When the founders of Torah uMadda spoke about integrating Judaism and culture, they were thinking about Milton and Shakespeare, Bach and Beethoven; sitcoms, action movies, and hip hop are most likely far from what they had in mind.
Do you think that modern pop culture can be elevated? Can it serve as a source of spirituality or, at least, as a spur to think about important issues? Or is it just a way to relax (at best) and, if people can avoid it altogether, they should?
These are just some of the questions I discussed with Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm, the cofounder of the The Joshua Network and the creator and host of its flagship podcast, Good Faith Effort.
Rabbi Lamm feels very strongly about the importance of engaging with popular culture – not merely for relaxation, but also for spiritual exaltation. He is even more adamant that we should be contributing to culture, being producers rather than just consumers – givers, that is, rather than merely takers. He believes that the time has come for Judaism to influence the wider non-Jewish world through such activity, and that the world is now ready to hear traditional Jewish voices.
Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com