Monday, September 15, 2003

On Respect and the Hasidic Rebel

Here’s an interesting blog post about Chassidim and classical music.

The author, Hasidic Rebel (no relation :)), also writes about the beauty of the older Jewish music recordings by Ben Zion Shenker, David Werdyger, and Yossele Rosenblatt.
There is something about the music and singing on those recordings that is just missing from today’s commercial Jewish music .

This post raises the issue of respect towards a community’s values with regard to music. The self-declared Hasidic Rebel turns off his classical music rather than offend a fellow Jew who views it as inappropriate. This is despite the fact that he can see no harm in it; the reality that a fellow Jew finds it objectionable is a good enough reason for him to turn it off while they are driving together.

Would that the purveyors of much of today’s music like this, this, and this had the same respect towards the community’s values.

Note: I’m not criticizing the music, for the most part, just the marketing towards segments of our community who find it objectionable. Additionally, the organizations who promote concerts featuring these groups need to think about their responsibility towards the communities whose Tzedakah dollars they are soliciting. The lifestyle these bands are promoting is not appropriate for the Yeshiva community .

Also, why are “seforim stores” in Brooklyn selling rock CD’s simply because the lead guitarist has also recorded some solo guitar albums of Carlebach? (I mean actual rock recordings, not the rock influenced Jewish music ala MBD and Avraham Fried that is coming out of Brooklyn.) Ditto for the YU Seforim Sale! The people in charge of the music department really ought to rethink some of their purchasing decisions.