Baal Teshuva Schlemiel

If it is to grow, change, and thrive, every new or emerging culture needs to see itself.  Whether in film, comic strips, or novels, all artists worth anything will tell you that works-of-art can help a culture to take account of itself: where it’s come from, where it’s at, and where it’s going to.  That said, I think its imperative that people who ‘return to Judaism’ (Baal Teshuva) – like myself – see themselves.  And I’m not alone.

Chad Derrick, a Toronto filmmaker, shared this need as he too was in the process of return.  And as a part of his understanding what it all means to be a Baal Teshuva, he decided, after meeting and talking with my wife at a Matisyahu concert, that I would be a good subject for a documentary.  Chad, initially, was interested in filming me because I was a Baal Teshuva who started a band named Men With Babies. The band was just starting to enter into the Toronto Music Scene and there was a lot of excitement in the air.  But my back-story and my Jewish-music-project were not like Matisyahu or YLove’s; on the contrary, my story was very simple and yet very complicated. I did not grow up in or around NYC.  And my life was far from normal.


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