Little Gifts

Dear Josep,

I’ve been thinking about sharing this song with you since it came out, around a year ago. It really captures the character of a Friday in Israel.

As you know, I am in the USA now, spending time with family. It’s a wonderful and crazy trip, and also pretty difficult. I don’t get to see my grandparents very often, and especially since my maternal grandmother was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, the trip has felt like a neverending series of joyful reunions only to be followed up with extremely painful goodbyes. Rabbi Judah the Levi (an 11th century Sephardic poet) writes, “My heart is in the east, and I am in the uttermost west…” and while I do feel that way and miss Israel dearly, I’m realizing that my heart is actually scattered in pieces all over the globe, many of whom are here. And being reunited with those pieces does bring joy, but it also emphasizes how much those pieces are missing in day to day life.

So… this song really speaks to me today. The music and performance are by Rami Kleinstein, and the lyrics were written by Noam Horev. Below is my translation.

Little Gifts

It’s another Friday
I breathe in the air
The light and the shadow are playing tag again
The table is set
Pictures of childhood on the wall
White processions return from the synagogue

And that scent
That scratches at my heart
It creeps in
And opens doors
To a small joy,
To that old song
That’s been passed down to us through the generations

Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Shards of intention,
Circles of faith
Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Like the strength to accept
What isn’t, and what is
What else could I ask for?

It’s another Friday
A porch and a newspaper
The sun, like our worry, is slowly erased
Simple melodies
Drift in through the window
And no storm could hide the quiet here

Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Shards of intention,
Circles of faith
Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Like the strength to accept
What isn’t, and what is
What else could I ask for?

“For You have chosen us
And made us holy
Blessed are You, God
Who sanctifies the Sabbath”*

And that scent
That scratches at my heart
It creeps in
And opens doors
To small joy,
To that old song
That’s been passed down through the generations

Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Shards of intention,
Circles of faith
Little gifts
Someone has sent me little gifts
Like the strength to accept
What isn’t, and what is
What else could I ask for?

Little gifts

*This is from the kiddush recited on the Sabbath.

Shabbat Shalom 🙂

Daniella

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