My Story 6: Tofa'ah; A Musical Phenomenon

In 1981 I joined an all-woman’s rock band. When I auditioned I had no idea this band was comprised of only women because of a Jewish religious ruling or “Halachah” known as "Kol Isha". In 1981 I was only beginning to understand and identify myself as a Jew, let alone and observant one. I had studied for six months at the Pardes Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and because my boyfriend at the time had become observant, I also tried to live accordingly. Rituals and ceremonies were not my style and I soon returned to a “secular” lifestyle.

I joined the band and, even though I was not as observant as the other band members, I was anointed the “spiritual one”. I loved the band, the music, the women, and all the challenges that we lived through because of our multi-leveled and multi-faceted Jewish and religious choices. I’ll never forget how important it was for some of the more religious women in the band to be certain that the words we were singing be interpreted musically with the right pitch or note or vocal expression. WOW~! Were there completely nuts? Actually, no, they weren’t. Each song we wrote was handled with extreme halachic care and utmost love. These were the words of G-D that we were singing and expressing publicly to all-women audiences. The essence of my entire being was challenged and put to the test in those years. My soul was elevated and my spirit elated. My life and outlook changed tremendously and, mostly, profoundly. My life and Jewish identity rose to a whole new level.