Monday, March 03, 2008

The Times They Are A-Bannin'

There's more on the Lipa story...

Now, it's in the New York Times.

Here's a taste.
In late February, the two men, Asher Friedman and Rabbi Avraham Shor, demanded that the concert be canceled. Using the text of an edict that had been used to ban a concert in Israel, they warned that the concert would “strip the youth of every shred of fear of heaven.” They said they were acting on behalf of a group of Israeli rabbis, and ultimately, 33 American rabbis signed the edict.

Sheya Mendlowitz, the concert’s producer, said Mr. Friedman and Mr. Shor had known about the concert for months but had acted without warning, just two weeks before the show, causing $700,000 in losses.

“These two activists stirred up all the trouble,” said Mr. Mendlowitz, who has worked in the Hasidic music business for 27 years. “They just wanted to sabotage us.”

Days later, Mr. Schmeltzer, who lives in Monsey, N.Y., announced that he would not perform. In an interview on Rabbi Zev J. Brenner’s syndicated radio program, he said that he had no choice but to obey the decree. “I have a career, I have a wife and kids to support, I have a mortgage to pay, I have to get out of the fire,” Mr. Schmeltzer said. He then withdrew from a concert in London as well.

When Mr. Mendlowitz canceled the show, he insisted that advertisers, Madison Square Garden and the more than 3,000 ticket holders — who paid between $50 and $500 — would be reimbursed. He added that Mr. Friedman had offered to help offset the losses — but only if Mr. Mendlowitz agreed to retire from the Hasidic concert business, a condition Mr. Mendlowitz rejected.
Dov Hikind is quoted.
Assemblyman Hikind said he planned to meet with the rabbis involved. “Suddenly, when it comes to faith in the rabbis, there is this big question mark,” he said. “And when you don’t explain to the young people, you lose them, plain and simple.”
Hikind is a follower, not a leader, so if he's this riled up about something, it indicates his impression of the Chareidi street's views.

Orthomom comments on the NY Times story.

Life-of-Rubin comments on the NY Times article and on the Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz post I blogged earlier.

Elsewhere, Cross-Currents punts again. Oh, and Rabbi Adlerstein bravely takes on a straw man too.

Oh dear, Yeshiva World interviewed Rabbi Yehuda Levin on a number of topics including the Lipa ban. Give this man a mic. He has lots to say. [/sarcasm]

The NY Times article could very well push this story into TV news reports. As long as the leadership attempts to ignore this, the situation is left to fester. The rabbis and community leaders need to address this chilul Hashem now!