Patrick Aleph, lead singer of punk band Can Can, has started an oh-so-needed movement in the Jewish community called Punk Torah . Punk Torah is not necessarily about music, Patrick explains, but it is about rebelling — rebuilding and reapproaching the way Judaism is being done. “If I punk the Torah, it’s not that I’m punking a holy book. It’s that I’m punking a certain way of looking at the book which is inflexible and what drives people away from it,” he said.
Patrick considers himself an observant Jew, but also lives what he believes to be a very progressive life. He gets asked often how he balances being in a punk band with Judaism. His says he doesn’t have to because it’s exactly the same. A recent song he wrote, “Black Rainbow,” describes a parallel between what it’s like to beg a woman into bed and what it’s like to beg G-d to come into your heart. He also wrote a song on his last album, Pretty Motion, about what it’s like being a Jew living in the Bible Belt.
A CNN piece, “‘New Jews’ stake claim to faith, culture,” quoted Patrick recently: “When I’m on stage screaming, hitting my face with a microphone and pouring beer on my head, at least I’m singing about the Torah.” This new wave of young, highly spiritual and proud Jews have taken it upon themselves to find a new approach to expressing their faith, and Patrick is leading the way.
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