Local teen releases original song in response to synagogue massacre

Duvy Burston uses lyrics from Psalms 23 that offers comfort in times of distress


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  • Duvy Burston recites prayers and sings along with his classmates in front of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh (Photo provided)




  • The CD cover for "Ki Ata Imadi" depicts Duvy in prayer, wearing tefillin, atop Mount Rainier this past summer.




— Duvy Burston of Orange County, currently a high school student at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, released an original song in response to the synagogue massacre that took place near his school.

“I am sharing this new song with the world and dedicating this piece to the 11 souls gunned down at the Tree of Life Synagogue, under a mile from where I, too, was praying,” said the 16-year-old.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, Duvy headed to synagogue with his friends, as he does each Saturday.

“Shortly after we arrived we heard sirens and were told not to leave the building,” he said. “We were on lockdown, and we knew something serious was happening.”

The beauty and tranquility of Shabbat services transformed to horror and shock as Duvy and his classmates learned of the shooting in the same Pittsburgh neighborhood of Squirrel Hill.

Duvy is also a passionate musician and song-writer and responded to the massacre by releasing a song titled “Ki Ata Imadi,” which translates as “For You (G-d) are with me.”

The lyrics, from the well-known Psalms 23, is often said in times of distress, and is also part of the liturgy of the Sabbath prayers, which were interrupted with screams and gunshots at the Tree of Life: “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want....Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me.”

“The final verse, which states ‘May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of life,’ is my hope for the community here in Pittsburgh, the whole Jewish nation, and the world at large — that we should be saturated with goodness and kindness," Duvy said.

Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh encouraged students to respond to the senseless hate with love and support for the community. Students attended communitywide vigils, offering participants to do a mitzvah — a good deed— in honor of the victims. The boys also recited afternoon prayers and sang songs of comfort at the synagogue where the shooting occurred.

Duvy’s song “Ki Ata Imadi” is now available on YouTube.com. Search "Duvy Burston" or visit youtube.com/watch?v=T_jswfDIIzo.

Duvy Burston is the son of Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, directors of Chabad of Orange County in Chester.



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