Sunday, April 30, 2006

From the mailbag...

Jake emails a link to some Bobover violinists and writes:
It's a growing trend alright! I think these guys are going to put Mischa and Co. out of business once this video hits. You never know. These guys call themselves "Bobov Power", or maybe the "Bobovishnu Orchestra", depends on the crowd. Enjoy!
I thought the band name was actually the "Goppelach" or is it the "Beach Boys"? It's so hard to keep the Bobover gangs bands straight.

On a serious note, this video is from the Simchas Beis Hashoeva tish of one of the current claimants of the title of Bobover Rebbe. It has long been a tradition in Bobov that the violinists play for the Rebbe in the sukkah.

It's sad to see the divisiveness in several chassidic communities of late over the issue of succession. In particular, the late Bobover Rebbe, R' Shlomo, built a community well-known for its tolerance and shalom. It's a shame to see it come apart so quickly. I wonder if the aspirants in both Satmar and Bobov have given any thought to the lasting effect their sparring is having on their respective communities. Sometimes, the better man is the one who walks away from something he's entitled to. I wonder if we'd have seen riots in Boro Park over Arthur Shick's arrest had the massive blowup over Bobover succession not preceded it. Food for thought.

Yitzy G. writes
It would be an oversight if the point were not made that MOST, if not ALL of the great Composers in world History un-apologetically borrowed melodies that were known to them from other sources. Bach’s chorales cantatas etc. were based on well known German church melodies. Mozart wrote sonatti around old folk tunes that he knew. Ever hear the song twinke-little star/Baa Baa black sheep? The ABC song? Mozart did a whole arrangement of it for Piano! For many great composers of the Romantic Era the very goal was to take the folk music of their geographic location and elevate it to the level of art. In fact it was probably happening simultaneously in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. For that matter, the genius of the Chasidim, like the great composers, was in what they did with the music. For Chasidut it was to inspire a quest for spirituality.
Shmuel forwards a link to Lipa Schmeltzer's Wikipedia entry.

J. forwards a link to a Hyde Park discussion about Chassidic musicians!

Azriel and Benyamin Bresky forward a link to Benyamin's article on Kiruv, Carlebach, and Israel's version of Burning Man.