As we dive into the new year, we often think about resolutions - next year, I want to exercise more, learn more, spend more time with the kids.
if you’re pondering exploring new music — always an interest of mine — let me introduce you to Alicia Jo Rabins.
Last summer, I took a chance on the first-ever “Lunch and Learn” session offered by Jewish Women’s Archive* led by Education Program Manager Etta King and Alicia Jo Rabins. The subject: Ruth and Self-Revelation.
I loved her blending of exploration of text about Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi with four Rabbinic midrashim and a discussion of diverse paintings and photographs of the two women.
It’s not a surprise that she had me at hello, since I studied French and Spanish and Russian language, literature and art in college. I was endlessly fascinated by phrases and metaphors and imagery. The act of “unpacking paragraphs” intrigues me to this day.
Torah scholar, violinist, poet, songwriter
What I didn’t know before I signed up is that Alicia Jo is a Torah scholar, violinist, poet and songwriter. The front woman in folk-rock group called Girls in Trouble, she focuses on “storytelling aspects of the bible, drawing parallels between the female characters in those tales and herself.” [Source: The New Yorker]
The Forward suggests that her poems “walk the line between mythic and contemporary.”
There’s a soothing, lullaby-like quality to Alicia Jo’s voice, that she accompanies with a sometimes folksy, plinking violin and sometimes a richly bowed set of strings that fills your soul with wonder and joy.
She’s also a mama to two young children and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Here are links to a few selections I really like:
Shavuot: Celebrating Torah, Harvest & The Book of Ruth
Parshat Vayakhel: A Song About Wise Hearted People
Warning: even though I’ve only listened to her songs a few times, I see why her fans are passionate. One YouTube commenter said, “Love this song more and more every time I hear it. It can bring tears to joyful eyes.”
If you are already hooked, listen to more selections from Alicia Jo, sign up to get on her newsletter, and learn how to buy her CDs.
*What is a F.I.N.D?
For us, a F.I.N.D is a Fabulous. Intriguing. New-to-me. Discovery. If you have an idea, program, performer, or recipe that you think we should share in 2016, please send it along. Or post it on our Facebook page. Thanks 🙂
So what new are you planning for 2016?
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