Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Judging from the thread on the previous post, most of us miss the synagouge music of our youth. I also heard, by email, from a guy who grew up on a kibbutz, and now prays with the hasidim. He writes
When you grow up, you realize that nothing stays the same. Even if I went back to the kibbutz, it would never be the same. The people have moved or died. We could sing the same songs, but it still wouldn't be anything like what I remember. The people who made it what I remember are gone. We move on, but still I have moments of being homesick.
Perhaps there is an evolutionary biologist who can explain why our memories give extra weight to the spiritual experiences of our youth. Intellectually, I know the songs we sing in my "new" shul (where I've prayed for 12 years) are every bit as good as the songs we sang in the shul I attended for 5 years when I was a child. Emotionally, though, I long for the old days, and I sing the old songs in a whisper, and rage privately at the new songs. I imagine even the atheists in the audience will confess to this peculiar nostalgia. But where does it come from?

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