Today’s Kaddish is for the ninety-two and counting killed by a Christian fundamentalist in Norway on Friday.
At the end of Kogan’s “Kaddish” you hear five of me playing the Norwegian national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet,” thanks to the wonder of multi-track recording.
I thought of adding “Ja, vi elsker” mainly because I know the song, as a good Norwegian-American citizen who went to the most Norwegian of Norwegian-American schools, St Olaf College. It’s a good tune. But while laying down these tracks, it occurred to me that it’s perfectly in keeping with Kaddish’s history—as Mira pointed out in her essay that sparked this whole “kaddish in two-part harmony” project, saying Kaddish was a nationalist act of defiance during a period of pogromic annihilation.