Songs of Dovid Kerner


Pillar of Fire

English words by Dovid Kerner                                             Listen

Music by Dovid Kerner

Dovid: acoustic guitar, harmonica

In a world which holds so many things
Where the lonely weep and children sing
I wish I had wings
As I step out on the wire.

But through the dark of night and the light of day
I shall not fall or lose my way
As these words remain my pillar of fire.

Sh’ma Yisrael, HaShem Elokaynu, HaShem Echad.

Emet v'yatsiv, v'nachon v'kayam, v'yashar v'ne'eman
V'ahoov v'chaviv, v'nechman v'na'im, v'nora v'adir
U'm'tukan u'm'kubal, v'tov v'yafeh hadavar hazeh
Aleinu l'olam va'ed

* “True and certain, established and enduring, fair and faithful

beloved and cherished, delightful and pleasant, awesome and powerful

correct and accepted, good and beautiful is this affirmation

to us forever and ever.”

                         - translation from The Complete ArtScroll Siddur


The following is from "A Listening People: Some reflections about the meaning and purpose of Krias Shema" by Rabbi Moshe Eisemann.


"The mind speaks in prose, the heart sings in poetry. The intellect grapples with observed, concrete phenomena; the soul delights in a world of feeling which smiles at the pitiful inadequacies of the groping senses. The Mal'achim sing shira, Israel recites the Sh'ma. "


"It sounds a little strange to equate the straight forward statement, "Sh'ma Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad, our shouldering of heaven's yoke, with the music of the angels.  However, if only we will do it right, music it can be, music that is expressive of the soaring language of the heart...."

                                   - from the Forward "Singing the Songs of the Heart", A Listening People


In a later chapter on the concluding berachos Rabbi Eisemann writes: "The 'davar hazeh' seems wonderful indeed. There are no less than sixteen adjectives singing its praises. But what exactly is this davar hazeh, this 'matter' which is described in such glowing terms?


Logic and context make their own demands. The davar hazeh must be all those truths which are affirmed in Krias Shema. Torah texts are nothing but black words on white parchment, cold and lifeless, objective truths waiting to have a soul breathed in them, or better, to breathe a soul into a read who takes them seriously.  We read them and hope that they will penetrate our hearts.  The 'Emes' Berachah celebrates that internalization as it moves from the austere, objective, emes ... v'ne'eman to the warm and personal, v'ahoove ... v'yafeh.  We have made the assertions in Krias Shema our own."

                                - from the chapter "The Berachos", A Listening People