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Carol Fox Prescott reflects on “The Torah of Broadway”

The Torah of Broadway weekend seemed to me to be a totally delicious experience for all concerned. What stands out for me is that besides the plain fun of it, the delightful rebelliousness I think we all felt by stepping so far out of traditional forms and the way everyone just gave themselves over to it from the very beginning, was the very real understanding that seemed to grow throughout the weekend, that if we could enter into our weekly Shabbat worship with the same sense of fullness, intention and joy that we effortlessly and unselfconsciously did here, we would………what? Live our lives in love? Really know God? Maybe!
It might be true that the same kind of thing could happen with any genre of music that people have grown up with and know in their bones, but I still think there is something particular about this music and poetry of the American musical theater that was mostly written by Jewish immigrants and sons and daughters of Jewish immigrants that takes the original Chasidic impulse (mostly from Eastern Europe) and forms it into this fiercely secular art form that not only speaks to the Jews in the audience but helped to create a unique, inclusive and relentlessly optimistic American art form.