Sunday, August 17, 2014
All you Need is Yiddishkeit
As usual, the Google Analytics numbers for my national Examiner.com site tend to be modest, with most of the activity coming from San Francisco. Nevertheless, I was glad to see that my recent article about Hamidbar Medaber (the desert speaks), the latest release in John Zorn's Radical Jewish Culture series provided those numbers with a bit of a bump. My guess is that there are many who would view "radical Jewish culture" and an oxymoron (and many of them would probably be of the Orthodox persuasion). On the other hand I was fascinated the first time I encountered a recording by Hasidic New Wave and could not resist the opportunity to write about their "complete works" when Zorn released the collection as a boxed set. (I also could not resist using a Levy's ad ("You don't have to be Jewish") to illustrate that article. I suspect that my interest has a lot to do with my conviction that Yiddishkeit is more an American phenomenon, rather than a Jewish one (and certainly not an Israeli one). I see it as a unique approach to identity that has seen me through a lot of difficult circumstances, and I could not be more pleased when that approach finds its way into my experiences of listening to music.