‘Holy’ Prog Rock

By Nathan Burnstein

Published September 24, 2008, issue of October 03, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Television’s religious calendar just gets busier and busier. Five years after “The O.C.” popularized “Chrismukkah,” and 11 years after “Seinfeld” brought fans “Festivus,” music channel VH1 Classic has invented another semi-Jewish pseudo-holiday.

“Rush Hashanah,” not to be confused with the Jewish New Year, will kick off on the cable network September 29 (the evening that marks the beginning of the High Holy Days), offering viewers an extended tribute to the Canadian band Rush, the millions-selling rock group behind such platinum albums as “2112” and “All the World’s a Stage.” The group’s singer and bassist, Geddy Lee, born Gary Lee Weinrib, is the son of Holocaust survivors from Poland.

The 24-hour “Rush Hashanah” broadcast will feature Lee and his band mates in old videos and concert footage. Kicking off at 7 p.m., it starts on what reasonably could be called Erev Rush Hashanah.

The idea for the tribute was a “mix between our people and Rush,” VH1 publicist Nyle Washington said. “The lead singer is Jewish, so it made perfect sense.”

Washington acknowledged that observant Jews won’t be able to tune in to “Rush Hashanah” because of its timing — “We do realize that,” she said — but the idea has already met with approval from other quarters. Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed the broadcast “a victory for both Canadian prog rock and awesomely clever puns,” while fans on rushisaband.com, a blog devoted to the group, greeted the tribute with “mazel tovs” and a suggestion that the band’s next concert DVD be named “Lechaim.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.