Punk Rock Parashah

While Googling for Torah texts, the last thing you expect to pop up is the kinetic face of your new favorite band. But Patrick A., the lead singer of Atlanta-based Can Can, just started posting his thoughts on the weekly Torah portion on YouTube — starting last week with Tetzaveh, and onto this week’s confrontation of the Golden Calf.

In Patrick’s reading, the Children of Israel emerge from the sin of the Calf with a valuable lesson learned — a lesson in the importance of avoiding groupthink and learning to think independently. In short, he says, the Torah teaches that individuality and nonconformity is the only way to go, and especially the only way to form a meaningful relationship with God — which, to me at least, seems like the most punk-rock thing of all.

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