Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Torah and popular culture: Milton isn't just an 80-year old Jewish guy

There's been some j-blog talk today about Torah U-Popular Culture. Understandably, proponents of Torah U-Madda reject Torah U-Britney Spears, but is there anything valuable in popular culture at all? R. Gil argues, in an old post, that there is:
not everyone sees the same insights in the same place. Some people (like me) gain very little from Shakespeare because of a pitiable lack of background and interest. Sure, if Rabbi Carmy or R. Aharon Lichtenstein spell out a valuable tidbit from Milton then I will grasp it. But, sadly, I lack the interest in searching for such insights myself.

....It is my belief that Torah Im Derekh Eretz (which Dr. Lamm classifies as a form of Torah U-Mada) includes contemporary popular culture. The only reason to exclude it is old-fogeyism and cultural bias. Is there bad pop culture? Yes. Is there bad 19th century literature? Yes. Are there aspects of pop culture that are assur? Same thing goes for 19th century culture. The bold TIDE-nik will find the gems and utilize them for positive purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails