Culture, roots … and beer
WHILE I AM always happy to see He’Brew beer in print, I was disappointed to see Ariel Leve’s lack of follow through (“How hipster are you?”, JC, December 22) on what is a legitimate area of interest in current Jewish (pop) culture.
Few of the people or organisations covered have suggested that we are intending to be “counter-cultural”. Most of us are trying to find ways to use our Jewish roots, interests and affiliations to be positive about our individual and collective sense of Jewishness, though certainly with a creative, contemporary twist.
I also suggest that irreverence, satire and questioning are all wellestablished currents of Jewish tradition. There are also certainly gestures that are simply sincere and lack any intended irony. Wearing a funny Tshirt on its own may certainly reflect a style, but thousands of readers, writers, artists, entrepreneurs and foodies engaging in interdisciplinary Jewish culture suggests a substance which your article failed to address.
To dismiss hundreds of pages of Heeb, or Guilt and Pleasure, the hours of shows, festivals, music, comedy and art — and of course what I hope has been the multi-layered enjoyment by many of over two million bottles of He’Brew beer over the past 10 years — as merely materialistic consumption driven by religious obligation misses an opportunity for a meaningful examination of Jewish identity in our contemporary lives.
As your Jewish mom might say, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.” Jeremy Cowan, Proprietor, He’Brew Beer and Shmaltz Brewing Company firstname.lastname@example.org