This whole business about one Jew being better than the other one is definitely something that has to stop.
Project ‘Ani Yehudi’, sponsored by Professor Linda Allen and started by Lenny Solomon of Shlock Rock, tries to unite religious and ‘hiloni’ Jews by sharing a unified message in We Are The World style:
When I ask myself, who am I?
I’m a little Sephardi, a little Ashkenazi
a little Israeli, a tiny drop galuti (exiled)
Maybe religious, maybe secular, but between you and me
The result is something that will appeal to many Jews, regardless of how religious we may be (or not):
Having said that, do you also feel that something is still awkward about this project? This is what I think spoils the broth somewhat:
- There are no female soloists on the project.
- Is anyone there haredi?
- The lyrics are overtly religious:
Nothing will succeed to break me my brother
my soul, is a part of a high external light
to fix the world that is my motto
I was born like this, I am a Jew.
Simply a Jew - like in other religions
we have; festivals, Shabbat, customs and mitzvot.
To say that everyone is sure in his righteousness
at the end we're all Jewish, before the chair of His Holiness.
Still, I think it is a step in the right direction, erasing that righteous smirk of those who believe they are on the side of God.
(On a side note, Aish has used this campaign for their kiruv purposes, but you can bet they do not play this mixed music on their campuses!)