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Grateful Read

April 14, 2009

The wonders of the internet amaze me on a daily basis, even though I’ve come to expect it.  I spent the evening grading a set of essays about Camus’s The Stranger, exploring the various ways in which we can never really know the thoughts and intentions of others, or even ourselves (among other insights).  At the same time I was able to read message boards on the Grateful Dead’s web site (ok, sure, now they’re just The Dead – call me old fashioned) and listen to a stream of last night’s tour opener in Greensboro.   It has been just over 20 years since I saw them in that very venue, and I was able to check in with my friends on facebook to reminisce about those days of yesteryear.  Dead fans speak to each other with a beautiful air of generosity (“Do any brothers or sisters out here need a ride back to Baltimore?”) and I’m wondering if the parking lot scene will be filled with laptops and iphones instead of veggie burritos and drums.   Is there something about the music and the surrounding scene that causes people to behave differently than they usually do, to expect greater generosity and understanding from strangers?  What would it take to achieve that elsewhere?  In just a few weeks my synagogue youth group will spend the weekend exploring what it means to “open our eyes,” to look both inward and outward, and how our Judaism facilitates it.  Does reading a shared text do it?  Listening to the same music?  Staring into the braided wicks of the havdalah candle?  Will we always wonder about and fear what Meursault perceived as the “gentle indifference of the world”?

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 6, 2009 10:13 am

    Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll certainly be coming back to your blog. Keep up the good posts

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