On this highest of holy holidays Yom Kippur, a day of fasting to repent for the bad things you’ve done in the past year and resolve to be better in the coming one, I’d like to reflect for a moment on my Jewish heritage.
And by heritage, I mean hair-itage.
See, I’m not the first afro to appear in the Lapidos family pedigree. The Jewfro is very real. It’s a large round mess of curly, frizzy hair owned traditionally by a Jew, and dances the line between teenager’s worst nightmare and comedian’s signature style. It has existed since the beginning of time, which for the sake of consistency was 5773 years ago last Monday. But in my family it started when my dad went to Woodstock in 1969.
My dad, Mark Lapidos, turned his passion for The Beatles into a career of his own invention, and 38 years later is still doing what he loves each and every day. This truth inspires me daily, which is why I love running the social media. The Fest For Beatles Fans (née Beatlefest) is the business of throwing weekend-long Beatles conventions around the nation and selling the largest selection of licensed Beatles merchandise available anywhere. Obviously he would have a Jewfro.
It may have been a mini-fro but there was no taming the beast, not even for my parents’ wedding in 1976.
To be honest, if my dad could only have this kind of hair today he would fro it out in a second.
I’m now a hybrid of these two lovers even more than I realized.
Here they are again at the NYC Fest of 1977, fro slightly tamed. (PS. Today is my mom’s birthday! Yet another joyous 39th birthday. Tweet her a “Happy 39!” at @BEST_MOM_EVER – she’d be so jazzed to hear from you, you have no idea.)
See? The afro’s in my DNA man, this is my blood! I gotta stay true to my family—and friends and self for that matter—which reminds me I should be thinking about that long and hard right now.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but what about five wrongs? Ten wrongs? If you’re wrong enough times, eventually you’ll see what’s right and learn how to make that change. To all observing the holiday, I don’t wish you an easy fast. I wish you a meaningful one.
Jewfro cartoon purchasable via Zazzle, should you desire it on a trucker hat, mug or Yom Kippur greeting cards.
Purple shirt fro-to courtesy of Gary Hein, from John Lennon’s One-to-One concert at Madison Square Garden in 1972.