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SONG STORIES: “Fragile Hope”, Part Two

Monday, September 13th, 2010

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We sought to tell a story about a good father – a pragmatic, passionate, Jewish father – because we believe it’s possible and important to father well.

Early in our writing process, it became a priority not to idealize the father. He wasn’t going to be a sappy pushover and platitude-dispenser if we could help it. And at the same time, we’re well aware that, in our day, many fathers fail their children greatly, leaving a wake of insecurity, pain, and devastation. We decided not to blame the dysfunctional dad for his sons’ foibles and mistakes, as a modernization of this parable would be hard pressed not to do. That’s not the story Jesus told anyway, and, frankly, we’re weary of the relentless portrayal of human father as a dolt or a tyrant or the invisible man.

Somewhere in the middle of these extremes, we sought to portray a functional and present father who knows his power, and its limitations. One “who gives them freedom, who holds back nothing”, to quote the song. One who knows the feeling of loss when it’s time to surrender his power over his sons, and sets them free regardless, to become men in their own right.

But powerless?! Is that going too far? And what are the implications of such a word?

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