It’s been a week of ups and downs. Last Friday, the whole world celebrated the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton. It’s true, they really did – I know, because I zapped from channel to channel on cable TV and I know that the ceremony was carried by Sky News and the BBC (as expected), CNN, Fox News, France 24, Spanish and Italian television and also Indian TV. It was a lovely ceremony and the love in the eyes of the young couple as they made their vows was a joy to see.
Monday was Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Day here in Israel, about which I blogged a few days ago, but right after that, one’s mood took an upward swing with the news of the elimination of arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden (I blogged about that too).
That was followed, however, by a most frustrating day in court on Wednesday (about which, least said, soonest mended).
And then came Thursday. On Thursday, my choir took part in a fund-raising concert for a young boy with cerebral palsy, who needs to travel to the United States for a course of treatment he cannot receive here in Israel. The evening’s events included the screening of a film about Yotam’s life and his struggle to achieve what to most of us would be quite simple: to walk, dress, eat, talk, to be called to the Torah on his Bar Mitzvah. His older brother and younger sister are participants in a special programme for musically gifted youngsters. Yotam, too, wanted to learn to play a musical instrument and was accepted into a unique programme for the musical training of children with special needs. The film showed the joy in his eyes the first time he managed to pick out a tune with one finger on the piano. On Thursday night, he played a Beatles melody for the audience at the Jerusalem Music Centre in Mishkenot Sha’ananim and I saw that joy again. For this boy and for his family, it was as if he had played a Beethoven Sonata.
When I was a child and we collected money at school for what they used to call “spastic” children, boys like Yotam would have been institutionalised. Nobody would have dreamed he could learn to play the piano. Even today, it is doubtful that without the love and support of his family, he would have made such progress.
When I was a child, I remember other children making cruel mockery of children like Yotam. No, I wasn’t one of them – but I never did anything to stop them either and of that, I am deeply ashamed. Children can be very cruel – but not the children I saw on Thursday night, fellow students of Yotam’s brother and sister from the music conservatory, who rallied round to make the concert a reality (and who treated us to exceptional performances of trios and quartets by Ravel, Mendelssohn and Haydn) and who, when the concert was over, surrounded Yotam with love and acceptance.
Perhaps, after all, there is truth in the words of the Lennon and McCartney song which concluded the evening’s performance:
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time - It's easy. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. There's nothing you can know that isn't known. Nothing you can see that isn't shown. Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be. It's easy. All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. All you need is love (all together now) All you need is love (everybody) All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Shavua Tov שבוע טוב