Faith Through Light and Dark
1א

"Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness."

(unknown).

2ב
יוֹצֵ֥ר אוֹר֙ וּבוֹרֵ֣א חֹ֔שֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂ֥ה שָׁל֖וֹם וּב֣וֹרֵא רָ֑ע אֲנִ֥י יקוק עֹשֶׂ֥ה כָל־אֵֽלֶּה׃ (ס)
I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe— I the LORD do all these things.
3ג
(ד) שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יקוק אֱלֹקֵ֖ינוּ יקוק ׀ אֶחָֽד׃ (ה) וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יקוק אֱלֹקֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃ (ו) וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ׃ (ז) וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ׃ (ח) וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ׃ (ט) וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּזֹ֥ת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ׃ (ס)
(4) Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. (7) Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. (8) Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; (9) inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
4ד
בשעה שהוציאו את רבי עקיבא להריגה זמן קריאת שמע היה והיו סורקים את בשרו במסרקות של ברזל והיה מקבל עליו עול מלכות שמים אמרו לו תלמידיו רבינו עד כאן אמר להם כל ימי הייתי מצטער על פסוק זה בכל נפשך אפילו נוטל את נשמתך אמרתי מתי יבא לידי ואקיימנו ועכשיו שבא לידי לא אקיימנו היה מאריך באחד עד שיצתה נשמתו באחד יצתה בת קול ואמרה אשריך רבי עקיבא שיצאה נשמתך באחד אמרו מלאכי השרת לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא זו תורה וזו שכרה ממתים ידך ה׳ ממתים וגו׳ אמר להם חלקם בחיים יצתה בת קול ואמרה אשריך רבי עקיבא שאתה מזומן לחיי העולם הבא:

When they took Rabbi Akiva out to be executed, it was time for the recitation of Shema. And they were raking his flesh with iron combs, and he was accepting upon himself the yoke of Heaven. His students said to him: Our teacher, even now? He said to them: All my days I have been troubled by the verse: With all your soul -- Even if God takes your soul. I said: When can I fulfill? Now that it has been afforded me, shall I not fulfill it? He prolonged "One", until his soul left at One. A voice descended and said: Happy are you, Rabbi Akiva, that your soul left during One. The ministering angels said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: This is Torah and this its reward? “From death, by Your hand, O Lord, from death of the world” (Psalms 17:14); God said “Whose portion is in this life.” And then a Divine Voice emerged and said: Happy are you, Rabbi Akiva, as you are destined for life in the World-to-Come.

Babylonian Talmud

5ה

Hevrutah:

1. How is Rabbi Akiva interpreting the shema?

2. How is Rabbi Akiva interpreting death?

3. How do you understand God's response?

6ו

From The Diaries of Etty Hillesum.

"What they are after is our total destruction. I accept it. I know it now, and I shall not burden others with my fears. I shall not be bitter if others fail to grasp what is happening to us Jews. I work and continue to live with the same conviction, and I find life meaningful — yes, meaningful — although I hardly dare say so in company these days. Living and dying, sorrow and joy, the blisters on my feet and the jasmine behind the house, the persecution, the unspeakable horrors — it is all as one in me, and I accept it all as one mighty whole and begin to grasp it better if only for myself, without being able to explain to anyone else how it all hangs together. I wish I could live for a long time so that one day I may know how to explain it, and if I am not granted that wish, well, then somebody else will perhaps do it, carry on from where my life has been cut short. And that is why I must try to live a good and faithful life to my last breath: so that those who come after me do not have to start all over again, need not face the same difficulties. Isn't that doing something for future generations?"

"Yes,we carry everything within us, God and Heaven and Hell and Earth and Life and Death and all of history. The externals are simply props; everything that comes: the bad with the good, which does not mean we cannot devote our life to curing the bad. But we must know what motives inspire our struggle, and we must begin with ourselves, every day anew."

Esther "Etty" Hillesum (15 January 1914 – 30 November 1943) was the Dutch author of letters and diaries which describe both her religious awakening and the persecutions of Jewish people in Amsterdam during the German Occupation. In 1943 she was deported and killed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

7ז

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/over-all-these-things-lyrics.html

על הדבש ועל העקץ

על המר והמתוק

על בתנו התינקת

שמר אלי הטוב

על האש המבערת

על המים הזכים

על האיש השב הביתה

מן המרחקים

על כל אלה על כל אלה

שמר נא לי אלי הטוב

על הדבש ועל העקץ

על המר והמתוק

אל נא תעקר נטוע

אל תשכח את התקוה

השיבני ואשובה

אל הארץ הטובה

שמר אלי על זה הבית

על הגן על החומה

מיגון מפחד-פתע

וממלחמה

שמר על המעט שיש לי

על האור ועל הטף

על הפרי שלא הבשיל עוד

ושנאסף

על כל אלה...

מרשרש אילן ברוח

מרחוק נושר כוכב

משאלות לבי בחושך

נרשמות עכשו

אנא שמור לי על כל אלה

ועל אהובי-נפשי

על השקט על הבכי

ועל זה השיר

על כל אלה..

עברית

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/over-all-these-things-lyrics.html

Over the honey and the stinger

Over the bitter and the sweet

And over our baby girl

Please guard my good lord

Over the burning fire

Over the crystal clear water

And over the man who is coming home

From afar

Over all these things, over all these things

Please stand guard for me my good g-d

Over the honey and the stinger

Over the bitter and the sweet

Don't uproot a sapling

Don't forget the hope

May you return me, and may I return

To the good land

Save the houses that we live in

The small fences and the wall

From the sudden war-like thunder

May you save them all.

Guard what little I've been given

Guard the hill my child might climb

Let the fruit that's yet to ripen

Not be plucked before its time.

(Chorus)

As the wind makes rustling night sounds

And a star falls in its arc

All my dreams and my desires

Form crystal shapes out of the dark.

Guard for me, oh Lord, these treasures

All my friends keep safe and strong,

Guard the stillness, guard the weeping,

And above all, guard this song.

(Chorus

Al Kol Eleh-- Naomi Shemer July 13, 1930 – June 26, 2004) was a leading Israeli musician and songwriter, hailed as the "first lady of Israeli song and poetry".