it's very clear

our love is here to stay

While prepar­ing a wed­ding drash for this past week I learned that Ira Gersh­win chan­neled Isa­iah 54:10 in this week’s haf­tarah por­tion.


For the moun­tains may move
And the hills be shak­en,
But my loy­al­ty shall nev­er move from you,
Nor My covenant of friend­ship be shak­en


In time the Rock­ies may tum­ble,
Gibral­tar may crum­ble,
They’re only made of clay,
But our love is here to stay.

It is quite poignant. I did not know that (accord­ing to some sources of mine and the per­son who post­ed this cov­er of the song by Frank Sina­tra):

This was the final piece of music writ­ten by George Gersh­win pri­or to his death, and the words to this song had not been writ­ten as yet. It’s hard to imag­ine how his broth­er Ira must have felt pen­ning the lyrics to what he knew was George’s last melody.

…turns out, I did not know, the song is also a favorite of the wed­ding cou­ple.

unfaltering love

Who does Ira have in mind when he writes “our love is here to stay”?

George died on July 11, 1937 which cor­re­sponds to the 10th of Av, 5697. I know that the Gersh­wins were not par­tic­u­lar­ly obser­vant Jew­ish­ly, but, it is pos­si­ble that Ira may have been aware of the peri­od of sev­en haf­tarot of con­so­la­tion that begins imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the obser­vance of Tisha b’Av. Thir­ty days after George’s death, Isa­iah 54:10 would have been the read in the syn­a­gogue.

a love supreme

The aware­ness of the fact that you are loved is pow­er­ful.

While there is no way to prove or dis­prove it, we Jews believe that the cos­mos is both self-con­scious and lov­ing.

To be loved! In 1967 Bar­nett Helzberg Jr., the thir­ty-some­thing, third gen­er­a­tion pres­i­dent of Kansas City-based Helzberg Dia­monds was ecsta­t­ic because a young woman had just accept­ed his mar­riage pro­pos­al. He had proof that he was loved. Like a nor­mal Amer­i­can busi­ness­man he used the oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op an adver­tis­ing cam­paign. Before long he came up with the AM LOVED® pro­mo­tion. The late 1960s was the hey­day of lapel but­tons. If a young man could not buy his girl­friend a dia­mond, he could cer­tain­ly get her a free but­ton that said she was loved. The orig­i­nal but­tons appeared in Eng­lish, but it was not long before they were print­ed in oth­er lan­guages. This is the orig­i­nal Hebrew ver­sion of the but­ton (which I was able to find on eBay):

אני אהובה

אני אהובה I am a beloved

Date: 2000s
Size: 2.5
Pin Form: straight clasp
Print Method: litho
Text אני

The text is odd. I’ve nev­er used, nor heard that phrase used in Hebrew except by a woman who’s name was Ahu­vah. She was the cook at the Habon­im Camp Gilboa (then) in the Newhall — Saugus area north of Los Ange­les when I attend­ed in 1962 or so. She would say “I’m Ahu­vah” (אני אהובה), mean­ing “My name is Ahu­vah”. This is the same text used in a pho­to on the “I am loved” Web site:

mulit-language buttons

mulit-lan­guage but­tons

Some­time in the past 10 years or so, some­one at the “I am loved” orga­ni­za­tion came up with a dif­fer­ent Hebrew expres­sion. This one is not that much bet­ter than the first: “[They] love me” (אוהבים אותי). But who is this “they”? It’s cute to note that the orga­ni­za­tion (which gives these but­tons away free of charge), has reg­is­tered the phrase in Hebrew.
אוהבים אותי

אוהבים אותי they love me

Date: 2000s
Size: 2.5
Pin Form: straight
Print Method: litho
Text אוהבים

Hebrew is pri­mar­i­ly an active lan­guage which may be why the two but­tons use the forms they do. How­ev­er, a more accu­rate expres­sion of the phrase in Hebrew would be to use the “Niphal” con­struc­tion:

אני נאהב

And, as we approach this Shab­bat of Elul, it is good to remem­ber that אני לדודי ודודי לי… our love is mutu­al. We act from a foun­da­tion of love. When we sup­port one anoth­er in our efforts to change in love, we know we have the pow­er to make those changes a real­i­ty. The love of the cos­mos is part of us, for us to share…

Not for a year
But ever and a day.

The radio and the tele­phone
And the movies that we know
May just be pass­ing fan­cies,
And in time may go !

But, oh my dear,
Our love is here to stay.
Togeth­er we’re
Going a long, long way

your lapel buttons

Many peo­ple have lapel but­tons. They may be attached to a favorite hat or jack­et you no longer wear, or poked into a cork-board on your wall. If you have any lay­ing around that you do not feel emo­tion­al­ly attached to, please let me know. I pre­serve these for the Jew­ish peo­ple. At some point they will all go to an appro­pri­ate muse­um. You can see all the but­tons shared to date.

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