Not By Might And Not By Power…

user submitted picture…but by Spir-IT! alone (hoo-HA!) shall we all live in peace! If you ever attended Jewish summer camp, BBYO, Shabbat sing-a-longs or any other Reform Jewish American event, you probably recognize that song. Its author, Debbie Friedman, has sold more albums that all other Jewish musicians combined (but if we tally again next year, Matisyahu may give her a run for her money.) Her folksy original tunes are as recognizable as the traditional synagogue liturgy (she wrote “The Dreidel Song.” ‘Nuff said) and her music has been incorporated into some Reform services, which has rankled many a Reform leader. This controversy is covered by a new documentary called “Journey of Spirit” by former camper Ann Coppel, who focuses more on Friedman’s success at creating community among Jews than what detractors say about her. As far as we’re concerned, anyone who can inspire a roomful of strangers to put their arms around each other and sing transcends whatever “rules” the rabbis believe she’s breaking; it’s all about the loveĀ— for each other and Hashem.
“A Journey of Spirit” is currently making the rounds at film festivals around the country.

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