I Believe in Music and I Believe in YouPosted on February 28th, 2020
Rabbi Andrew Terkel writes about the power of music, and how Jason Mesches’s song “Faith” inspires him, his family, and to people of all ages.
Music is a quintessential part of Jewish camp and Jewish life. The melodies of prayer help us mark the seasons, the holidays, and the times of our lives. Music can move our feet and our souls, and brings our community together while dancing to “Golden Boy” in the dining hall or arm in arm around the campfire to “You’ve Got a Friend.”
Through partnerships with PJ Library and generous support from friends of GFC, we are lucky to be able to bring some of the best and brightest stars in Jewish music today all the way to Bruceville, TX. In recent years we have welcomed artists like Dan Nichols, Alan Goodis, Spike Kraus, Emily Teck, Noam Katz, Nefesh Mountain, and most recently, Jason Mesches. (www.jasonmeschesmusic.com) Artists who come to GFC for a Year Round event or a visit to summer camp become part of our family, and that has been especially true with Jason and his music. His song, “Whole Lotta Challah” now plays regularly in our dining hall during Shabbat, and our youngest campers keep asking to hear “Shabbos Shake” even in the middle of the week.
What I love most about Jason’s music isn’t just that it’s fun and silly (though it certainly is that). I love that Jason speaks directly and honestly to kids. Some days are really hard, sometimes things are not all awesome, and all of us have big feelings that we need to understand and process. Kids especially need the support, comfort, and tools in order to name and process emotions, and music is an excellent way to start learning those skills.
The first time I heard Jason Mesches’s song “Faith” I knew that this was a capital-T-True song. A song that cuts across genres and style to say something profound about what it means to be human. A song that has the power to touch the core of our being and to help us understand ourselves better through melody and lyrics. “Faith” is deeply Jewish, in that it asks us to work and to actively engage with the notion of faith, but it reminds us that the notion is universal in the values that we all share: family, love, and friendship.
What seems at first like a simple guitar riff and a list of things that Jason believes in (Worcestershire sauce, flashlights, winter sports, jean shorts, Hogwarts, and trick or treating among them) slowly reveals itself to be a song about perseverance through sadness and difficulty, and the importance of having a shoulder to cry on when you need one. “Faith” takes a round-a-bout, but completely kid-centric approach to the notion that our feelings and our beliefs, especially when they’re set to music, can teach us something about ourselves, and are worth sharing with others.
You don’t have to love duck sauce to latch onto the notion that Jason sings about, and the notion is that music can bring peace, love, and hope. The sun is coming up again tomorrow, no matter how tough today was.
I believe that Jason’s music is incredibly fun and engaging, and also powerfully moving and inspiring.
I believe that a singer with a guitar can move your heart, and that it happens all the time at Greene Family Camp.
I believe that faith isn’t easy, but neither is growing up.
We all need to be loved and supported, whether we’re 8 years old or 80.
I believe in Jason Mesches. But even more importantly, my kids do too.
-Rabbi Andrew Terkel
Check out the official music video for Jason’s song “Faith” by clicking the link below, and get his albums on Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to music. Like what you hear? Follow Jason on Facebook and Instagram for updates!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As1NyW5q_gY (Faith official music video)