A Return to Amsterdam: Jewish Tour and A Golden Age Uncovered 🌷🇳🇱
More from The Wandering Jew: A return to a place I visited 25 years ago, and some Jewish surprises there
This week on the line:
Read Alex Clare’s amazing story of superstardom immediately cut short by a record label, who since apologized, not accommodating his faith (or even understanding Jewish holidays in the slightest).
Ten years ago, burgeoning singer-songwriter Alex Clare was given an ultimatum by his record label: commit yourself to the music fully, or follow your faith.
He chose to follow his faith.
The Londoner, who emerged from the same scene as his former girlfriend Amy Winehouse and Bastille, had recently pulled out of a potentially life-changing spring tour in support of new superstar Adele because some of the gigs fell around the Jewish holiday Passover, as well as on the Sabbath.
This story ends well, though, as several months after being dropped by his label, his song “Too Close” took off and he go re-signed with a much better deal:
“We have a saying in Hebrew called Gam Zu L’Tovah, which means ‘This too is good’,” says Clare. “We say that when something goes really badly wrong. It’s like the most crazy statement to have enough faith and say, ‘This right now is a really bad situation but ultimately God is good and life is good and this is for a greater good’ – whatever that might be.
Roots Metals, a popular creator on Instagram and Patreon, makes beautiful posts about Jewishness, Jewish history, antisemitism, and as their name implies – jewelry! (We love some Jewish jewelry).
Roots Metals is the creative child of artist, writer, and jeweler Debbie. Her pieces, inspired by Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Latin American motifs, pay homage to Debbie’s cultures and heritage and to her homes of Israel and Costa Rica.
Halloween is an especially trying time historically for Jews, often accused of evil, witchcraft, and well, the blood libel (see also Passover).
In addition to making jewelry, Debbie is an educator on antisemitism and mental health. Check out a selection of her posts and work below, including a new book on witchcraft.