Tuesday October 23, 2012
FINDING THE POWER OF MUSIC IN SOUTH DAKOTA
This interview reminded me that everyone, especially musicians, has a deep relationship with their music, and music has a real impact in our lives.
From September 3, 2012 to December 22, 2012, Sam Rosenbaum, Asher Krell, and I are traveling across the country in search of everything Jewish music. On Saturday nights, we tell the story that unfolds in each city through Rock Shabbat, a weekly webisode including conversations, interviews, all kinds of Jewish Music, as well as the happenings of our travels. Our goal in to explore the who, what, where, why, and how of American Jewish Music.
One of my favorite Jewish music moments thus far has to be when we ended up in the office of Stan Adelstein, state senator from South Dakota. Going into Rapid City, South Dakota, we had no idea what kind of Jewish music we would find. The first musician we were put in touch with was this man – an eighty-year-old state senator who we were told was the community shofar blower. His secretary greeted us enthusiastically when we entered his office, excited that somebody cared about Jews in this part of the country, and then took us down the hallway to his office.
He started by telling us how he got involved playing Shofar, which led to a hour or so long story about political strife, anti-semitism, a personal overcoming of discrimination, and emotional highs and lows. In each piece of this man’s life there was his relationship with the shofar. Sometimes he would be describing the shofar with tears in his eyes, other times he would be describing it with frustration, or laughter. And, in each part of his story, his relationship with the shofar grew, was recolored, and deepened.
I could not believe the life story Stan shared. I could not believe that we had been talking for an hour about the shofar. I could not believe that I ended the interview with tears in my eyes too as Stan talked about the recent death of his close friend and the shofar blowing he was asked to do at the funeral. This interview reminded me that everyone, especially musicians, has a deep relationship with their music, and music has a real impact in our lives. It takes us through highs and lows and everything in between. I learned from this interview to not take music for granted. To remember that, like a close friend, it is a being with which I have a relationship, and who has been with me throughout my life, since I could hear.