Wednesday, June 25, 2008

From the mailbag...

Yoel writes:
We are a group of Yiddish lovers from Israel, that decided to contribute to Yiddish language by offering private and small groups Yiddish online lessons. For that purpose, we have created last year .

If you could refer us from your blog, that would help us alot.

Moreover, if you are interested to speak Yiddish and help other students practicing it, have a look at our 'Practice Yiddish'.

We thank you in advance.
JoeFlix writes:
Honestly I never knew of your blog... Rubin linked to your Lipa post, I printed it and read it in the gym. I loved your analysis of Lipas subtle and low-profile attack on the establishment.

Also I think what you said about the politics of fear and that its a "one chance and you're out" force - was very well written.
Krum Frum writes:
The following actually happened at a gig I played recently:

I was called last minute to play this gig for some 7th to 9th grade bochurim that were making a Siyum on some pretty significant learning. I agreed to it and showed up on time (= 30 min before the event), only to find that the place was still locked. Surprise, surprise.

Eventually, they came and opened the place up. The guy in charge of the event came over and told me that he wanted some "lebedig music", but could not provide any frame of reference for what he was looking for. He came over numerous times during the event and asked for more lebedig music, but no change in tempo, style, volume, etc. seemed to take care of that consideration.

During the course of the event, this guy made many references in his speeches to Hakoras Hatov for this Rebbi, that Rosh Yeshiva, this Baal Ha'bayis who came and facilitated the learning, and this Rebbi and that Rebbi who didn't make it, and how important Hakoras Hatov is, etc. etc.

The last Hakoras Hatov was the best:

"We must show Hakoras Hatov to Band X (the other one in town) that usually plays all of our events and does a wonderful job. They are the best! Unfortunately, they could not be here this evening, as they are playing a Chasunah, so we had to get someone else. Sorry about that. The next time you see Mr. Band X or his son, etc., please show them your Hakoras Hatov for all they do for us. Thank you all for coming."

...and he sat down.

What about me? They bring me in last minute, then spend their whole time talking about the other band that couldn't make it and how wonderful they are, and they ignore me?

I wonder what lesson about Hakoras Hatov and Mentchlichkeit they taught the large crowd of bochurim who were in attendance...I'm going to guess that the message was loud and clear, and that it was NOT in the spirit of what they should be teaching. It sounded quite reminiscent of your post about the guy who hit your car -- when you consider other statements from people, their actions start to reflect what they REALLY believe, and not what they nominally preach.

I imagined you'd find this amusing.
More sad than amusing.

Psachya writes:
Re Lipa's new album: After the Big Event cancellation, most people I spoke to assumed that it was the end of Lipa's career. "He's done" was the popular sentiment. My reply: "If you really think so, then you don't know Lipa at all." The fact is, despite the buffoonery, Lipa is one of the most intelligent, street-smart performers in the JM scene today, as the album's marketing campaign surely proves. It doesn't surprise me at all that the Big Event cancellation, in the long run, is actually helping Lipa's career - or that Lipa is successfully tapping in to the wellspring of resentment that many frum Jews feel about the current kannaistic environment they find themselves in. Anyone who underestimates this guy had better watch out. (And yes - the album is on my to-buy list.)
He also writes:
Re your "too-high/too low" peep - I had to laugh. I think his grandfather was on my gig last night. He came over before the chupa and told me confidently that he wants to sing Ma Tovu in E major, and will I please give him a chord. I did, and he promptly started singing in C. We tried this a few times, me giving him an E major chord, him singing in C. Finally, I told him, "You know, C major seems to work for you. Why don't we just do it in C?" "OK," he said. Came the actual ceremony, I gave him a nice C major chord, and he promptly started singing in (you saw this coming, didn't you?) E MAJOR! I don't know about the rest of the crowd, but the band thought it was all pretty entertaining. (Thanks, guys!)
Jeremy Monat writes:
Nice blog -- sorry about your car but I love the review of Lipa Schmeltzer's "A Poshiter Yid." Has he been banned from shuls?

As you know there's a renaissance going on in Jewish music and you can find its essential works on Matisyahu fuses Jewish themes with reggae:

Matisyahu: No Place To Be

and SoCalled mixes traditional Jewish samples with rock, funk, and Jazz:

So Called: Ghettoblaster

I hope you like the music we have on and tell your readers about it!
E. forwards a link the a JTA article about "The Jewish (celebrity) Songbook."

Steven I. emails a link to the "Circumcise Me" trailer.