Very interesting article.
Jazz is Judaism
According to Asher Yaras, music is central to the innovation of Chassidic Judaism. While religion has a rap for being overwhelmingly demanding, “Chabad absolutely emphasizes a service of joy.”
That emphasis is what consistently draws students like sophomore Leana Jelen to Chabad programs, and what fuels Jelen’s wish that more students would take advantage of the atmosphere.
“People who aren’t involved often think that it’s just for religious kids,” she says, a misconception she is quick to clear up for her friends.
Jelen says the event drew in a lot of students who wouldn’t normally be at Chabad. And though she figures many of them were bigger fans of falafel than of jazz, she’s glad they’ve found an entertaining way of connecting to Jewish life on campus.
Einav believes the audience of mostly University of Rochester students was intrigued by the seeming contradiction of old-style Chassidism and the relatively new – and noticeably less Jewish – jazz.
Read the full thing here.