Purim in Tsfat and the eternal light

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Image for illustration - view of the Abuhav synagogue in Tsfat. (Photo: Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

A respected Orthodox Jewish man stood up at a Purim party that I was attending in Tsfat. He gave a midrash (teaching) on how the two recent Torah portions, Truma and Tsaveh always come during Purim time. These Torah readings speak about color in the priestly garments and in the Temple. His speech was like poetry, full of deep insight and meaning but he didn’t once mention G-d.

When he finished, I asked if I could add something to his midrash. He and the other men agreed although with some hesitation. I said I enjoyed his midrash but wanted to add that all colors are contained in light and since the Torah portion, Tsaveh also speaks about the ner tamid, the eternal light, that was always burning in the Temple, it’s referring to the eternal light of the L-rd. In the Book of Esther G-d is not mentioned once and yet His presence is clearly woven throughout each chapter. The light and color of our G-d, the G-d of Israel, are also present throughout our lives, even though we don’t see Him and sometimes we don’t even acknowledge Him. Yet His faithful light and beautiful colors are always with us!

They seemed to approve and afterwards these Orthodox Jewish men gathered around me with their instruments as I sat at the piano. I was able to share a song I’d written – “Ha Aretz” and it seemed to touch their hearts as they asked me about this song. Enjoy the video below… They brought piece after piece of music to me and we had a fantastic jam session playing mostly Irish jig music while the others at the party sculpted with clay – that’s Purim in Tsfat for you!

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Carolyn Margolin-Hyde was raised in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue near Chicago. She graduated from University of Illinois and as an RN she practiced nursing for many years. After making Aliyah Carolyn served as worship leader at K’tsir Asher, The Harvest of Asher Congregation, in Akko, and then led worship at Kehilat Poriya, a congregation near Tiberius. She has written and recorded many worship songs in English and Hebrew and her worship CD’s include “Just Like Joseph” and “The Latter Rain”- contemporary worship CDs; “Deep Calls to Deep” – a soaking CD; and “Fine Linen” – worship with a touch of the blues.