Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Country Music is Amazing


Parshat Toldot
27 Heshvan, 5771
November 4th, 2010

I have absolutely no natural connection to Nashville. I am everything that a country music fan is not supposed to be: a pure-d, citified, left-coast, Hollywood-bred, not-making-living-with-his-hands kind of guy. I do not own a truck. But I absolutely love country music.

Let me explain.

            Country music has a special kind of Torah. It, as well as bluegrass and the blues (my true favorite genres), makes an art of the plain. It celebrates the beauty of the simple and the emotionality of everyday life: how much he loves his truck; the view of his wife and kids from his front porch looking in; being young and dumb, driving fast and in love; the pain of heartbreak.

            Country music celebrates real things. It believes that everyday things are deserving of song.

            The insight that the everyday can be made holy is the root of a powerful spirituality. For those of us who hold on to this mode, realizing the holiness of simple things is more than a suggestion – it is an imperative. More Torah and mitzvot and prayer than most people realize are grounded in this realization. The challenge of this path is to turn the time we spend in holy community into a crucible for the everyday, in which the basics of our lives are questioned, exalted, transformed, celebrated. “…take your shoes from off your feet for the ground you are standing upon is holy” (Exodus 3:5)

            May we all be blessed with a country kind of life.

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