Let Go (Take Down the Fences)

Lawrence (Larry) Lesser

About Lawrence (Larry) Lesser

I’m a father, husband, son, and brother, and an award-winning songwriter/poet/educator/author who synthesized decades of my eclectic Jewish journey (https://larrylesser.com/judaism) into a multi-genre trove of 24 highly original non-liturgical non-denominational songs, https://larrylesser.com/sparks/, including “Seven Circles.” The album’s deep, diverse, and accessible approach has been recognized in the Jewish education world (e.g., its environmental song “Rowboat” is featured in the fall 2020 issue of NewCAJE’s journal, The Jewish Educator) as well as in the secular music world as a 2021 New Mexico Music Awards Finalist for Album of the Year as well as for 3 other categories: Best Humorous Song (which I won!), Best Bluegrass Song, and Best Religious Song. The album has also had NPR station interviews, known airplay of 12+ different songs, and critical praise across streams from Jewish and music communities. The album was one of the achievements that helped me get recognized as a 2021 Hadar Jewish Wisdom Fellow. A former Houston Jewish day school teacher, I became a professor based in El Paso where I give classes and concerts (sometimes combined!) at campus, congregational and community events. Tapping my education/outreach skillset and varied Jewish experiences, I enjoy writing and performing songs to connect with any audience.

About Let Go (Take Down the Fences)

This song’s inspiration grew organically from text study in the summer 2021 Hadar Jewish Wisdom Fellowship program (Yitzhak Bronstein’s General Cohort on Money and Power). The song moves beyond “ancient times” (e.g., the Second Temple period), beyond Israeli land, and even beyond agriculture. Much is said about our values by how we structure our communities in terms of what kind of safety net (and how) we collectively offer those down on their luck not born into generational wealth. Let’s “let go” by stepping back from relentless materialist, consumerist, and hegemonic views of land, economy, and neighbors, and may we see more clearly our world’s patterns and needs. Then let’s “take down our fences” and take restorative action. Here are the lyrics © 2021 Lawrence M. Lesser: Back there, we’d leave fields fallow– back then, ev’ry seventh yearAnd we would only gather ourselves to learn and hear.We may think farm life’s tough,We may think we’ll never have enough: CHORUS: Let go — you don’t own it; let go — time to show that we are blessed to reflect, release, and rest.Today, we try gleaning meaning, from another kind of yield:A harvest of faith and freedom, needs a level playing field. We may think growth sustains, We may think against the grain: (Repeat Chorus)Bridge: The tithes, they are a-changin’, it’s time to heal the rifts: Embrace those from the margins who offer dif’rent gifts. Let them have their dignity, depending on no one: To have a deeper rest like all the work is done.This year, take down the fences: let poor, strangers meet their needs.Bounty is not to be hoarded: see where faithfulness leads. We must think who won’t get by– They could be you or I: (Repeat Chorus)
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