Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rabbi Luft's Got 'em Talking!

Here's an op-ed from today's J-Post, "Silencing Dissent, Hushing Up Scandal."

Here's the lede:
Two items recently crossed my desk. The first was an article that appeared in The Jerusalem Post written by Matthew Wagner entitled "Haredim move to silence 'treif' music". It was about a movement to ban musicians who produce or perform any music which the Guardians of Sanctity and Education deem inappropriate. Musicians playing such music would be banned from playing in wedding halls, their CDs would be banned and their concerts disallowed.

The other item was a breaking news piece from JTA indicating that Rabbi Benzion Twerski had resigned from a task force in formation being brought together to deal with sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, also an Orthodox Jew, is establishing the task force to deal with this scourge. Twerski resigned because of the many threats against him and his family made by several individuals from his community.

When taken together these two items suggest such a profound and disturbing conflict regarding the current goals of the Orthodox world, of which I am a member. If music is so important, is not the emotional welfare of members of the community even more so? How can music be a threat and abuse not be? While some may argue that this is not the message to be learned, that the insular community is seeking ways to deal with the sexual abuse problem discreetly, it is clearly not so when someone as prominent and discreet as Twerski can be so horrifically threatened. But, he is not the only one to receive threats. Apparently so have musicians. The canceling of a recent concert is evidence of this.
Read the whole thing! (Hat tip, E.)


Mendy Pellin asked MBD about the proposed music hechsher.

Chaptzem posted an "artitorial."

Over at Serandez, G. posted"The Devil's Music!!!..."

Sweet Gams calls it "an assault on the human spirit."

Emes Ve-Emunah posts "And the Beat Goes On"

FM posts "Haredi Rules For Playing 'Kosher' Music."

Here's the Vos Iz Neias thread on the matter.

Here's Yeshiva World's.

More on Rabbi Luft coming soon...