Holy-Day Love Songs for Children in “Detention” Cages
[Dear friends of all communities of love and Spirit, Hanukkah and Christmas are approaching. Both holy times beckon us to Light and Love. In “detention centers” that are really becoming concentration camps of illness and trauma, refugee and immigrant children are suffering — especially now, when in addition to cold and crowding the US Government is adding refusals to inoculate kids against flu. Already some have died, and more will as winter and crowding produce epidemics.
[In Philadelphia this week, Elder Witness and Friends are singing songs of new words to melodies of these holy times, at City Hall Park from noon till 1 pm on Thursday, December 19. You are welcome to join them! The Shalom Center is sharing with you two songs written in this mode by Rabbi Phyllis Berman.
[We encourage you to visit or call your Senators and Congressperson to demand that they force the Trump Administration to inoculate all these prisoners, children and adults alike, against flu, NOW. If you can, bring your friends and sing them these songs on the phone or in their offices– AW, editor]
[Tune to “Silent Night,” words by Rabbi Phyllis Berman:]
Unquiet night, nothing is bright — Children crying, children dying. No flu shots in a too-crowded space Frigid cold in a prison-like place How can grown-ups still ignore Human needs at their core?
Unquiet night, nothing is bright Not enough blankets, not enough beds No toothbrushes or showers with soap Dismal conditions to cause loss of hope How can our government still ignore Human needs at their core?
Unquiet night, nothing is bright Future dreams have no light. Immigrants come here for safety, In common with all humanity These are children much like yours — Greet them with wide open doors!
[Tune to the Hanukkah song “Maoz Tzur” and “Rock of Ages”; words by Rabbi Phyllis Berman:]
All our children need vaccines Without flu shots they suffer
Diseases spread like wildfire Contaminating each other.
CHORUS: We who once were strangers Must welcome those in danger With medicine, clean clothes, and food And loving care to brighten their mood. Medicine, clean clothes, and food And loving care to brighten their mood.
Separating parents from kids Is cruel and traumatic for them all Leaving home is hard enough; Why would we want to build a wall?
CHORUS (same as above)
Detention is no place for kids Withholding books and toys and care;
Frightened with or without their folks — Harsh responses cause despair.