I Am Human / Oseh Shalom

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She holds a Master’s degree in Sociology with a focus on Environmental Justice and race, is an Army veteran, and an Interfaith America Racial Equity Fellow.  

Five years ago, after witnessing and learning about the oppression of a marginalized group, a group I am not a member of, I came home, wrote the song I Am Human, shared it with my roommate, and cried. I played it one Shabbat morning in front of a community and then put the song away and have barely looked at it over the last few years. 

A few weeks ago, I started going through some of my old songs and rediscovered I Am Human, I played the song, and again I cried. Maybe I cried because my mother had just passed a few weeks early, not sure but what I do know is that this song speaks to the oppression and resilience of marginalized folks. And It speaks to our ability to adapt and overcome adversity, trauma, and tragedy.

It's hard for me to believe that five years have passed since writing this song. It's also been five years since Walter Scott was shot in the back by a police officer. And five years after Freddy Gray died from a spinal cord injury while in police custody. Five years after Sandra Bland was arrested and died in police custody. And five years have passed since a 20-year-old white supremacist murdered nine people while they were praying at a Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina. I had no idea that in five years, our country would look like it does right now. This song is our rallying cry, to never give up, remember the struggle, and always strive to see each other as created in the image of God because when we do, we treat each other with love, dignity, and respect. 

 

Lyrics:

Oseh Shalom Bimromav 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom 

May the one who makes peace from heaven above 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom (will Make Peace) 

I am human and I am free

Watch me fly above the trees

You can hear my cry and you can hear my roar

but you can’t take away my soul

 

Oseh Shalom Bimromav 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom 

May the one who makes peace from heaven above 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom (will make peace) 

We’ll fight and we’ll cry and we’ll even abide 

We’ll say goodbye just to stay alive 

And the day will come to have dignity again

 

Oseh Shalom Bimromav 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom 

May the one who makes peace from heaven above 

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom (will make peace) 

I am human and I am free

Watch me fly above the trees

Hu Ya’aseh Shalom (will make peace) 

 

Special Thanks to: 

FreeSound 

Tim Kahn

Unsplash 

Clay Banks 

Videvo 

Alex Radelich

Mattia Faloretti

Alice Donovon Rouse

Henry Ravenscoft

Maria Oswalt

John Ren

Tandem X Visuals

Andrew Winkler

Zoe Fernandez

Corey Young

Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Koshu Kunii

Parker Johnson

Luis Morera

Aaron Cass

Chris Henry

Nechirwan Kavian

Rabbinical Student Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier 

Rabbi Mira Rivera

Gili Gertz

Hazzan Sabrina Sojourner 

Arielle R-k

Tonda Case

Sue Dorfman

Shahanna McKinney Baldon

Yavilah McCoy

Yehudah Webster

JFREJ

James Eades

Mike Von

Nathan Dumlao

Rosie Kerr

Logan Weaver

Joan Villalon

Aaron Hodge Greenberg aka Artistavivi 

Sticker You

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.