Been Caught Praying

Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell testifies to his Jewish beliefs.

Perry Farrell was born Peretz Bernstein in Queens, New York, in 1959. After moving to California, he became known nationally as the talented bad-boy lead singer for the band Jane's Addiction, best known for its smash-hit singles "Jane Says" and "Been Caught Stealing." After Jane's Addiction, Farrell went on to form another extremely influential band, Porno for Pyros.

The essay below appears as an afterword to the new book "Jews Who Rock," compiled by Guy Oseary of Maverick Records. "Jews Who Rock" is a who's who of prominent musicians who are Jewish, from Beck to Art Garfunkel to Lou Reed. Excerpted with permission from St. Martin's Griffin.

Last night I sat with a friend who has a tremendous passion for searching out the truth. He is a very intense fellow who sometimes leans a bit far out with his conspiracy theories. We discussed different topics, varying from the origins of HIV virus to real cures for cancer. He believes that a lot of misinformation is being disseminated by pharmaceutical corporations who want to drive the drug industry. As the night grew more heated my friend began bearing down on the theory that Jesus never existed, nor did Moses. He claimed they were invented by the powers that be to control the masses. That people need myths. Something to believe in. The Bible, he said, was written and edited by so many people that there isn't any real truth to it.


Here was a fellow that I enjoyed speaking with, and I appreciated his thirst for knowledge. But at that moment I broke down. I said to him, "You know when you tell me that the Bible was invented by someone...and it never happened, that is like telling me that I am not real, because you are speaking about my family. Because that book is a history of my family. My name, Peretz, was chosen in honor of one of those relatives. You see, the Jewish people, whether they understand it or not, are living proof that they are not myths but real history. And because we are kept alive this very day is in fact proof that God exists because, if it weren't for his intervention, we wouldn't be here. And that is a reason to praise his name."

I study the Torah. And when a person tells me that the Torah is a book written by some man, I tell him, "When explored, the Torah is an operating system that has overtures to genetics, music and metaphysics."

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