Friday, September 12, 2008

Jihad on Avraham Fried, Lipa, et all

There's a story on the BBC today about the new Chareidi bans on music. My views on this subject are well known, and I'd just like to reprint some of the comments here:

As a Muslim, I support the Rabbi's decision, finally they are thinking like conservative Muslims; after all Muslims and Jews are very much alike. Majority of modern music is immoral and degrading the faith.

Zuber Iraqi, Louisville, KY


The Jewish Orthodox community have shown to me and others that the Jewish faith often has a lot to share with the Muslim faith. The psychological effect of music and the message is contained is contaminating a lot of minds and causing a great deal of moral destruction. Muslims, Jews, Christians and everybody else should work together to reduce its influence in a world of deteriorating morality. I applaud the strength of these Orthodox Jews to hold on to their faith and prevent the evils of music from corrupting yet more minds.

Hassan, Manchester, UK

All I have to say, is that when Muslims are agreeing with you, you've got to know that you're doing something wrong.

24 comments:

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
Amazing (not the BBC that's just amusing). No, the opinions of Rabbi Luft on modern music which I read on VIN. What's so amazing (and, ok, amusing too) is that his comments about melody, the role of percussion etc. are exactly the same comments that were made when Elvis became popular, when the Beatles first appeared, the Stones were not satisfied, etc. Didn't make any sense then, doesn't make any sense now.
Still rockin'
Leo de Toot.

The Real Shliach said...

If everything in this world made sense, then where would we be?

Nemo said...

Dear Mr. L.D.T.,

Since the the 50's and 60's when Elvis and the Beatles were "rocking," the world has changed drastically: abortion has been legalized; deviant sexual acts have not only been de-criminalized, but are considered respectable ways of living; drug use is rampant; the border is insecure; the prison system is overcrowded; there is no respect for government and law enforcement; politicians and police are corrupt; we're fighting a losing war; the economy's gone to hell; prostitutes are spreading AIDS and venereal disease; the youth are corrupted; religious observance is at an all time low; corporations are enmeshed in all sorts of scandals; and terrorism looms.

But you say there's nothing wrong with the music?

Vice is verboten,
Nemo

e said...

In case you haven't seen it, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_9_08_kosher_music.pdf

I want to know where these rabbis got their rules from. There is nothing in Shulchan Aruch from which you could derive these rules. These guideline are 100% hergesh. Well, they must be real arrogant to think that they should impose their hergeshim on the rest of us.

S.Z.B. said...

Nemo, are you suggesting that music is responsible for the world going to hell in a handbasket [whether that's true or not]?

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: As King Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun." As the popular saying would have it, "The more things change, the more things stay the same." The history of humanity is rife with evil. No matter what music people were listening to, they were still killing each other.

Eliezer: What do you think Chareidi Judaism is if it's not Hergeshim?

SZB: He certainly appears to be doing so.

Nemo said...

And in the immutable words of Billy Joel (Binyamin Yoel??):

"We didn't start the fire,
it was always burning,
since the world's been turning."

S.Z.B. said...

Eliezer: What do you think Chareidi Judaism is if it's not Hergeshim?

Appearance.

Nemo said...

Ahahahaha. Best line of the day!

e said...

Chareidi Judaism is giving your hergeshim the appearance of Torah misinai.

The Real Shliach said...

SZB, cynical though you may be, I think you're probably right.

e: That too.

Mottel said...

This, sadly, is the Status Quo, close our eyes from the real problem, askanim going through their death throws . . . it's also why I think Israelis will be the death of Judaism.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
Your faithful correspondent (Captain) Nemo makes an excellent point regarding the vile influence of popular music (one is reminded of the inspiration the Nazis found in Wagner). But consider this - the music that this Rabbi promotes as traditional Jewish is nothing of the kind - its derived from the peasant folk-songs of Eastern Europe. Just listen to "traditional" (non-Jewish) Polish or Russian music and you would think you were at a Farbrengen (well, not exactly but you get my point). Probably the only real "traditional" Jewish music would be that of the psalms which, as far as I know, is no longer remembered.
Humming along with you,
LdT.
P.S. In the good old days, the big thing was singing "Adon Olam" to "Sounds of Silence." (Try it, it works.)

S.Z.B. said...

LDT, the Nazis found unjustified inspiration in many things. Our good friend Nietzsche would just be one example (although Wagner himself was a crazed anti-semite).

The Real Shliach said...

LtD: That's exactly the point. Sure, music effects it's listener, but the only true Jewish music which everyone can agree was Jewish was sung by the Levites in the Temple. Even the Trop which was read the Torah with has been affected by surrounding cultures.

SZB: Unjustified inspiration?

S.Z.B. said...

If any of Nietzsche's ideas inspired Nazism it was only because of their distortion to fit their agenda.

Nemo said...

Leo: I think we both know that the music was/is a product of the times, not the cause of it.

People's mores have changed drastically since the sixties and the music that was written strongly represented the shifting societal values. The people who most expressed the liberal attitude were musicians that inspired all sorts of counter-cultural activities and norms.

I think that's what the rabbis and Jews are afraid of. Modern music to them represents the breakdown of morality which happened over the last 40 years. To safeguard themselves and their community from harm, they try to block out any bit of what they perceive as negative.

Unfortunately, in this computer age, it's not working. There is a breakdown from within and without the Jewish community, and the music is only a corollary.

The Real Shliach said...

Point is, what do you do with the music? Everything Hashem made in this world he made for his glory, which includes rap, jazz, and Wagner. The Chareidim want a ghetto of the mind, but they're failing, because (ego-centric Lubavitcher here) that's not our Avoda in this generation. We have to transform darkness to light, not stay away from the darkness, because as you can see, it just doesn't work.

Nemo said...

I've been out of CH for nearly a month now. Remind me, how is the darkness to light thing working out?

The Real Shliach said...

Crown Heights: Proudly converting darkness into yellow flags since 1994.

Mottel said...

-The fact that 'Jewish Music' today is derived from regional non-Jewish music is somewhat of a mixed grab-bag. Yes there is a lot of local flavor, at times even lifting whole songs (Though I question how many of you out there have actually heard Polish music -it's not like Russian) -Kol Nidre itself copies the Catholic Pneuma- but the argument can be made that the people who borrowed these tunes were Chassidim v'anshei ma'aseh who knew what and how to elevate these songs.

I think instead the argument lies in modern day Jewish Music -As great as Shlomele, MBD, Avraham Fried may (or may not be) I do not see them as portents to heichel neginah, thus endowed with knowledge of what is truly "Jewish" -The used the Viennese Waltz, Modern Pop and the like in their style, but to no outcries. Today, based sadly on what seems to be mostly Racism, we have a problem with the current crop of music

As to Wagner, the Nazis liked him if not more so for his philosophy esp. via-a-vis Pan-Germanism

The Real Shliach said...

Of course Avremel and MBD don't know what is truly Jewish, but neither do anyone else! Fine, you want to tell me that the Chassidic (not only Lubavitch) Rebbeim knew a Jewish tune when they saw one, great, but what about the story with Gourarie, who heard his frie daughters singing Russian songs, and later sang them himself while he Davened B'avodah? Why is everything from one hundred years ago Kodosh V'tohor, while if it comes from today it's not ok? If you ask me, Y-Love's music is more authentically Jewish then a lot of "Yeshivish" and "Chassidic" performers, but I'd get stoned if I expressed such sentiments in Rav Elyashiv's presence, and I don't mean that ina good way.

Mottel said...

I'm not aware of the Gourarie story -it's known that Gerer chassidim tried using the songs of Schubert Chopin as niggunim, but as we see -they never made it very far in history, a simon, perhaps, that something was missing . . .
I agree that Y-love may be more authentically Jewish then all the Bubble-Gum Music with the fancy new hechsher out there, but those things that have survived the doros, have something to them (Let us not forget that such famous and holy minhagim as Dreidel, Purim costumes and the like are sourced very clearly in non-Jewish culture)

The Real Shliach said...

So at the end of the day, it's all taloy b'hergesh...