It’s that time of year again. The three weeks – not the best time for music lovers, especially music lovers who use their iPods to make exercising more bearable and don’t listen to any kind of music. As I set out on my walk this morning, I couldn’t help but miss my music. Naturally my thoughts turned to music and just how integral music is in our lives.
It hit me how there are certain songs that are inextricably linked to moments in my life. As soon as I hear those songs, I am transported back to the moment in time that I associate with that song.
Case in point. Several years ago, we were driving up to the mountains for Shabbos and we spontaneously decided to make a detour and visit my daughter, who was a staff member in Camp Sternberg. We had no clue if we were even going to be allowed into camp, but we decided to just go for it. Driving the crazy roads in the middle of nowhere that lead to Sternberg, we felt bold, impetuous and adventurous. We had Kol Zimra’s U’vney (Volume 2) on repeat, very, very loud. Every time I hear that song, I feel the excitement of that spur of the moment trip all over again.
There are so many other moments.
When my youngest daughter was born, the Shabbos we made her Kiddush happened to coincide with a major blizzard. The snow was so deep that we had to carry her stroller home from Shul. The only people who braved the weather to come to the Kiddush were our nearest and dearest. I still remember standing in Shul, surrounded by the people who mattered most, with the sounds of Yeedle’s Shiru LaMelech echoing through the air.
While music is so much a part of life, I recently had the opportunity to find out that music even has a place in death. When a close family member had only hours left to live, our Rav reminded us to sing for them, to ease the neshama’s transition as it departs this world. I promise you, no matter how touching you thing Boruch Chait’s Pischu Li is, it takes on a whole new dimension when you are singing it to a loved one who is at death’s door. I will never hear that song again without thinking of that very special person who is no longer with us.
There are more.
My oldest daughter’s wedding: somehow Dovid Gabay and my mechutan ended up singing Shlomo Carlebach’s Niggun Neshomale to the words “Mi haish hachofetz chaim oheiv yomim liros tov”, over and over and over again. My nephew’s Bar Mitzvah: My son singing V’hi Sheamda with five of my twenty something year old nephews as a backup choir. Amudai Shaish’s Habotchim at a tzedaka concert six years ago: the first time I ever heard my two older girls sing a duet. The list just goes on and on.
Now let’s hear from you. Which songs bring back memories for you?