Sunday, January 18, 2009


A friend of mine (a cantorial soloist) argued that really good Jewish music can be as joyful and transcendent as good gospel music. I am currently listening to Aretha Franklin's album, Amazing Grace. Now, nobody loves the hora more than I do. The sweaty-handed, nauseating circle-of-fun, accompanied, as it so often is, by the terrified expressions and white knuckled chair-grips of the uplifted guests of honor, is my favorite part of a Jewish wedding. I have been known to rock out to a good V'shamru or Adon Olam, as well. But as much as I love Barbra and Bette and Benny Goodman and the Gershwins, nothing makes me want to sing Hallelujah! like a large-boned, big-titted black lady. You be the judge.

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