A parent has pulled her pre-school child out of school after a video surfaced of the teacher leading her 4-5 year-olds in an anti-Biden chant.
On the video, the teacher asks the little children, “Who’s our president?” When they all answer together, “Biden,” the teacher then asks them, “What do we want to do with him?” And in unison the pre-schoolers yell back, “We want him out!”
And just to be sure to little kids learned their lesson for the day, the teacher repeats the question and gets the same answer, only yelled back even louder.
The mother became aware of this when she picked up her child. "The first thing she said to me when I picked her up was 'We want him out,'" Christina McFadden said. "That was the great message she learned that day. Her first history lesson."
The school is a private religious-based institution, Turning Point Christian Church. Some great values there.
The video was originally posted on the school’s own messaging app (yes, really), until it was taken down. Some great values there.
Turning Point Christian Church is in Norco, California, which is in Southern California, about 25 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County.
And just to add a fun fact to it all, this all took place on Presidents Day!
Reports say that “The school has issued an apology.” However, the school’s idea of an apology differs from mine. I feel pretty confident in saying that it would get an “F” from the American Institute for Apologies that Nell Minow and I co-founded.
“Earlier today a video was posted that has since been deleted as it did not share our school and church philosophy of honoring and respecting authority including those in government position.
“We are sorry for any misunderstanding this could of (sic) created. With courtesy towards the families of our campus and the children in the classroom I am asking you to please not share with others or post the video on any social media platform,”
Personally, I don’t see the word or even the concept of an apology there. Mostly regret that it was found out and made public. And a desire to bury it. What they did say, though, was so weak that it suggests the school and church’s “philosophy” do, in fact, share the same sentiments as the video. Among other things, there’s no indication that the teacher wasn’t even reprimanded, or put on suspension, let alone fired. In fact, Ms. McFadden has said that the school told her the teacher would be allowed to keep teaching because she was “repentant and has learned from her mistake.” Hallelujah! She repented! (For all we know, what she learned was just not to send your video to 14 sets of parents.) And again, to be clear, there is no apology there at all. Furthermore, on the school’s website they don’t even have the statement (I won’t call it an “apology”) posted on the News section. It’s like it doesn’t exist. They just want to bury it, even after it’s become national news.
Some great values, there.
Despite the request by Turning Point Christian School officials to hide the video, Ms. McFadden posted the video on both Facebook and TikTok. She said on her Facebook post that she thought was important other parents in the school were aware of what was being thought. She wrote that she wanted to bring awareness that “there are currently zero standards or guidelines of any kind that are being enforced in early childhood education classes. Zero.” And added that “This video was planned, practiced, recorded and the teacher was so comfortable with it she sent it to 14 sets of parents, She was so proud of this content what else did she teach my child this year?”
I’ve intentionally not embedded the video here, but if you want to see it – and read Christina McFadden’s full Facebook statement, you can find them here.
[UPDATE: The Facebook posting appears appears to have either been taken down or limited to select people. But you can see the video here.]
One wonders if other parents will pull their kids out, which – given that it is a private school – could have a major impact. Ms. McFadden’s child started in her new school in February. All the more reason the lack of a serious apology stands out so much. However, the school officials must think that this video comes pretty close to sharing the school and church’s philosophy, and that the parents will be fine with it, given that the teacher sent it to 14 sets up parents.
But then, if the school wrong about that, it could be a big problematic turning point for them…
On Tuesday, Eric Trump did an interview with Candace Owens for conservative The Daily Wire. Presumably this interview went better than last October when he spent six hours testifying for New York Attorney General Letitia James investigation and plead the Fifth Amendment over 500 times because he might incriminate himself. For those without an abacus, that works out to 84 “I take the Fifth” every hour. Or almost three every two minutes. Which is one “I take the Fifth” every 40 seconds – for six hours. Even by mob crime family standards, that’s pretty good.
During the course of his interview with Ms. Owens, she asked who his ideal dining companion "dead or alive," would be, with the caveat that he couldn't choose his father.
I’m still surprised that even though he couldn’t name his father, given the Trump children penchant for sucking up to the money train and official Approval Giver, he didn’t, but he did go to next best option.
"How about Jesus?" Trump answered. Which is always a pretty good Go To reply when you want the evangelical right to think you’re religious. (Personally, I think he said this because he liked the idea of being able to start each comment to his dinner companion by saying, “Jesus Christ!! Will you pass the mustard.” And “Jesus Christ!!! Is this a beautiful day or what?!” And then giggle each time.)
Owens told Eric Trump that Jesus was a good answer (because that’s a pretty good Go To confirmation when you went your evangelical right listeners to think your religious and forget that you’re black). And then questioned him about what he would ask Jesus.
Trump said: "Did you envision this happening to the United States of America? Did you ever envision a person as incompetent as Joe Biden running the United States of America? How in the world did this happen?"
I think that Jesus’s first response might be, “Wait, you picked me, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the son of God Almighty, and forebearer of Christian religion, to have dinner with…and that’s the first thing you want to ask me??? About Joe Biden – who I know really well, by the way, because he goes to church every Sunday, and is a good and decent man, almost righteous as far as politicians go. You don’t want to know about how it felt to be treated as the son of God or to be literally crucified for my religious beliefs? Or what I think about how Christianity has developed over 2,000 years? Or where I think my values have been misinterpreted and twisted wrongly, and what I think of fighting wars over religion? Or why I made the Chicago Cubs wait 108 years to win a World Series? Just kidding about that last one. They were on their own there, though I think it helped build character, and I love them and their fans for it. But this is what you want to ask me about – first?? Whoa, well, okay. You’re the host.”
But once past that, and they got down to the actual question, it’s a very risky one to ask Jesus, most-especially right off the bat because there’s a good chance He would answer, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. And son, just because you shouldn’t ever think about casting the first stone doesn’t mean you should consider casting any stone any time in the foreseeable future. And I mean ‘my’ foreseeable, which is a very, very long time.”
And also, because Jesus seemingly knows all, He might continue, “By envisioning ‘this’ happening, I assume you mean an insurrection to undermine democracy and overthrow the United States, which would divide the country? And yes, of course, I did, because I see all. That’s precisely why I made sure they wrote the U.S. Constitution. And put in easy-to-follow election laws where everyone above legal age in a democracy can vote and had the concept of certifying votes and laws against treason.”
But it would really get dicey when Jesus got around to answering the follow-up question about Joe Biden. “Son – and I mean that, not in a religious way, but like when an adult speaks to a slow child who he thinks might be addled – Joe Biden talks to me in church every Sunday, and even regularly during the week. Sometimes he gets way off topic, but he’s so well-meaning and such a lovely guy and funny, I let him go on. I can’t even remember the last time you talked to me in church – which is why I was so shocked you asked me as your dinner guest. I see all, so I saw that, but only as a sort of joke, like if you were trying so suck up to white evangelicals or your daddy and got stuck having to live up to it.”
And then Jesus would go on, “You do understand that I see all, so when you try to flim-flam me into thinking Joe Biden is incompetent – and seriously, who tries to flim-flam Jesus?? – you do understand that I know the guy. And I know he was in the Senate for 36 years, and was Vice President of the United States for eight years, and got elected President. And was the chairman of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And he did all this while overcoming a stutter. And when he faced tragedy and was left a widower, he made sure, even though he was a United States Senator, to take the train home every night to take care of his little children – which is something I can tell by your body twitch you don’t understand. Joe Biden is smart, decent, humane, fumbling, imperfect, talented, experienced, goofy, nurturing and what I hope for in all people. For you to think Joe Biden is incompetent only shows that you are empty and soulless and in need of a lot more love than your father can ever give.”
And Jesus would pause and ask, “What was your third question? Oh, right, how in the world did this happen, how did Joe Biden become president. It’s because your father was seen for what he was, a white supremacist, pathologically lying con man fascist, and he only had an approval rating of 31%. The question, son, isn’t ‘how did this happen?’, it’s how could this not have?!!"
Going back on the Candace Owens interview this past Tuesday, Eric Trump did raise one other question he said he’d want to know from Jesus, though still pandering to the radio audience. "Honestly, I might ask him if this is actually a ploy to show people the difference between Republican leadership and Democratic leadership. Sometimes I think about that."
And Jesus would probably smile at this, for Jesus loves the weak and needy, and also loves really easy questions that have answers the opposite of what the questioners thinks – and would answer, “Oh, yes! Absolutely. Without question this is all a ploy to show people the difference between Republican leadership and Democratic leadership. It’s a ploy to make brain-dead clear to even the most close-minded luddite who somehow hasn't figured it out yet that the Democratic leadership supports democracy and working for all people, whatever their race, gender or creed, and to help lift the needy so that they can succeed in this life, as well – while Republican leadership today has become fascist, soulless, embracing dictatorships around the world, and beholden to wicked money lenders in their den of thieves.”
And then with a blunt glare, would add, "And don't use big words like 'Honestly' which you and your family don't begin to understand, it insults the intelligence of those within earshot and only serves to highlight the lie you're about to tell. That's why poker players call it a 'tell.' Like saying 'I might incriminate myself' 500 times every 40 seconds."
And in the end, what Eric Trump doesn't realize is the problem with those “Of anyone in the world, who would you ask to dinner?” questions is that would be for dinner, not an interview, so the guest would get to have a conversation and ask you questions. And I think the very last thing Eric Trump would want is for Jesus Christ to start asking him questions.
“Son, it’s my turn now. I’ll start with an easy one – what is wrong with you? What I mean is, what do you think you’re doing with your life? Why have you wasted everything I’ve given you, all the opportunities to do go, to help others? And instead you’re just an empty shell of a person, scamming others for your own greed, vying for the love of your craven, venal father which you will never get? What in the world makes you think you will get to the Pearly Gates and see heaven and don’t realize that you are headed straight into the bowels of Hell and that if…”
“Jesus Christ!!” Eric Trump would cry out, forgetting to even giggle. “Will you pass the mustard.”
At this point, I think Jesus would finally get fed up and politely thank Eric for his time, but note that He has better things to do, like feeding the needy and finding the parents of all those Mexican kids his dad put in cages who President Joe Biden hasn't yet been able to reunite. And then start to leave, but turn around first and say –
“By the way, science is real. Why do you think it was created in the first place and exists in the world?”
Back in 2008, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about new discoveries surrounding the holiday classic, Handel's "Messiah." Several months later, I followed it up with additional revelations. Given that 'tis its season yet again - it seems like a fine time to repeat the story, as just another of the many holiday traditions. Sort of like a very early, 18th century version of "The Grinch."
But have a glass of nog, as well. Fa la la...
Over the passage of years, we lose track of the conditions that existed when artworks were created. When those years become centuries, the history vanishes, and all that remains is the work itself.That is, until someone researches that history, and puts the piece in its original context.
And that brings up Handel's "Messiah."
By any standard, it's a brilliant piece of music, which has understandably lasted 250 years. Even to those who don't share its religious underpinning, the music is enthralling, and part of the celebration of the Christmas season.
Now comes this detailed, deeply-researched article in the New York Times by Michael Marissen.
"So 'Messiah' lovers may be surprised to learn that the work was meant not for Christmas but for Lent, and that the 'Hallelujah' chorus was designed not to honor the birth or resurrection of Jesus but to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in A.D. 70. For most Christians in Handel's day, this horrible event was construed as divine retribution on Judaism for its failure to accept Jesus as God's promised Messiah."
Mr. Marissen does an impressive, scholarly and even-handed job uncovering the history of Handel's "Messiah." If anyone is interested in that history, do read the article. At the very least, read it before stating an opinion on it...
To be clear, this is not about political correctness. This is about correctness.
The truth, we are told, shall set us free. Either we go out of our way to learn the truth in our lives - and embrace it - or we bury our heads in the sand and listen to the sounds of gravel.
People will still listen to Handel's "Messiah" for centuries to come, whatever the reality behind it. The music is glorious. The words? Well, be honest, it's a fair bet that most people don't know exactly what's being sung about anyway - it's 2-1/2 hours, for goodness sake. Most fans wouldn't listen to "American Idol" for that long. People tend to tune out Handel's "Messiah" about six minutes in and let the music wash over them. When the "Hallelujah Chorus" is about to begin, they get nudged and sit up straight. And even at that, the only words most people know are "Hallelujah" and that it will "reign forever and ever." (Some people probably think it's about Noah's Ark.)
So, in some ways, the libretto of Handel's "Messiah" is not of critical importance 250 years after the fact. And that might be the biggest joke on Charles Jennens, who wrote the text and apparently saw the work as a way to confront what he believed was "a serious menace" in the world By having his friend Handel set his pointed tracts to music, Jennens felt that would help get his point across more subtly to the public. The result, of course, was that the spectacular music swamped over the words, and over time they took on a completely different meaning.
This is known as the Law of Unintended Consequences. Or also, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Somewhere up in heaven, or more likely down in hell, Charles Jenniens has been pounding his head against a wall for the last couple hundred Christmases, screaming, "No, no, no! Don't you people get it?!! It's supposed to be about celebrating the destruction of heathen nations, not the embracing love of mankind. You people are so lame!"
And it gets worse, because starting the day after Christmas - until the next Christmas when Handel's "Messiah" starts playing again - Jennens berates himself all year, wondering if he screwed up his work and didn't make it clear. Like maybe he used too many metaphors, or commas. Or perhaps in Scene 6, when he wrote, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron," he should have explained who "them" was or described a different bludgeon.
No doubt there will be some people aghast by the revelations (no matter how valid) about the writing of Handel's "Messiah." I also have no doubt that almost all those who are aghast have never sat through the 2-1/2 hour work. Nor that most of those ever paid attention to what the precise words actually were. But they will be aghast anyway.
On the other hand, most people who have sat and sat through a 2-1/2 hour performance of Handel's "Messiah" likely welcome having an excuse now not to have to do so again.
Mr. Marissen concludes his study with a thought on the subject.
"While still a timely, living masterpiece that may continue to bring spiritual and aesthetic sustenance to many music lovers, Christian or otherwise, 'Messiah' also appears to be very much a work of its own era. Listeners might do well to ponder exactly what it means when, in keeping with tradition, they stand during the 'Hallelujah' chorus."
And while singing along, they might want to add a "Hallelujah" for the truth, as well.
And that, I thought, was the end of the story. But it wasn't.
A few months later, while reading Volume 9 of Will and Ariel Durant's majestic Story of Civilization, entitled "The Age of Voltaire," I came upon their extensive discussion of Handel. After the passage on "The Messiah," the Durants continue on with the composer's life and eventually reach five years later, April of 1747, when Handel had hit hard times. Not only had he written a string of failures and needed to close his theater, but he went into a sort of retirement, and rumor passed that he may even gone insane, though perhaps it might have been mental exhaustion. (The Earl of Shaftesbury remarked, "Poor Handel looks a little better. I hope he will recover completely, though his mind has been entirely deranged.") However there was yet more to Handel - and to the story relating somewhat to the controversy today about "The Messiah." The Durants write --
"...Handel, now sixty years old, responded with all his powers to an invitation from the Prince of Wales to commemorate the victory of the Prince's younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, over the Stuart forces at Culloden. Handel took as a symbolic subject Judas Maccabaeus' triumph (166-161 B.C.) over the Hellenizing schemes of Antiochus IV. The new oratorio was so well received (April 1, 1747) that it bore five repetitions in its first season. The Jews of London, grateful to see one of their national heroes so nobly celebrated, helped to swell the attendance, enabling Handel to present the oratorio forty times before his death. Grateful for this new support, he took most of his oratorio subjects henceforth from Jewish legend or history: Alexander Balus, Joshua, Susanna, Solomon and Jephtha. By contrast, Theodora, a Christian theme, drew so small an audience that Handel ruefully remarked, "There was room enough to dance."
No doubt, Charles Jennens, author of the text for "The Messiah," is spinning even faster and deeper in his grave. But quality does win out over time. And so does transcending decency. And that, perhaps, in part, and in the end, may well be what we're left with.
When looking to find the article yesterday that I had written for the Huffington Post, I came across yet another piece that struck a chord with our times today. It doesn’t go back as far as yesterday’s, but was nonetheless written long enough ago while Barack Obama was still president and the Republican Party had only gone partially insane before it began to reject reality.
The subject at hand at that time was Climate Change, and how Republicans were rejecting the science. And not only rejecting science, but doing so because it was incompatible with religion. Now, why in the world that should be a concern to a political party is the question of note – and fits in perfectly with yesterday’s article on how the GOP path to become a religious cult today was set in motion years ago and not something created by Trump.
But what leaped out even more in the old article – most especially today with the GOP near-total rejection of science even in the face of a worldwide pandemic, when you’d think rational people would embrace it all the more with gratitude -- was a larger point that has been totally lost by today’s Republican Party.
So, here then is that article written on September 29, 2015.
Science and Religion – Together Again!
Not long ago, I was reading a book, What Hath God Wrought, an epic, 850-page history about the transformation of the United States from 1815-1848. It won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2007, and is part of the acclaimed Oxford History of the United States series.
I mention this because the other day, I came across a passage that leaped out in the midst of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and his addressing Climate Change. This was followed by a range of conservative voices outraged that the Pope would delve into matters of science, most notably GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush who said that the Pontiff’s words on Climate Change should be disregarded because “He’s not a scientist, he’s a religious leader.”
(Never mind that the Pope actually is a scientist, with a degree as a chemical technician. And never mind, too, that the Pope is also a head of state, as leader of the Vatican, which is a city/state, and has a council of scientists advising him.)
More to the point at hand is the division we’ve seen in the conservative perspective of distrusting, often even dismissing science as being almost an agent of the devil (I don’t exaggerate, more on that in a moment), instead of trusting the Bible when it comes to matters like Climate Change or evolution or women’s health. Which brings us back to the book at hand, What Hath God Wrought. Discussing Samuel Morse’s invention of the telegraph (whose first message was the words out of the Bible that serve as the book’s title), the author Daniel Walker Howe writes:
“Morse’s synthesis of science and religion represented the predominant American attitude of the time; only a few eccentrics believed there was any conflict between scientific and religious truth.”
So much for the whole concept of how life progresses and that we learn from the past. I guess not for everyone. This is the natural, expected result of what happens when you deny education, deny science, and retrench your foundation of knowledge, scholarship and reality purely on a system of faith. You regress, as the rest of the reality-based world passes you by. Accepted thought becomes what was once the domain of “eccentrics.”
On the other hand, when your education is based solely on what you believe, it makes passing tests in school so much easier. Unless your teacher believes in grading on a curve.
“Revelation and reason alike, Americans were confident,” Howe continues, “led to knowledge of God and His creation.”
Go figure. Back in the 19th century, in the midst of the greatest period of religious revivalism in U.S. history, Americans believed that education actually increased one’s understanding of the Bible. Not just did religious leaders accept science, but “Evangelists welcomed technological advances along with mass education,” he writes, because science helped them “spread the good news of Christ.”
Compare this to the religious Far Right of today who view the work of scientists as evil. Who want to push science out of the classroom, or at the very least obfuscate it with things like Creationism.
Compare this to when Scott Brown tried to pander to the religious Far Right and snarkily demeaned his then-Senate opponent Elizabeth Warren by continually referring to her as “Professor.”
Compare it to the pronouncements of people like Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) who actually serves on the Science Committee of the House of Representatives, saying – not that “Religious awakening, expansion of education, interest in science and technological progress all went hand in hand,” as Howe describes national and religious thought in the mid-19th century, but rather – “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
Life changes. Opinions change. Values change. But life is supposed to move forward. Otherwise we’d all be living life in reverse like Benjamin Button or Merlin. Starting with all our knowledge, and then forgetting it day-by-day, getting more stupid by the hour. Which is a theory that does appear to work for some people. But fortunately, not for Mankind.
What’s interesting is that long ago, the very opposite reality reigned. Back in 1615, the scientist Galileo was the eccentric, found guilty of heresy by the church’s Roman Inquisition for daring to suggest that the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the other way around. He was found guilty. Belief ruled the day. Two hundred years later, the reality of science was accepted, and it was only the “few eccentrics” who didn’t understand that science and religion were seeking the same thing – the truth.
Unfortunately, when some people intentionally pander to the worst instincts of others in order to stir up fear in a base to score political points, the result tends to be falling backwards towards ignorance – which is the very opposite of that whole “mass education” concept. But then, that’s what happens when one looks to politicians for religious and spiritual guidance.
You know, here’s one way I look at it – if God had intended Man to ignore the discoveries, teachings and advances of science, He would never have created scientists.
As we officially move past the midway point of Hanukkah, that's a good time for my annual tradition of my New Tale of Hanukkah, along with the tale behind it.
A New Tale for Hanukkah: The Legend Begins
Several years back, a mixed group of writer friends was discussing religion, when it veered off track a bit. "A bit" as in, someone whimsically bemoaned that Christmas got all the good colors, while Hanukkah was pretty much stuck with blue and white.
I'm guessing that this wasn't the kind of debates Spinoza or Moses Maimonides ever got into. Though you never know.
Another person decided to raise the holiday spirits, suggesting that since there was an actual, physical limit of primary colors in the world, and therefore nothing could be done about that at this point, perhaps instead a new fable could be created. A few days later, this second fellow and his wife came up with the Twin Dalmatians of Hanukkah, Pinkus and Mordechai. The pups scour the earth to bring hats of joy, filled with treats, to the children on the first night of Hanukkah. Pinkus, the cheerful one, would load them up with tasty goodies, while practical Mordechai with a bell on his collar would leave practical gifts, like slide-rules.
The benefits of this new legend were clear to see. For one, it meant that that you could add a whole new color scheme to the Hanukkah celebration palate for displays across the land and trimmings in stores everywhere - black and white, the Dalmatian decorations! And also, Pinkus and Mordechai "pug helpers" would prance throughout shopping centers to the joy and happy laughter of those with childhood in their hearts. And of course, when you're competing with Rudolph, Frosty, the Little Drummer Boy, Scrooge, Magi, Santa, and so many more, it never hurts to have as many fables as possible to pass down through the generations.
He and his wife wrote a few verses to show what he meant, and I thought an unfinished poem was no way to celebrate the season of holidays, and therefore completed it.
Like all good stories of the season, this one ends with a miracle. My friend went on to create a network TV series a few years later, and then another one for different network. So, it's good to know that poetry and warm spirit in his heart (along with a touch of lunacy in their heads) had such a positive impact on their lives. He also now has a reputation to protect and by request shall remain nameless.
Since 'tis the season, then 'tis appropriate to bring the story out of its dusty pages where it has annually passed from glowing face to glowing face of the few lucky children to hear it told, and when a few years back on the Huffington Post I presented the new fable to the world.
Okay, maybe there haven't been all that many glowing faces, and maybe it's halfway through Hanukkah this year (man, it came so early this year!!), but it's the holiday season and time of miracles, so anything's possible.
'Twas the night before Hanukkah,
And all through the shul,
Not a creature was stirring,
The meshpocheh was full
With latkes and brisket
And kugel and more.
Through the heads of the kinder
Spun dreidles galore.
But I in my yalmulka,
And she in her wig,
Settled down in our beds
With warm milk (but no pig).
When up on the roof
I heard such a bark
That I yelled "Oy, gevalt"
(To the goyim that's "Hark").
And I knew with a jingle,
Then a second great "woof,"
That jolly ol' Pinkus
Was up on our roof.
Though t'wasn't just Pinkus,
But Mordechai too,
The Hanukkah Puppies--
Those Dalmatian Jews.
So I sprang to my feet
And quick threw on a shmotta.
And I saw our kids' hats
Were now filled with a lotta:
Toys and candy from Pinkus
And from Mordechai, socks.
And for me and the Mrs.
Some bagels and lox.
The dogs silently worked,
As if studying Torah
(Though Pinkus got playful).
Mordechai lit the menorah.
Then straight up the chimney
Pinkus leapt from the floor.
Mordechai politely went out
the front door.
It's hard to explain
The joyous nakhes I felt
As I saw the Dalmatians
Go to hand out more gelt.
And I heard Pinkus bark,
"Kids can have all they want if."
"Happy Hanukkah," said Mordechai.
"And to all a Good Yontif."
As we finish Yom Kippur, which ends tonight at sundown, I thought I'd get this in under the wire. It's the song "Avinu Malkeinu" which comes at the very end of the service.
This was one of my mother's favorite songs for the High Holidays, and it's sung wonderfully here by 13 cantors from around the world. I find some of the visual editing a little distracting, but not the singing.
Avinu Malkeinu means "Our Father, Our King," and the prayer itself is basically one of supplication, while also asking God for compassion whether or not it's deserved. It can be recited throughout the year, though the prayer is an important part of 10 days of the High Holidays starting with Rosh Hashanah and notably sung at the end of the service atoning at the start of the new year.
Or something like that. There are many variations, and even verses, whose order I think maybe can even be flexible, and the different denominations handle it their own way.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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