Shpilkes In The Mosh Pit

As the holiday of Hannukah starts on Friday, I would like to give a shout out to the Jewish faith for a surprising contribution to our society–punk rock. I’m not Jewish (in fact, Episcopalian may be as far from Jewish as one can get), but I’m a devout follower of bands such as The Clash, Ramones, Rancid and numerous others.

A recent book review caught my attention. In “The Heebie Jeebies at CBGB’s”, Steven Lee Beeber argues in the very first line that “Punk is Jewish.”

“Punk reflects the whole Jewish history of oppression and uncertainty, flight and wandering, belonging and not belonging, always being divided, being both in and out, good and bad, part and apart. The shpilkes, the nervous energy, of punk is Jewish.”

Mazel tov and pass the power chords.


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