Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bob Dylan Song on the Middle East Crisis

I have just seen and heard this song. I am very surprised. A quarter-century of public Jewish life, if it has taught me anything, has taught me that large numbers of prominent American Jews in Hollywood and entertainment do everything they can do to hide their Jewishness. Yes, there are many others who are public about their Jewishness, but they typically offset it by acting with intensive political correctness, avoiding expressing straightforward support for Israel in her struggle for survival. Think of Steven Spielberg. So proud a Jew. The Jewish man in Hollywood who made "Schindler's List." The Jewish man in Hollywood who created a permanent Holocaust film archive project.

The Jewish mannin Hollywood who made "Munich."

Even at the telethons and pro-Israel programs where some of the Hollywood Jews show up, the pro-Israel sentiment is so wrapped in politically correct gobbledygook that, by the time the entertainer is finished talking, you don’t know whether he was speaking about Israel or global warming.

There are rare exceptions, of course, as there are exceptions to everything. For example, there is the well known actor who supports Jewish rights to live in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). Well, actually not.

Or the fantastically famous singer who has identified unequivocally with Israel's rights. Oooops -- actually not.

Well, the famous Jewish author. Well – no.

Thus, I particularly would not have expected this song just released, apparently sung by Bob Dylan. His life has been a particularly strange journey, including a period in Christianity. Apparently, he now identifies again as a Jew. I use the adverb “apparently” because, well, it seems surprising.

This song clearly is not about global warming. More than 100,000 people have passed this around Youtube in the last few days. I share it with you. (four-minute, thirty-second version) (longer, ten-minute version)

Rabbi Dov Fischer
Rav, Young Israel of Orange County
Irvine, CA 92612

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