January 17th 2013
"You must love if you yearn to be loved; you
must trust to be trusted, serve in return to be served." Menuhin to the Knesset
Eighty-seven years ago today
You made your debut
At the Metropolitan opera house
Returning to the city of your birth.
My parents were not yet crawling
And you were nine years old.
When other boys were playing fivestones
You played Handel and Paganini.
A Russian Jew from New York City
You won an unparalleled place
In your adopted homeland.
For us, you will always be
King of the violin.
You inspired our troops,
Played for wounded soldiers,
Roused dead souls in Belsen,
Planted deep roots
Among your young musicians,
Lord of Stoke D'Abernon.
When I was nine years old
You were my hero
Your unseen presence guiding my bow
As I played Hungarian Dances
Inaccurately but with passion.
I saved sixpence a week
For my first gramophone record,
You and Hephzibah playing Bach.
You were an elder cousin
For a lone Jewish child
Close to my heart
Although we never met.
You spoke to Israel of love and trust
Gave benefit concerts for Palestinian refugees
Reached out in friendship to Germany.
Your humanitarian spirit guides me still
As a lover of animals
Practitioner of ahimsa
And builder of bridges
Between East and West.
You have passed to other worlds
But your music lives
Awakening dead souls now.
Today you play Bach in my living room
As you always have in my heart
The tender adagio reminding me
To listen to the Master's Voice within.