Ani Ma'amin - I Believe

Ani Ma'amin - I Believe
Saul Korin

Ani Maamin Beemuna Shelemah V’havi et ha mashiyach ani maamin
I believe with full faith in the coming of the Messiah, and though he/she may tarry, I believe.

The Poconos during the summer has an incredible number of Jews of all flavors and movements at camps. I was a camper at Ramah Poconos. We shared a lake with Camp Lavi, and nearby was Moshava, Morashah, Tel Yehuda, B'nai B'rith Pearlman, Camp Harlem, Camp Wayne for Husky Kids (not officially a Jewish camp), Nock-a-Mixon and more. And yet, I would bet that my age group of kids at Ramah Poconos sang that song more than any of the other camps in the area. We weren’t Messianic necessarily, but we did love that song.

We would sing these words at dinner as a whole camp, banging on the tables and singing it on repeat. Then, after dinner we would gather and sing it again. I seem to remember “going for 50” and singing it like 50 times in a row. Now, most of us had pretty subpar Hebrew language skills, and while we may have understood the concepts, what they meant was probably out of reach.  

And I miss that. I miss singing these words with my friends until I lost my voice. And I miss the innocence of singing this song with belief. This all came to mind last night as a combination of steroids and stress and shootings and Roe and Democracy and everything else kept me up.

Breaking it down now, so much of it is hard.

“I believe with full faith”
There are not many things I believe with full faith these days.
I believe we are all hurting more than we let on. I believe the early pandemic was hardest on parents of young children and teens and preteens. I believe right now those of us with those preteens and teens are getting a full dose of hard times.
I believe Joel Embiid was the best basketball player in the NBA this year. I believe Nick Foles was the hero Philly needed.
I believe the Grateful Dead changed music more than any other band in history.
I believe the Jewish people have a mission to make the world a better place.
I believe in my kids.

“In the coming of the messiah”
I want to believe the arc of humanity bends toward justice. But it is really hard right now. 

“And though he/she may tarry I believe,”
What are they waiting for? Or do we need to do this ourselves?  

What I do know is I miss those times and that feeling, and I’m not sure how to get it back.