Sunday, September 07, 2003

Re: Rabbi Forsythe

I received an email with regard to my earlier post about Rabbi Jeff Forsythe's article in the Jewish Observer containing some derogatory comments about him and concluding:
" I wouldn't trust anything that he has to say about relationships, music or anything else. Don't get all worked up. He hasn't a clue."
I'm guessing that this is the same guy who sent a similar email to Protocols last week.

I wonder why he feels the need to send these emails. They are so uncool! I think that readers of Rabbi Forsythe's archives can form their own conclusions about what he has to say.

The main reason I'm perturbed by Rabbi Forsythe's article is because the Jewish Observer published it. The article is foolish and the editors should have rejected it instead of publishing it just because they agreed with the premise of the article. The Jewish Observer, the magazine of Agudas Yisroel, is read by many in the "yeshivish" community, and is influential on public policy within that community. And, they usually have higher standards then the Jewish Press.

At the time the article was published, I noticed a short-term upswing in the number of rude self-righteous comments about the volume directed at the bands I was freelancing with, even in cases when the bands were playing quite softly.

I once had a woman mention the article to me and say that she wanted the volume kept to the recommended level. I had to point out to her that the event was for 150 or so elementary school students and was taking place in a gym. When I asked her to listen to the noise level in the room before the music started, she conceded that the standard Rabbi Forsythe is pushing is simply unrealistic.

I think that the Jewish Observer missed an opportunity here. I agree with the basic premises that the music at weddings is often to loud, that this causes damage, and that something ought to be done. If they had published a serious, well-thought out article on the subject instead of Rabbi Forsythe's rant, they might have had a greater impact.

However, like the Arabs, they never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!!