After many emails from loads of people including Chaim Rubin– (just scroll down to find his many articles) who has written extensively on the issue I have decided to come clean with my thoughts on the recent banning of a huge Lipa Shmeltzer concert in Madison Square Garden. First of all many of you may have no idea who Lipa Shmeltzer is, he is a Chassidic-Jewish music performer, apparently he is good, thats probably why they banned him, because as many of you know- in order to be classified as “frum Jewish music” the music has got to sound like klezmer combined with disco beats. I personally like the Klezmatics, Matisyahu, NOFX, Disturbed, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, MBD, Dance with Negina, and Avraham Fried- but thats about all I indulge into Jewish music. Wait bluegrass famed David Grisman and Andy Statman are also Jewish aren’t they?
I know you are all expecting me to bash the Charedi way of life, but I have reformed myself, I would like to be a little mature. First of all, what goes on in the Jewish music world does not affect me because I just cant find some good frummy ska bands or jazz artists- it just does not exist. With that said- I am also very far removed from the charedi community- so why should I care what goes on there?
Well Mr. Frum Satire, don’t you care about your fellow Jews?
I admit it, I do care. It kind of bugs me that these folks who banned this concert didn’t work in a democratic form. I mean did they consult the concert promoters, make a big old meeting similar to a court marshall and ask for the opinions of the people? Or were the bribed in back of beis medrishes in Brooklyn with free jars of creamed herring and vanilla rugalechs?
On the other hand, this very well may be a big issue. They claim we are starting to dance and be influenced by the goyim and this is bad. Last time I checked people weren’t jumping over the mechitzas into the fam,ily seating at a Lipa concert and grinding on each other, or doing the Lambada. I have never seen non-Jews holding hands dancing the Hora, unless they were high on gooballs at a Govt Mule show. The only time you see the line dance is when they play the electric slide at modern orthodox bar mitzvahs. So what gives? What do the rabbis mean by dancing like the goyim?
Even the NY Times is getting in on the issue. From a more intellectual and liberally biased point of view as always. The best articles and comments can be found on yeshiva world news, which is always interesting because many of the comments give me reason to believe that many Charedim would end up similar to those in Waco Texas should their leaders give the word to drink the koolaid- or Prigat shall we say.
Ok so for the flipside, the devils advocate as you say. I will say that first of all, taking non-Jewish songs and making Jewish songs out of them is evil. You butcher the song and make those listening to it want to find out what it really sounded like. It is also secular influence that is inherently bad according to many folks- no comment here. I also feel that if they want to ban these things its fine- but if you check out that yeshiva world link there are folks who want the Rabbis to do a sweeping ban of all concerts. Whats next? Jewish art? Guns, beards. What about sushi- the prices are ridiculous and it is definitely a sexual food- oh and bananas- don’t get me started.
Ok last but not least you all should check out my other posts on similar bannings.
My super long list of future Charedi Chumros and Bans