Wednesday, March 30, 2011

America's Jews are Tops!

I've been getting locks of flack recently for being so mean to American Jewry. Apparently some readers think I blamed them all for being J Street supporters (most aren't), for not caring about their Judaism (many certainly do), or for being generally flaky-headed (I don't think I said that). Victor, Ishai and RK have been leading the charge, but it's become a bit of a fad, piling onto me and reproaching me for being so cantankerous. So by way of proving I appreciate American Jews, and even think they're making some neat innovations on the Jewish side of things, here's some music that could only come out of the American part of the Jewish world.

Neshama Carelbach, daughter of, has paired up with the Green Pastures Baptist Church Choir, my daughter tells me (my daughter is in charge of my musical education). Here, the Rabbi's daughter and the Choir:

Try and imagine that in England. Or Israel.

Sadly, I must admit that of all Neshama's songs, the one I appreciate the most isn't with the church people, it's Yehi Shalom - May there be peace in your hosts, calm in your palaces

However, if it's Jewish-Goyishe innovation which makes everyone richer you seek, here's Matisyahu, doing melting pot at its best:

Ah, America!

Feel free to add suggestions.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't back down for one minute.

We should appreciate the American Jewish community for their philanthropy and their committment to Israel.

However, their (the all-knowing J Street corwd, of course - not the likes of Victor who is a bad-ass) diktat in certain political discourse involving Israel is unacceptable, in fact reprehensible in telling Israelis how and why they should do things.

Shame on them - Sending their children to UCLA instead of the IDF and then telling us we should be nicer to those trying to kill us so they aren't made to feel uncomfortable at home.

In the Jewish narrative, there is the old saying of having two Jews in a room with 3 opinions.

But at least, they are honorable opinions.

We need to find ways to strengthen Israel, not weaken it with ugly discourse.

That is my opinion.


Avigdor said...

Oh poor, poor Yaacov! The tears, the horror! Everyone is against him - first Hamas, then JStreet, now Victor... :)

My beef isn't with your cantankerousness, but with a certain regional exclussivism. I have the same conversations with American Jews who think that no one can live like a real Jew outside of Brooklyn.

I'm for a healthy, familial relationship between Israel and the Diaspora, as between brothers that support each other, not a derisive paternalistic chauvinism. Which is not to say that competition has no place, but it also has limits.

The flipside of JStreet's "we're going to teach Israelis real democracy" are the Israeli aliyah pushers' "you can only be a real Jew in Israel, and anyway the Diaspora is dying, or it should be".

And there is nothing quite like standing on the rafters at a Matisyahu concert, watching 20,000 non-Jews sing along "Jerusalem, if I forget you..."

Avigdor said...

The video you chose is the newer, spruced up version of "Jerusalem", after Matisyahu became famous. It's like 1.2x too fast, with a more pop-friendly sound. The original was better, in my opinion, more soulful. Listen to this and you'll hear the difference.

Jerusalem's very good. Time of Your Song is more for the BT's. I wonder how many actually understand what he's saying. His music is interspersed with tehillim and tanya. I should say, his early work was. He's doing a whole "universalist peace and love" theme now, which is fine, it sells, but it's not why I listened to him in the first place. The original album is still the best.

Silke said...

The flipside of JStreet's "we're going to teach Israelis real democracy" are the Israeli aliyah pushers' "you can only be a real Jew in Israel, and anyway the Diaspora is dying, or it should be".

Victor - sorry

but you are "flipsiding" apples and pears ...

Yaacov said...

Victor -

no need for the tears. Us curmudgeons are thick-skinned.

I used to say all Jews need to make aliya - back when I was 21. Then I stopped.

The version of Jerusalem you linked to is indeed superior. Yet I love the graphics of the one I linked to, the way suddenly we see he's enacted the Kotel: wonderful!

RK said...

You like us, you really like us!

I'm looking forward to getting off work and listening to the videos, but here's my contribution: Paul Robeson singing the Partisan's Song (Dos Partizaner Lid).

Avigdor said...

Yes, they did a nice job with the video. The photo montage is half reminiscent of the children's memorial at Yad Vashem, and half the Hall of Names.

Markus said...
enjoy! (maybe)

Anonymous said...

Being a Jewish-American I don't mind your postings at all. In fact, I appreciate them. So many Jewish Americans are a bunch of extremely entitled brats who think just because they have a thought it should be an earth shattering revelation. Most are ignorant of history, the Middle East and Judaism. They are products of a failed liberal-American educational system (read antiIsrael and antisemitic),and a watered down convenient Judaism. Honestly even the majority of those that profess to be for Israel seem to be unable to extricate themselves from their leftist politics. As you can tell I have no respect for this community and they give me no reason to think well of them. The problem I have is that I am lumped in with them. PS I am also not an observant Jewess, but one who happens to know who I am and where I come from.