• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: REFUSE TO BELIEVE

Updated: Mar 6

Flowers, birds, and butterflies

Puffball clouds in robin’s-egg skies

Wind rustling through tall green trees

Silver reflection of the sun on the sea

Was this all created

So I can just Sit And Learn all day?

I refuse to believe it.

Roaring waves and salt-air smell

Miles of sand and surf and shells

The deep orange red of the rising moon

The notes on the scale and a catchy tune

Was this all created

So I can lock myself away?

I refuse to believe it.

I refuse to believe in a system that holds

That there’s only one way to nurture your soul

That there’s only one way to be spiritual

And that’s performing all the prescribed rituals

I refuse to believe it

And I refuse to believe in it.

The dogs, the cats, the ducks, the squirrels

A beautiful smile on a pretty girl

The cicadas’ buzz, the fireflies’ flash

The fresh-fallen rain, the distant thunder crash

Was all this created

For me to wear a black hat?

I refuse to believe it.

The colors in the spectrum or in a brilliant sunrise

The look of love in a little child’s eyes

Rivers, mountains, waterfalls

Frogs’ and crickets’ chirps and calls

Was all this created

So I can be a theocrat?

I refuse to believe it.

I refuse to believe that the world was created

So the beauty within it should be denigrated

So that the ultimate thing to which we all should aspire

Is to sit and study until the day we expire

I refuse to believe it

And I refuse to believe in it.

The gifts of writing and use of words

That are formed into lyrics that leave the soul stirred

Of music composed and meant to be heard

That reach for the heart and touch raw nerves

Were all these given to me

So I can ignore them?

I refuse to believe it.

A musician’s ear and an artist’s eye

Imagination in abundant supply

A photographic memory for numbers

Sharpened senses of aesthetics and wonder

Were all these given to me

So others can deplore them?

I refuse to believe it.

I refuse to believe that the whole world exists

Just for me to become an accomplished talmudist

Or that one way is for me and the rest is for others

Just how many like me has this system smothered

Well I won’t be demeaned and I won’t be guilted

Into swallowing this line that is at best stilted

I won’t accept the creative paraplegia

Imposed on me by those who run the yeshivas

I refuse to believe it

And I refuse to believe in it.

Oh yes I refuse to believe it

And I will never believe in it.

©2018 The Hesh Inc.

A no-brainer, really.

This song is my flip-off to the entire yeshiva establishment, which takes people with creative minds that think outside the box and does its best to mash them into a narrow little container, from which the only view out is in black and white. They tried doing that to me. Thank G-d, they failed. I am not like that, I never was like that, and so help me I never will be.

Mind you, this is not about the Torah or the learning thereof. I have utmost respect for those who genuinely study Torah of their own volition and desire—they help uphold the spiritual welfare of the Jewish people. It is just about the conformist society that was artificially constructed around such learning, which denigrates anything and everything outside of its own bubble.

I wrote the lyrics in the early 2000s while living at the Jersey Shore. There was no specific incident or news item that triggered it; only a look back at my own experiences in that world. No music yet.

#Judaism #Torah #conformity #dissent #originallyrics

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