Funny what inspires us. You change one dreary piece of music for the High Holy Days and someone complains it was their favorite. In my previous congregation, I knew that one particular Shabbat English prayer was exceedingly inspirational to two congregants, so I added it when they looked like they needed a little lift. I don’t know why, but the Louis Lewandowski “S’u Sh’arim“ that is found towards the end of Yom Kippur services always moves me – and not because it is at the end either. It works when used at a Shabbat Torah service too.
So I turn to Rock of Ages, the recent Hollywood version of the Broadway jukebox musical. Truth up front: I am not a fan of jukebox musicals for the most part despite my love of musicals. Further, I am not a big fan of Hollywood movies made of Broadway musicals. They usually are mediocre and stiff. (Worse if it is a really good movie that became a really good show that became a really dull movie – exs. The Producers, Hairspray).
However, Rock of Ages is all about inspiration. Inspiration from the music of the time. Inspiration from the performers. Inspiration from the 2 lead actors who were beautiful, but whose personalities were as thin as the paper dolls they resembled. Tom Cruise, overly lauded for his role as Stacee Jaxx, was supposedly channeling Axl Rose and Bret Michaels, two inspiring musical artists for some.
What a wonderful world that we are inspired so differently. That’s why we get to have a million cable channels now – and nothing on any of them sometimes. When we all come together, like the High Holidays, make sure to take your inspiration where it comes. The next prayer or song or sermon my not do it for you, but it probably is blowing away the person in the next row.
So what part of the High Holy Days inspires you?
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.