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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Traditional Jewish Response to 9-11; Rabbi Irwin Kula Chants Final Phone Calls

Marc Chagall "Loneliness" 
In a previous blog post, here, I talked about re-watching the 2004 screwball comedy film "I Heart Huckabees."

Director David O. Russell identified "I Heart Huckabees" as his response to 9-11. Interestingly, the film never mentions Islam. It depicts American Christians as despicable human beings, responsible for all the world's problems. Russell presents Jewbu, or a secular Jewish take on Buddhism, as the answer to the problem.

I loved "I Heart Huckabees." It's a brilliant, funny, delightfully weird film. I reject the film's hatred of Americans and Christians. I question whether or not Jewbu is the solution.

I thought of a profoundly moving, traditionally Jewish response to 9-11. Rabbi Irwin Kula chanted the transcripts of the final phone calls of the dead. He used an ancient, traditional Jewish melody used to chant the Biblical book of Lamentations which describes the destruction of Jerusalem. These phone calls, Kula said, showed that the victims "in the face of terror and the dearness of the vanishing moment, showed no anger or any desire for revenge but simply and heroically witnessed a yearning to love and the faith that love ultimately swallows up death."

You can hear Rabbi Kula chant these phone calls here

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