Jews, Christians, and NPR
All the Christian stories on NPR these days are Jewish
To the delight of many (and likely the chagrin of some) the ties between the Jews and National Public Radio are deep and irreducible.
As a result, some pretty fantastic stories have been broadcast across the airwaves in recent years, but perhaps none more remarkable than two reports from yesterday in which the ultimate Christian stories actually became Jewish ones. The first was about how the former Jews of Ireland formed a club called the Yiddish Sons of Erin in the 1960s to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Picture green matzoh balls and Erev St. Patty’s dinners.
A lot of Irish Jews found those opportunities in New York. Like many immigrant groups, they kept their culture alive in the new world. And in the early 1960s, they formed the Yiddish Sons of Erin. According to member Rosalyn Klein, the whole thing started as a joke.
“An advertising agency was trying to get some business for Moskowitz & Lupowitz, which was a Jewish restaurant,” she says.
The restaurant took out a newspaper ad for a meeting of Irish Jews. Klein thinks they didn’t really expect people, but a lot of them showed up.
“And most of them had lived in Dublin, so it was kind of this mishpocha getting together again,” she says.
You think that’s pretty goyishe? Try this one on for size. Yesterday, there was a story about how Argentine Jewish composer named Osvaldo Golijov was tapped to compose a choral work based on the Gospel according to Mark. La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion According to St. Mark), which was performed at Carnegie Hall last week ahead of Easter, has gotten rave reviews and has been performed everywhere from Italy to Australia. How did Golijov do it?
He also incorporated his Jewish faith and Jewish texts into this most Christian of stories, including part of the Lamentations of Jeremiah and the Jewish ritual prayer of mourning called the kaddish.
“Even for me as a Jew, even if I do not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus,” Golijov says, “I believe that his message of love and of life triumphing over death had to finish the Passion. Therefore, I wrote for the end the kaddish, which is the prayer for the dead that you sing at the grave of your beloved ones. The beauty of that prayer is that it does not mention death. It is a hymn to life, to God — and to silence beyond words and beyond music.”
Trying to tell that the unnamed relatives of mine who barred me from my elementary school’s Christmas Pageant!
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.