A Kind of Cantata

Our suggestion of how you might share with others from this our guide to our tenth challenge will involve a bit of time for preparation !

The idea is to put together a kind of cantata ~ a series of texts, also the visual works we share with you here as well as the Mercedes Sosa's singing. For equipment you'll want some mode of projection to show the visuals ~ and some audio mode to share the music. You might prepare the whole collage/montage of words, images and music via Microsoft's PowerPoint program. If  so, we do urge you also to prepare a packet of the texts, images and words to the song that everyone will receive in hand.

We suggest that you begin – and close – the 'cantata' with the same song. Between this beginning and closing you yourself choose the order, the sequence you prefer for the texts and pictures. As for the recommended resources – books and blogs and other sites online – you yourself – or a small group of colleagues who will work together in preparing this 'program' – you choose short lines, passages from some of these suggested resources – and arrange them in a packet of pages that each person will receive – as well as see via, say, a PowerPoint sharing of all of the same. Introduce the program by explaining that the idea is that all will together read through the pages – going around the room – each person reading – slowly and distinctly(!) – a passage – and then the next person reading the next passage. When the music and visuals come up – you'll all just look and listen and then go onto the interspersed word passages. All without discussion, without any comment. Because your sharing participant responses, reactions, thoughts in relation to it all – in relation to whatever part or parts 'speak' to this or that person among all of you together ~ the idea is that this will come after you go through the cantata-like presentation!

A Fourfold Song

There is one who sings the song of his own life, and in
himself he finds everything, his full spiritual satisfaction.
There is another who sings the song of his people. He
leaves the circle of his own individual self, because he finds it
without sufficient breadth, without an idealistic basis. He
aspires toward the heights, and he attaches himself with a
gentle love to the whole community of Israel. Together with
her he sings her song. He feels grieved in her afflictions and
delights in her hopes. He contemplates noble and pure
thoughts about her past and her future, and probes with love
and wisdom her inner spiritual essence.

There is another who reaches toward more distant
realms, and he goes beyond the boundary of Israel to sing the
song of man. His spirit extends to the wider vistas of the
majesty of man generally, and his noble essence. He aspires
toward man’s general goal and looks forward toward his
higher perfection. From this source of life he draws the sub-
jects of his meditation and study, his aspirations and his visions.

Then there is one who rises toward wider horizons, until
He links himself with all existence, with all God’s creatures,
With all worlds, and he sings his song with all of them. It is of
One such as this that tradition has said that whoever sings a
Portion of song each day is assured of having a share in the
world to come.

And then there is one who rises with all these songs in
one ensemble, and they all join their voices. Together they
sing their songs with beauty, each one lends vitality and life to
the other. They are sounds of joy and gladness, sounds of
jubilation and celebration, sounds of ecstasy and holiness.

The song of the self, the song of the people, the song of
man, the song of the world all merge in him at all times, in
every hour.

And this full comprehensiveness rises to become the song
of holiness, the song of God, the song of Israel, in its full
strength and beauty, in its full authenticity and greatness.
The name “Israel” stands for shir el, the song of God. It is a
simple song, a twofold song, a threefold song and a fourfold
song. It is the Song of Songs of Solomon, shlomo, which means
peace or wholeness. It is the song of the King in whom is

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook


from Abraham Isaac Kook – The Lights of Penitence, The Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, and Poems; translation and introduction by Ben Zion Bokser – preface by Jacob Agus and Rivka Schatz (Paulist Press, New York, 1978).

Rabbi Pinchas has said in the name of Rabbi Reuven:
Five times in the Book of Psalms does King David call upon the Holy One, blessed be He [or: the Sacred, may It be blessed/acknowledged] to arise [i.e., to show Himself/Itself].
Psalm 3:8 ~ 'Arise, Oh YHVH, come to my aid!'
Psalm 7:7 ~  'Arise, You-Whose-Most-Special-Four-Letter-Name-Pronounced-But-Once-a-Year-by-the-High-Priest-in-The-Holy-of-Holies-&-Out-of-the-Most-Sacred-Preparation, in the seething of Your nostrils [i.e., upset over injustice]! Raise Your hand up in protest! Do not forget [the justice You have championed]!'
Psalm 9:20 ~ 'Arise, Oh You-Who-Is-Always-Present-Ever-Becoming, don't give strength to human acts of injustice!' And Psalm 17:13 ~ 'Arise/Take-Your-stand, Oh YHVH! Go forth to confront the unjust [before he can carry out his intended act(s) of injustice]!'

But the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: David – my son! Even though you call for Me to arise [ ~ even though you seek religious experience ~ ] many times over – I will not arise [ ~ will not give Myself to you – will not grant you religious experience ~ ]!
Then when – how then will I arise [ ~ how am I given, manifest Myself in religious experience ~ ]?! When you see the plundered poor and [hear] those in need moaning-in-distress – for this is precisely the meaning of what is written (Psalm 12:6) ~ 'Because/on-account-of the plundering of the poor and because of the distressed-moaning of those in need ~ it is then, it is now [on their account] that I will arise – take a stand – show Myself – and act on their behalf!

Midrash Genesis Rabbah
section 75, passage 1

And see here:



'On Marcus Borg, James Carroll, and Faith' see:

On James Carroll more directly – vis-à-vis the recognition of the equal dignity of Jews, women, homosexuals and a variety of other previously maligned or minority fellow members of our human family – see his argument in:
Toward a New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform, (Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 2002)

~ much of which is accessible at:

Here, in another photo from that march, are these two religious giants:

[ Copyright for picture: please see here... ]

[ Copyright for all pictures: please see here... ]

Here Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marches with the Reverend Martin Luther King in the March 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

Heschel later wrote: 'When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying."

Regarding Job's identification with and the defense of all and every single person whose dignity has been compromised ~ via the religious-political movement of South American Catholic 'liberation theology' see:
Gustavo Gutièrrez, On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent; (Orbis Books, New York, 1987; translated from the Spanish by Matthew O'Connell, originally published in 1985 in Peru by the Instituto Bartolomè de Las Casas)

Also by Father Gutièrrez ~ A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation; (Orbis Books, 1973 & 1988 ~ originally published in Peru in 1971)
~ Many pages of this book are available via http://www.amazon.com/amazon.com:
First click on the icon of the book where it says 'Look inside this book'.
Then click on 'First pages' and then enter the word 'liberation' in the box called 'Search inside this book' and many additional pages from the book become accessible.

As with all revolutionary movements – religions & all manner of newer world-outlooks that involve some kind of communitarian coalescence & identity, in their beginning stages the experiences of meaning are not really established in more set & usually-what-later-develops-as more literal understandings or rather catechismal(!?), doctrinal 'beliefs.' So, too, in some instances, the role of women & other 'sound-&-fast' gender boundary-setting may be more open. Especially regarding earlier metaphoric versus literal understandings of the key events of the Christian faith experience – an issue we raised in our guide to the 5th of our 12 Challenges - see: Elaine Pagels, Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (Random House, 2003). Nearly every single page of the book is available via www.amazon.com ~ by clicking on 'Look inside this book' & beginning with 'First pages'. Then, in the box 'Search in this book' ~ enter the word 'Christianity' &, yes, all but one or two pages are made available!

And then there's an incredible anthem
"Solo le pido a Dios" [I only ask for God]

by the incredible Argentinian singer
Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009)

~ may her name & memory
be a blessed inspiration and strengthening!

And consider this stunning verse from The Book of Job 31,15
הלא-בבטן עושני עשהו
ויכוננו ברחם אחד
'Is it not so – that in the belly He Who made me likewise made him [my every fellow human being]?! And didn't He form [each and every one of] us in the one-and-the-same womb?!'

Solo le pido a Dios

Sólo le pido a Dios / que el dolor no me sea indiferente, / que la reseca muerte / no me encuentre / vacío y solo, sin haber hecho lo suficiente. // Sólo le pido a Dios / que lo injusto no me sea indiferente, / que no me abofeteen la otra mejilla, / después que una garra me arañó esta suerte. // Sólo le pido a Dios / que la guerra no me sea indiferente, / es un monstruo grande y pisa fuerte/ toda la pobre inocencia de la gente. // Sólo le pido a Dios / que el engaño no me sea indiferente, / si un traidor puede más que unos cuantos, / que esos cuantos no lo olviden fácilmente. // Sólo le pido a Dios / que el futuro no me sea indiferente, / desahuciado está el que tiene que marchar / a vivir una cultura diferente. // Sólo le pido a Dios / que la guerra no me sea indiferente, / es un monstruo grande y pisa fuerte / toda la pobre inocencia de la gente.