My Jewsical journey has been shaped by many events and people throughout my lifetime. Both Judaism and music have been prominent aspects of my life for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories include singing songs by the Beach Boys and the Beatles with my parents and going to the Jewish preschool, Aleph Bet Preschool. For those who may not know, Aleph and Bet are the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. As I got older, I started to make my own opinions about music. The first band I remember falling in love with and obsessing over was the Backstreet Boys. When I was still very young, I remember we had a VHS of a live show of theirs that I would love to watch and sing along with. It was around this time that I moved up from the Jewish preschool to the Jewish day school, Rudlin Torah Academy, or RTA, to start kindergarten.
Aleph Bet preschool had started exposing me to Judaism, but RTA is where I really started to get into it. There was a point, I think around third or fourth grade, where I was sure I was going to grow up and be a Rabbi. A few years later I would change my mind, but at the time I was really into it. This was also a time where I was starting to expand my music tastes. I had sort of grown out of the Backstreet Boys (though today I will gladly still jam out to their hits) and I was ready for my next big musical influence. The first album that I ever owned myself was “Dookie” by Green Day and it changed everything. I started to get into what I thought then was punk-rock, Green Day became my new musical obsession, and I really wanted to learn how to play the electric guitar.
Not too long after I decided I wanted to learn guitar, I received and acoustic Epiphone starter guitar for Hanukkah. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t just magically know how to already play it, but lessons were started and I was beginning to build my abilities as a musician. I took lessons for about two years but I have kept teaching myself and practicing to this day. While I was starting to really get into my guitar playing and get into the late 90s and early 2000s rock scene, I was also starting to delve deeper into Judaism learning the commentary of the Rabbis and learning how to think. I had not yet started to mix my Judaism and my music, and the first time I did mix them, I didn’t even realize that it, but I will go over that next time. So stay tuned for My Jewsical Journey Part 2.