A Return To The Greatness of Jewsic

As the school semester is coming to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes to look back on the third post I ever made, entitled “How Great Jewsic Is.” This post was all about the more traditional aspects of Jewsic as well as one of my favorite traditional Jewsic songs, Mikey Pauker’s rendition of “Hinei Mah Tov (Eeoohh!).” This song has come up in many of my blog posts, including a short video of me teaching the song at the camp I worked at from my first post. At the end of “How Great Jewsic Is,” I suggested that I would consider uploading a video of me performing the song in a later video, and I thought that now would be the perfect time to do so.

To me, this song really encompasses the theme of my blog and what Jewsic is really all about. In Mikey’s version of the song, the English lyrics read “How great it is for brothers and sisters to hang out on this day.” These lyrics can be applied to many of my previous posts and have a special place in my heart. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love playing music with friends outside and just having a great time. That is what this song is about. I wrote a post about peace and getting along with everyone, and that is also what this song is about.

This song has so much meaning to me, my way of thinking, and what this blog is really about, so without any further ado, here is my rendition of “Hinei Mah Tov.”

I hope you all enjoy the song, and I hope you get a chance to go hang out with your family and friends as the weather just keeps getting better and better. Shalom for now, and have a great week!

Passover More Jewsic

If you do not already know, we are currently in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Passover. In recent years, there has been an abundance of Jewish musical groups that have made parodies of popular songs to illustrate the Passover story and rituals. These groups are typically a capella, but not all of them are. This week I am going to link you all to some of these songs as a way to help you learn more about the Holiday of Passover.

The first song I am going to share with you is an a capella parody of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” Six13’s 2015 version of the song goes over the basic story of Passover in a fun way.

The next Passover parody I am bringing you is a 2013 video from the Jewish a capella group, The Maccabeats, that is based on a couple songs from Les Misérable. They called their mash-up “The Maccabeats: Les Misérable, A Passover Story.” The video is extremely well done and I recommend checking it out.

I am going to finish my Passover parody recommendations while keeping the same theme of Passover and Les Mis, but moving away from a capella.  The final video I have for you is from Shalom Sesame is the anglicized variation of the Israeli version of Sesame Street.  It was created to introduce Israel and Judaism to children that were not fluent in Hebrew. This is a cute video of the Muppets looking for “Matzah in the House.”

I hope you enjoyed these songs and maybe even learned something new about Passover through these videos. Shalom, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday – Next year in Jerusalem!

The Other Side of Jewsic

One aspect of Jewsic that I have not really touched on yet, is the idea that any Jewish person can make music, regardless of language or topic, and what they make can be considered Jewsic. There are countless Jewish people in the music industry and even entertainment as a whole. Adam Sandler does a fantastic time singing about just a few of these entertainers in his famous song “Chanukah Song” which I have linked to below.

There are so many Jewish people in almost every genre of music, if not all of them. Even some of the most popular musicians, like Drake, P!nk, Adam Levine, all of the Beastie Boys, Billy Joel, Jack Black, and more, are Jewish. One of my favorite bands of all time is an American punk band that started to gain popularity in 90s called NOFX. Their lead singer, Michael Burkett, or more commonly know as Fat Mike, is also Jewish. He identifies as an atheist, but was born Jewish and knows of his heritage. NOFX

One of my favorite bands of all time is an American punk band that started to gain popularity in 90’s called NOFX. Their lead singer, Michael Burkett, or more commonly know as Fat Mike, is also Jewish. He identifies as an atheist, but was born Jewish and knows of his heritage. NOFX does not really have any Judaism in their lyrics aside from maybe one or two songs, but I still love their music. One of the things I love most about Fat Mike is his political activism. He is extremely liberal and in 2004, he started punkvoter.com to try and encourage the punk scene to get out and vote (though the site was shut down in 2008 after Bush’s term ended). He also created the Rock Against Bush campaign to help the cause he felt so strongly about. In 2003, the band also released an album titled “The War on Errorism” which featured George Bush’s face painted as a clown. Part of what drew me to NOFX was their strong political lyrics as well as the humor and fast-paced, punk sound that is included in almost all of their songs. If I had to pick, I would say that my favorite song of theirs is the 18-minute satire of American law, as well as other problems Mike saw in the states titled “The Decline” that was released in 1999. If you have 18 minutes to listen to some awesome music and interesting commentary on the state of America’s decline from the perspective of a punk who grew up in LA’s punk scene in the 80s, I highly recommend checking the following song out. If you don’t have much time, they have a lot of much shorter songs you can easily find them on Youtube or Google. Shalom for now!