|5th graders doing written reflection in Birmingham.|
visiting the 16th Street Baptist Church and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It was that very field trip in 2015 that inspired the words and music of the 7th track on
Jews have a long history of praying with our feet. It's part of the inheritance of a people that are perpetually striving to make the world a better place. Whether marching across the Red Sea, from Selma to Montgomery, or for the endless righteous causes of every era, we know what it feels like when our feet our praying.
The phrase, "Praying with our feet" comes directly from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who famously said he felt as though his feet were praying when he marched as part of the Civil Rights Movement.
The lyrics to the song speak for themselves, but for those that are wondering, they're meant to evoke themes of the Civil Rights Movement. Justice denied, justice deferred, justice beaten and bloodied, but never losing faith. The lyrics move, step by step, mile by mile, over hills and through valleys, to the mountaintop, and beyond. The words, "Bridge by bridge/ town by town" evoke the strongest images in my mind, images like that of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
My hope is that Davis Academy students will keep this song in their hearts and on their lips as a way of connecting their own justice work with that of those who have come before them. My hope is that this song will pop into their heads whenever they find themselves enacting the values that we have instilled in them here at The Davis Academy. And my hope is that others who do the work of justice will find inspiration and affirmation in this song.
The Menschology version of "Praying with our Feet" is performed beautifully by Will Robertson, Alex Newberg, Rebecca Good, and Janice Durden.
You can listen to it wherever you stream music, learn more about it on our Davis Rocks page, and download it from CDBaby here.