue striving to do my share of tikkun olam.

Thank you Shomrei Torah 🙂

” It is hope that gives life meaning. And hope is based on the prospect of being able one day to turn the actual world into a possible one that looks better.”~ Francois Jacob