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Ziggy Marley Says He’s Jealous of Judaism

We return the favor

Marc Tracy
July 18, 2011
Bob Marley, father of Ziggy (Marley).(Wikipedia)
Bob Marley, father of Ziggy (Marley).(Wikipedia)

“[Ziggy] Marley admits that, having no other choice, he celebrates all the Jewish holidays and is very jealous of our culture.” –Yehidoth Aronoth.

We caught up with David “Ziggy” Marshak, 20, a rising junior at Skidmore College, on a recent afternoon in Saratoga Springs, New York (he is taking summer classes). Ziggy Marshak feels very close to his namesake, David “Ziggy” Marley—son of the legendary reggae musician Bob—who is married to an Israeli woman, has three Jewish kids, and celebrates the Jewish holidays. “I’m very jealous of his culture!” Marshak told us, eyes wide with, perhaps, childlike astonishment.

Over several hours, Marshak elaborated. “The history of my connection to Ziggy, goes way before I knew who he was,” Marshak told us, munching on granola bars and also scooping several cups of chocolate pudding. “My father”—Marshak was referring here to Bob Marshak, 53, a successful divorce attorney based in White Plains—“my Jewish culture, has a tight link to Rastafari culture. We have a strong connection from when I was a young boy and read the Bible, the Old Testament.”

“The Tanakh!” Marshak’s roommate, David Koplowitz, suggested from across the room, where he had just finished unstringing and restringing the head of his lacrosse stick 14 times.

“Yeah!” Marshak chuckled. “The Tanakh! The Tanakh! Akh!” Marshak and Koplowitz proceeded to make that guttural sound to each other several times, which was drowned out only by their increasing giggles, until they tired of the joke and fell silent. The silence lasted 26 minutes.

“But anyway,” Marshak picked up, “the Jewish culture has a very strong connection to King Solomon, an ancestor of Haile Selassie. So it is in our soul, this connection, and we have had it for a very long time.”

“He’s a real legend,” Marshak added. “Just like his album!” Koplowitz replied, in reference to Legend. They laughed for another 38 mintues.

“Speaking of,” Marshak concluded, “his father’s music is really deep.” He then began to recite: “And then one day you find ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.’”

“Um, Zig,” said Koplowitz from across the room, “I don’t think that’s Marley.”

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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