By Michael Welch
I absolutely love culture. I have always had appreciation for how things used to be and I often reminisce on how good I had it, or how good the generations before me had it. The ideas of Free love, peace, agriculture, founding fathers, and power of the people. I look back and see a collective community effort. This is not to be misconstrued with living in the past, as I believe we can reflect on the “good ole days” to incorporate them into today. The synthesis of different cultures, backgrounds, and deep personalities somehow always seems to be present as I look back on the history of humanity. Even in times of war we have evidence of unification. The visual that it paints for me is that out of every event in history, a concept arises where we see the resilient spirit of people.
This is why Alcoholics Anonymous is so handy and impactful. It’s a constant reminder of our common welfare coming first, and that recovery depends on group unity. The recovery can be anything, and as AA quickly understood, it was a cornerstone for allowing the broken to heal. They identified what has worked throughout time and found that without you, I don’t exist; you need me just as much as I need you. That is why this is the first and most important tradition of this program. The concept of group has demonstrated results over hundreds of years.
Music is another great example of how culture has established itself through periods of being extraordinary. When we hear songs we go back, we have reference, and life has meaning. No matter the degree of difficulty life is presenting or the trials a community is facing; a song can be played and an instantaneous shift can be made in thousands of people. There’s no better example of this than Hava Nagila. Jews have been tossed around the earth for almost 2 centuries, a culture that could summon the negative in everyday living at any given time. But put on Hava Nagila and years of persecution are thrown aside. The positive repercussions of this folk song have infected more than just the Jews; this song can be heard in many customs or events with congratulatory undertones.
This Thursday, at 7:20pm, Beit T’Shuvah will be hosting a private screening of Hava Nagila (The Movie). This film will tell more than just the story of a prominent folk song; it will also have insights into why this song has become such an enduring part of the Jewish Tradition. The movie will also have a Q&A with Film Maker Roberta Grossman and Producer, Marta Kauffman (creator of Friends). For tickets please visit www.beittshuvah.org.
Hope to see you there.