“Possessed” Klezmatics

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Possessed, album by the Klezmatics
Two years after their 1995 album “Jews with Horns,” the Klezmatics released “Possessed.” This album is accessible and entertaining as it “touches on that mysterious sense of who we are as people of Jewish extraction in America” (Ari Davidow). On top of traditional religious rhythms, the Klezmatics sing odes to Marijuana and homosexuality in Hebrew, tying tradition to progressive issues faced in modern society. Such a representation of the dybbuk in popular culture engages with rather than otherizes Jewishness. “Possessed” contains Jewish voices speaking to other Jews and recognizing boundaries that they believe must be pushed within their own tradition.

In their song “An Undoing World” they sing, “Let us in! Let us tell you where we travelled/How our hopes our lives unraveled/ How unwelcome everywhere we’ve been.” In their lyrics, the Klezmatics still engage with the fear of excommunication, using their music to enhance the legend by using it to confront contemporary issues as well as acknowledging the social circumstances that it was born out of.

Davidow, Ari. “Klezmatics / Possessed.” Klezmatics / Possessed. N.p., 31 May 1997. Web. 04 May 2014. .

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