Honoring the work of MLK
Last Shabbat we had an inspiring service dedicated to the sacred work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interspersed between traditional Shabbat prayers, we read rousing excerpts of Dr. King’s famous speeches about equality and freedom for all of God’s children. We also magnified our prayers by praying in not only English and Hebrew, but also the Zulu language as we learned and sang the prayer Siyahamba, a hymn about marching in divine light originally from South Africa and often sung to celebrate the Civil Rights Movement. The true highlight of the service, however, was Valerie Davis’ captivating portrayal of Coretta Scott King (MLK’s wife). Valerie remained in character for the entire service leading up to her monologue. Then she came before the ark and described how meaningful it was to hear our congregation speak so lovingly of her late husband. Mrs. King also shared what it was like for her family, herself and four children, as her husband was arrested numerous times for protesting unjust laws and eventually assassinated for his work of Tikkun Olam, leaving her a widow and her children without a father. Valerie’s fantastic monologue also touched on the powerful relationship between Dr. King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a famous Jewish theologian and Jewish Civil Rights Activist. The special presentation concluded with a gorgeous English interpretation of Psalm 121 (Esa Einai – God is my Help), and left the congregation inspired by not only MLK’s legacy, but also by the incredible talent found within our Or Ami community.