Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Night of Hope and Learning

Some of you probably remember the story of Tikva, the daughter of my friends Dave (a rabbinical student) and Gal. Sadly, she passed away on August 7, just shy of turning 2 months old, of complications from a congenital diaphragmatic hernia diagnosed in-utero while we were all in Israel together.

To honor her life and the Hope and Love she brought into the world, our entire 2nd year class had a stateside-campus wide night of hope and learning. Each campus shared a teaching written by Dave himself and had a faculty member make a presentation on the Jewish views on hope. We also shared stories, songs and of course good food with each other, and took a break from our all-too-busy schedules to enjoy each other's company for an evening. I was honored as being one of the chairpersons for the NYC event.

As soon as I heard this event would take place, I started thinking about the perfect song to honor Tikva and her life. However, after searching high and low I knew the perfect song didn't exist and we'd either have to go without or find someone to write it. I was blessed to sing a piece written by Cantor Jonathan Comisar on a friend's recital, and I knew the second I heard it that Jonathan's songwriting would be the perfect compliment to our night of learning. Right before our winter break, I pulled him aside to ask if he would be interested in writing a song for the event. He was quick to say yes, and took the time to learn about Tikva and her family through Dave and Gal's blogs. He then went to work writing the PERFECT song for the evening; it was a fantastic and beautiful way to end our night of hope and learning, and I am both thrilled and honored to have had a small part in the creation and singing of this piece.

Sadly, I wasn't able to come for the entire evening, as my plane from Detroit had engine troubles and returned to Detroit halfway through the flight (it was a South Bend weekend.) I am thankful that I was able to come for what I could and share the song that Jonathan so beautifully wrote.

Please ignore my babble in the beginning (at some point in time my public speaking skills MUST be improved...any suggestions on how to do this?) and my horrible singing. I'd just come back to the city, after hours of traveling and 3 different airplanes.

These are the opportunities I am the most grateful for, where I know that, despite mistakes, I am giving my truest-self to my community. It was an honor to be touched by Tikva's life and the joy and beauty that came along with it.

Please enjoy the video, and say a prayer for a r'fua sh'lema--a complete healing--of the souls of my sweet friends Dave and Gal as their hearts continue to mend after their heartbreak.


Carol said...

Typing through the tears of your beautiful voice singing such a beautiful song, Tracy. Thanks for sharing it with us.

carol niren said...

Tracy, you have a magnificent soul. I wept as you sang this beautiful tribute to Tikva, just as I did when I read of her passing. Your blogs capture my heart, please hang in there, NY will be a better place for having you as a visitor. I agree with you on many aspects of the insane & unbalanced life many folks lead there. Stay focused and as beautiful as G-d as created you. My best to you & more, Carol Niren (Leslie's Mom)