Sunday, January 15, 2006

How do you say Tikkun Olam in Hebrew?*

Friday lunchtime, I was at the Can "Jewish Culture" Sustain the Jewish People? Is "Hip" Enough? panel. Panelists Robbie Gringras, Leon Morris and Jennifer Traig, ably moderated by Gary Rosenblatt, chewed the fat.

Leon had some incisive thinking: that the "hip" fringe/disempowered expressions of Jewish identity has an adolescent edge to it tinged with a degree of self loathing - I'm still thinking about that. Robbie played devil's advocate ("we are a people divided by a common religion", "I don't think all this Jewish learning is the answer"), and Jennifer really got it: she talked about doing the hip stuff with an ironic detachment - although Robbie countered with critical attachment.

Interesting - unanswered - question from the floor about whether the cannibalisation of African American culture, and the thousands of MCs of eastern european descent had an inherent racism to it.

Seems to me that the whole debate missed the debate about bothness/duality - it's not an either/or, you can be a sabbath-observant Heeb reader, and religious/spiritual identity and cultural secular identity can play off and inform each other.
Jewschool may or may not (yet) have an MP3 posted, so you can hear the whole thing verbatim.

* tikkun olam - repair of the world (lit) or social justice, is seen by some as the New Jew mantra

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