Hebrew School


Message to the Blank Generation
September 12, 2007, 7:55 am
Filed under: jewish, records | Tags: , , , , ,

Esther Jungreis- You Are A Jew

Madison Square Garden, November 18, 1973.  Rangers game? No– Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis packs the Felt Forum and delivers what might be considered the first mass Jewish revival meeting ever.  This concert album features an impassioned, at times crying and screaming delivery on the need for Jews to return to Judaism, not intermarry, nor become secular hippies, lest they cause a “spiritual holocaust.” Jungreis, a survivor of the actual Holocaust, went on to become a leader in the Ba’al Teshuva (return to Orthodox Judaism) movement in the U.S., and worldwide. The show is interspersed with rousing renditions of “Shema Yisrael,” “Ani Maamin,” and other prayer and folk songs.

Some of the Hungarian-accented diatribe seems to come straight out of a Richard Hell song (“You Are A Jew” coincides with the beginning of Hell’s musical career in the Neon Boys… coincidence?):

“You belong to that generation
You belong to a generation which suffers from a disease – a disease called ‘Jewish Amnesia.’
You belong to a generation that has been described the Prophet Amos:
And days shall come upon you saith the Lord, and I shall send a hunger into the land. It shall not be a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water… but it shall be a HUNGER FOR THE WORD OF GOD.'”

Phew. Can one get a sense of detached euphoria from the tragically frightening? I hope so, I mean…. not… 

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2 Comments so far
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my detached euphoria comes mainly from the slap-back reverb.

Comment by Taylor

[…] (a new all-time favorite for me, thanks to Teruah), Shelly Hirsch (think Laurie Anderson times Esther Jungreis), and […]

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