look at that punim!
Bob Dylan’s birthday today and the biggest party is in India (Bob Dylan nite, Shillong’s biggest festival after Christmas, 33 years running). Go Figure.

If you happen to be in his hometown of Hibbing on Tuesday, head over to the Bob’s Birthday Barbecue at Salvation Army parking lot. That’s gonna be one rocking time. While you’re there be sure to drive down the newly named Dylan Drive.

Bob is one of my great-movers-and-shakers-of-history crushes, right up there with Theodore Herzl, and arguably the most compelling Jew boy of the 20th century. All of his albums are in popular circulation in the soundtrack of my life and a source of endless fun and inspiration. His words render me humbled, and no praise or pose that I would be capable of composing would give him the credit due for his influence in my life alone (though sometimes I am moved to try anyway).

I’ll give it another shot for Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham v’Rachel Riva, a.k.a Bob Dylan’s Hebrew Birthday on the 27th of Iyar, next week. (Anyone else note the irony that he’s named after a false messiah?)

In the mean time, Happy 64th Bob!

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Happy birthday Bobby! And Lay, we’re totally going to Shillong! Oy, and what a horrible name for a town…

  • Becca, I fixed your comment. just hit edit this and then log out laya. sorry. and Yes, in our adventures in India, the rockin town of Shillong will be seen. woohoo!

  • Seems like Shillong is quite the secret touristy spot. Here’s a link to some fun things to do while you’re enjoying the Festival of Bob:

    And don’t miss the festival dances! In the Doregata Dance, the women try to knock off the turbans of their male partner using their head. If they succeed, it is followed by peals of laughter.

    In the Chambil mesara or Pomelo Dance, the performer dangles a pomelo on a cord tied to his waist and then hurls it around without any perceptible movement of the hips. Expert dancers can hurl two separate fruits hung on a cord.

    I wonder if Chabad will be there?

  • hahaha. Sounds like a riot! Have you actually been there and seen this conservagirl? and are there photos?

    bec, copy that link, add it to our file.

  • No, Laya, never been. It’s just that when you combine Google with a bored little brain, well…. things happen.

    I tried to find some photos but couldn’t. Maybe ck can photoshop something up and we can add those dances to our official list of Shavuot customs. The pomegranates seem like they’d fit in as an agrarian reference, and what with eating all that cheesecake, knocking off turbans or other headcoverings would sure burn off lots of calories.

    You may also be interested in knowing that “Meghalaya” is an actual place in India; the word means “abode in the clouds”. Use this newfound knowledge as you will. I think Bob Dylan might’ve actually used that word in one of his songs, but it’s hard to tell ’cause it’s one of the many indecipherable ones (had to take this back to Dylan, y’know?).

  • His Hebrew name is Shabtai Zisel? What were his parents smoking when they named him?

    Yes, Bob is definitely The Man. I can listen to each and every song on “Highway 61 Revisited” for hours without getting bored. An unbelievable talent. The first verse of title song is an incredible midrash on the Akeidah all by itself, to say nothing of the rest of the stuff.

    And “Desolation Row”?


  • Big Up my boy Robbie-Z!!!

    Sorry for the total lack of intelligent commentary, but I’m still laughing (like Esther) at Shillong.

  • Zimmerman goes to my shul every Yom Kippur with Jakob. He usually shows up late to Kol Nidre but gets an aliyah the next day, whispers something to the Chabad rabbi, then bounces.

    When I was 12 I didn’t know who he was, and my brother told me to say “Like a Rolling Stone.”

    So I did.
    He didn’t look back. But I think he was on something at the time.

  • its a lovely town up in the hills in a fairly remote corner of india..not too many indians are familiar with the place either..but aye the town loves its dylan and the annual birthday bash fest is a treat

  • The town of Shillong ws built by the british during their colonial rule here. One of the finer hill towns in India…with its won distinct love for music. Our dear BOB being one of the reigning gurus. Lou Majaw has been the pioneer in promoting dylan in this part of the world and thanks to him we still sway to Bob.