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Not By Might and Not By Power: The Passing of Debbie Friedman and the Tucson Tragedy: Everyday Magic

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

All day, Friedman’s song “Not by Might and Not by Power” runs through my mind because of its simply chorus, carrying an old testament phrase in new language: “Not by might and not by power. By spirit alone, shall all live in peace.” I remember singing that song 35 years ago with my local synagogue youth group in

It’s long past time to find our way back to the language of love, even and especially when speaking with people who believe totally different views on issues than we do. We make out way into such conversations not by might or power, but truly, by spirit along. It takes great awareness and courage to stop polarizing, whether you’re a Palin-Tea Party supporter or someone like me, who believes still in the promise of Obama and the greatly-damaged and corrupted democratic process. Even writing this, I realize how it’s hard to speak of people with vividly different views without putting them in one box, myself in another.

I don’t mean to suggest it’s easy or even possible to reach across these divides, but in memory of Debbie Friedman and so many others who showed us ways to cross over, it’s clear to me how much we need to keep trying anyway. I’m thinking of how best I can do this more expansively in my heart and life. Meanwhile, I have this example from Debbie of “Turning Mourning into Dancing.”

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