Wonderin’ About Bob


The thorough investigative work of Ed over at Ralph to uncover Bob Dylan’s “borrowings,” got me wondering about where Bob is in terms of religious convictions. Jewsrock.org : Words : Talkin’ Hava Nagilah Blues has a brief history. I assume it is accurate. A snippet:

But wait a minute—isn’t Bob Dylan a born-again Christian? Certainly his most overtly religious songs were the gospel songs he recorded between 1979 and 1981. Nevertheless, in 1982, Dylan’s son Samuel became bar mitzvah, and by 1983, when Dylan was reportedly hanging out with Lubavitcher rabbis in Brooklyn, overtly Jewish themes colored the songs on the album Infidels—the sleeve of which featured a photograph of Dylan overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, taken on a visit earlier that year for son Jesse’s bar mitzvah. The song “Neighborhood Bully”—a drippingly sarcastic overview of Jewish history and persecution through the lens of contemporary Zionism—evinced a strongly nationalistic identification with Jewish peoplehood.

Over the next decade, Dylan made several appearances on telethons for Chabad, in one calling the Jewish outreach movement his “favorite organization.” During this time, he made several more visits to Israel; he opened a shopping complex in Santa Monica replete with an office, a coffeehouse, a gymnasium, and a synagogue; and he saw his daughter, Maria, marry and begin raising a family with Orthodox singer-songwriter and fellow Minnesotan Peter Himmelman.

 

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