Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Bible and Adele

Last week's Bat Mitzvah student was a big fan of the humungously popular singer Adele, who last week was nominated for six Grammys. Since I like to integrate the kids' interests in my message to them, I looked for ways to use Adele's songs in explaining her portion, Vayetze. Little did I know that Adele could have WRITTEN Vayetze. Her heartstring-yanking songs could easily be placed into the mouths of the main characters, Jacob, Leah and Rachel.

Some examples:

Early in the portion, when Jacob meets Rachel, a large stone is blocking the mouth of a well. Jacob summons superhuman strength that can only come because he is so smitten by her, and he rolls the rock from the mouth of the deep well. Yes, he was Rolling in the Deep.

And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.

So Jacob was not only the inventor of "rock and roll," but this scene presaged the Adele hit, Rolling in the Deep. Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep and indeed they do, because Rachel dies in childbirth – they could have had it all. (Also see Adele's song Melt my heart of stone)

These are the FIRST REAL TEARS of love and loss IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE! And as we know from the recent SNL skit no one can make people shed tears of love and loss like Adele. In her song First Love, she croons: Please wear the face, the one where you smile, Because you lighten up my heart when I start to cry.

Adele's current mega-hit Someone like You could have been written by Jacob, thinking that he's speaking to Rachel on their wedding night - Old friend, why are you so shy? Ain't like you to hold back or hide from the light

Then Jacob turns on the light and realized he’s married the wrong sister, and exclaims to Leah.

Never mind, I'll find someone like you (YOUR HOT SISTER, IN FACT)
I wish nothing but the best for you, too
Don't forget me, I begged, I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

Leah has lots of kids with Jake, but nothing can make her husband love her, and she feels so lonely. Which leads us to the Adele song, I Can't Make You Love Me

Don't patronize me. Cause I can't make you love me if you don't. You can't make your heart feel something it won't

In the Torah, Leah actually gives her kids names that reflect these very sentiments:

And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: 'Because the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.'

And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said: 'Because the LORD hath heard that I am hated, He hath therefore given me this son also.' And she called his name Simeon.

So could Adele have written the Bible? Maybe not, but her songs prove that the human story remains the same.

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