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The Big Jewcy: Patrick Aleph, PunkTorah/Musician

To some, the idea of combining punk rock and the Torah, might seem strange.  If you drop the Torah, you have to fast for forty days, if someone drops in punk rock, a bunch of hands will reach out to pick them up, but perhaps somewhere in this flimsy metaphor lies the point.  In starting PunkTorah, Patrick Aleph has reached out his hand to those who’ve fallen out of the violent mosh pit that is the rigid constructs of Modern Judaism.  Patrick is by no means the first to go after potential chosen one’s by any means necessary, but his decision to make punk part of the equation makes for an interesting variable.  Perhaps the best way to get perspective on a community is to reach out to its disaffected, which is precisely what Aleph is doing.  Patrick has set out to give Jews the opportunity to learn through a Yeshiva-like model, but with a far broader scope.  In describing Punk Torah, Patrick uses words like, "Grassroots," and "Open Source," words that have become associated with political movements and technology, but Patrick has applied them to his learning structure.  Perhaps the crux of his work is the inherent doctrine within Judaism to question the nature of Judaism itself.  With this being such an important facet, why not seek those who’ve already started to question and rebel as a part of their cultural existence?  For those who see their Judaism only as a culture, as many young people do, PunkTorah just might be the thing that makes all the pieces fall into place, and if not, at least Patrick can still rock you with his band Can!!Can

*Disclaimer: Patrick is a Jewcy contributor

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