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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.

       

      Tammuz 22, 5771, 7/24/2011

      Amy Winehouse, May Her Memory Be For a Blessing


      The tragic headline story is all over the Internet. Here’s a sample:

      Amy Winehouse, the British pop singer whose hard-partying ways often overshadowed her soulful singing, has died at just 27, police confirmed. The tortured songstress, who had a history of substance abuse and shot to fame with the song "Rehab," was found dead Saturday in her London flat, according to police. Winehouse, with her trademark beehive hairdo and sailor-style tattoos, went global when her 2006 album "Back to Black" won five Grammy's. The album featured the song "Rehab," which includes the chorus: "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, 'No, no, no.'"

      Similarly, I have tried to make our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora go to rehab, but they say, “No, no, no,” just like Amy Winehouse.

      Up until yesterday, I never heard of Amy Winehouse. Nor am I familiar with her songs. But my heart goes out to this sad Jewish lady who is just one of the millions of Jewish tragedies in the Diaspora. This never would have happened had she grown up in Israel. Yes, there are drugs in Israel too. And I suppose that some people have died of overdoses. But the larger-than-life grotesqueness of Amy’s life and death is a product of the terrible distortion of the Diaspora and how its addiction poisons all those who live there.

      Amy is a symbol of this perversion. Of growing up in a place you don’t belong. Of trying to be someone you’re not. Her sensitive soul felt is so strongly, it killed her. Too bad I never had the chance to meet her and explain to her who she really was, and how she wasn’t to blame for her tormented craziness, that she was simply a beautiful Jewish soul who didn’t belong in the crazy world of London. She killed herself trying to fit in with the sickness and craziness around her, trying to be what she wasn’t.

      If her death helps people understand just how pernicious the Diaspora is, then I don’t think she’ll mind that we have used her as a symbol.

      May her memory be for a blessing.  

      [Once again, I apologize for technical problems with the INN blogs that are still being worked on.]