God has sustained you through Rap
How Jewish Wisdom offers Ears for Rap
Rap Has Given Me Voice:
The moral responsibilities of the listener
Growing up, I remember riding around in my friend’s Taurus in Conway, Arkansas. I remember rapping every word of Tupac and Bone Thugs songs. I must have been 15. The music would be turned up all the way. The windows were down. We’d gesture in the choreographies that we’d learned from MTV… imaginary mics in hand, imaginary guns at our hips.
Being Jewish Today
To be Jewish today is to be animated by both gratitude and unrest, by humility and audacity. It is to recognize the utter magnificence of the world, the miracle of human life and human connection, the possibility of love and the abundance of life’s blessings. And it is, at the same time, to feel the exodus from Egypt – the journey from slavery to freedom, from degradation to dignity – in our guts. It is to refuse to accept a world saturated with injustice, oppression and human suffering, and to become agents of social change whose fiercest weapons are love, faith and holy hutzpah.
Listening to Rap with the Ears of Moses
I am not Jewish but I learn from Judaism all the time. It is a wisdom tradition: that is, a living tradition which has much to offer my Gentile ears. I'd say the same for Islam and Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, Confucianism and Daoism. They are not just religions for me; they are wisdom traditions.