Today’s guest post comes from Cantor Michael Weiss, organizer of the concert “Voices of the Sacred” in which the YNYC Mixed Chorus will sing this Saturday, January 31 at 8:30 PM. Tickets are available here.
I have an admission to make.
I don’t know much about Islam.
Same with Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and [plug in your favorite -ism here].
As I look at the world these days, that strikes me as a real problem. #jesuischarlie and #illridewithyou campaigns aside, even in a place like NYC, where we are surrounded by “others” every day, we know almost nothing about them. At least I don’t.
If we want to live in a peaceful world, that has to change.
Other than ignoring or “tolerating” them (not my favorite word), though, how do we learn to live in honest-to-goodness, actual harmony with people whose lives and belief systems are so different from ours that we can’t even talk to them?
Where can we find a common language?
Bono once said that “Music can change the world because it can change people.” If that’s true, maybe we don’t have to look very far. Everyone loves music, right? Okay, your music may be different than my music, but we still all love music. Even without words, music touches us in deep places.
Music is emotional.
That’s why we’re putting on a concert. Much more than just another concert, Voices of the Sacred is an opportunity for us to get to know our neighbors by experiencing the music that they use to connect to the source of meaning in their lives. It will also be fun, but it will be much more than that.
If you’ve been looking for a way to make a difference in the fight against racism, intolerance and bigotry, and have a blast doing it, then you will not want to miss this concert.
This year, we’re welcoming Sufi virtuoso Amir Vahab, Rabbi Zach Fredman’s Judeo-Arabic sensation The Epichorus, and The Young New Yorkers Chorus for an evening you will never forget. And I’m not just saying that. People are still talking about last year’s concert, and that was over a year ago!
By the time we’re done, we may not know much more about Islam, but we’ll know a lot more about the music that touches each other’s souls. And that alone is huge.
Join us on Saturday night, January 31 at 8:30pm for Voices of the Sacred, and help us spread the music.
Yes, count me in!
See you there.