Sunday, April 13, 2008

Concert Blackmail - Updated

Check this out!

The messianic Lubavitchers in Israel are having their annual concert in honor of the "Rebbe Melech Hamoshiach." The concert features MBD and Yaakov Shwekey. In an attempt to inoculate himself against would be "ban-ners", Shwekey obtained a letter from Rav Ovadya Yosef permitting his participation as long as the event keeps men and women separate. You can read the letter at the above link.

Reading the letter, it seems that Rav Yosef was not told that this is a messianic event. His letter describes an event "lekvodo shel hoAdmor m'Chabad," something these messianic events most certainly are not.

At any rate, the anti-concert activists in Israel are up in arms. Not because of the messianic part. They are opposed to all concerts. Life in Israel posts about their threats against this concert. They've threatened to photograph all concert attendees and send the photographs to their Rosh Yeshiva, seminary head, or other "relevant" leaders. They also deny that Rav Yosef wrote the letter permitting the show and cite Rav Wosner to that effect. Why not just ask Rav Yosef? It's pretty clear he wrote it.

The irony is, since this is a messianic concert, they might have been able to convince Rav Yosef to withdraw support had they handled this properly. I doubt he'd cave to threats though.

They're threatening MBD with personal and professional consequences too. These folks, Mordechai Blau and co., sound like lovely people. They're making a real kiddush Hashem, as usual. Full details at Life in Israel.


Vos Iz Neias has posted a post-concert update and writes:
In an update to the historic concert held tonight, it appears the 'askonim' have had a major flop, and have failed to disrupt the event.