Thoughts come unbidden, not always clear from where, like a bird on the wing, only to delight in their willingness to alight. Words of Torah danced before me, seeming to have a life of their own, which they do, finding it difficult to focus, to take them in, to make sense beyond the surface, beyond the familiar. A tune began to emerge, and then words coming to consciousness, Dona, dona, dona, dona…; and then more, as I found myself singing softly and crying, on a wagon bound for market, there’s a calf with a mournful eye, high above him flies the swallow winging swiftly through the sky…. As in a time warp, long years gone, I was sitting in a camp circle of a summer’s night around the campfire. We were singing a song that has become part of the Jewish folk canon, and beyond, through the early singing of Joan Baez. It is a song filled with contradictions, tensions that did not touch me then, only the yearning and the beauty, the unfairness and the irony. The flames danced before us, the sound of a guitar; many voices as one, wholeness in the circle.
“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”