“We are as much talking and praying to ourselves… as to anything that’s external to us.”

“Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad. Listen, listen Israel, listen to the world that Lord is God and Lord is one and we are all part of that one. And everybody is essentially made from the same stuff. And when we give of ourselves to whatever we consider this deity or spiritual umbrella to be, we are as much talking and praying to ourselves and to our sense of being part of this bigger whole as to anything that’s external to us.”

Josh Nelson is a musician’s musician.  He was headed toward a career in academia when the popularity and soulfulness of his Jewish music brought him to his true mission—to spread his enthusiasm and realism and faith in a greater, more perfect world with all of us.  Josh’s prowess on the electric guitar and his lyrics combine to speak to us in a way most of our Jewish prayers were meant to be prayed.  His new collaboration with Neshama Carlebach brings Josh, a protégé of Debbie Friedman, together with Neshama, the daughter of Shlomo Carlebach, two great traditions and lineages together.  I love Josh’s self-effacing humor and his intellectual view on the world.  He is a realist who has never lost hope.  It was a true gift to spend this time with Josh and Neshama.