April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Community Harmony: Ohr Saadya Event Strikes a Chord of Unity

‘Finding Inner Peace in a Time of Chaos’ kumzitz at Ohr Saadya.

It was a cold night but warm inside. On November 30, the walls or Ohr Saadya reverberated with song. It was a night of unity and coming together for people of all backgrounds at the event entitled “Finding Inner Peace in a Time of Chaos.”

“We were supposed to have our annual Simchat Torah barbecue, but given the circumstances this year, it was canceled,” said Eli Feldblum. “Since then we have been thinking about how to bring our community together despite the recent atrocities we’ve experienced. In the end we combined our barbecue with a night of unity and song.” With divrei Torah from Rabbi Naftali Citron, rabbi of the Carlebach Shul in New York, and music by Noah Solomon from Soulfarm, attendees from various shuls in the Teaneck area came together for a moment of tranquility amidst the worldly chaos.

Noah Solomon from Soulfarm.

As voices came together a shared sense of calm settled in. Rabbi Citron reflected on the significance: “In times of turmoil we need to find our wake-up call. Coming together in harmony shows our true bond. It is only when we highlight our differences that we get broken apart. As the Jewish people, we have an unbreakable bond with each other and Hashem. The more we see it the better we are.”

Beyond the music, the event had a charitable focus. All proceeds were directed to charities in Israel, turning the night into an opportunity to make a difference for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.

Kumzitz at Ohr Saadya.

Reflecting on the night, one participant commented, “We could use more of these.” This sentiment captures the desire for more gatherings where community members can unite, set aside differences, and enjoy a shared spiritual experience facilitated by music. Another echoed, “That was a beautiful night; when is the next one?” It was clear that music has the power to uplift our spirits and remind us of our enduring values.

Ohr Saadya kumzitz/barbecue.

On the guitar, Solomon was prepared with his own songs but took many requests from the crowd, building the night with audience participation. The event was not meant to be a concert, rather a shared space for all of us to come together, bringing our own individuality to the collective.

As the melodies faded, the spirit of unity lingered. The event at Ohr Saadya wasn’t just a one-time affair; it was a statement of our community’s resilience, diversity and shared values.

Members dancing to the singing of Noah Solomon from Soulfarm and Rabbi Naftali Citron, rabbi of the Carlebach Shul in New York.

Looking ahead, the success of this evening has sparked conversations about establishing a tradition of inter-synagogue gatherings. These events would serve as a continuing celebration of our shared heritage, a moment of respite for the collective soul, and a means of contributing to charitable causes both locally and abroad.

In the harmony of our voices, we find strength. The Torah and melodies that were shared that night will resonate in our memories, reminding us of the beauty that emerges when a community comes together, sings as one, and works towards a common goal of goodwill and unity.

Singing at the kumzitz.


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