I'm doing this because I'm planning my fourth album of original Jewish music, and instead of spending tons of time and energy on a fancy crowdfunding campaign, I've decided that first I'm going to spend time and energy on selecting the best of my most recent crop of songs for the collection.
This album will feature very few, if any, songs in Hebrew; I'm taking my songwriting in directions that both personal and universal at the same time, and writing in English reflects that better for me.
These will not necessarily be songs that ideal for liturgical use, but they will be songs that reflect the travels of a soul through the landscape of life as a Jew and as a human being.
I posted the first song a week ago, a fresh video of my song, "The One Before Whom You Stand."
Being Jewish matters a great deal to me. I come from a long chain of exploration, deep study, and ongoing commentary that great;y inform how I move through the world.
But, upon considering the value of my Jewish facet in the bigger picture, I have to say that, as I get older, being human matters more, because it's the foundation on which all my other facets -- Jewish, female, queer -- rest. Without my humanity -- without the experience of being a soul and traveling through life in a body -- I have no mode of expression for these other facets of experience and understanding.
So some of the songs on this next album may feel a little less distinctly "Jewish" than what I've written before. That's okay. It's still Jewish music -- which I've always maintained is simply music written by a Jew about some aspect of their life. It doesn't have to be liturgical, or even in Hebrew, to be "Jewish".
And so I invite you to follow along as I post these videos, every couple of weeks or so going forward, and ponder some big ideas with me as I explore them in story and song.
Next up: my newest song, finished earlier this week, called "They Tell Me Property Is Theft."
It's my second attempt to come to some understanding, through songwriting, of what it means to be a Jew and to be in relationship with Israel. It's also an attempt to universalize the tension that exists when multiple peoples struggle for a home in the same place, struggle for access to resources that are under exclusive control; and strive to make the best of their lives while they're here. It's also a suggestion that the power of my total humanity outweighs the power and history or any one facet of my self -- including my Judaism.
It's on YouTube, and here. Ponder with me, and thanks for coming along on this ride.