Sunday, November 02, 2003

Deah V'dibbur

Here's the Deah V'dibbur article I found via Protocols.
It's worth taking a look at the comments on Avraham's original Protocols post. I'm not going to "fisk" the entire article, but here are some selected excerpts with my comments.
"In earlier times, most of the non-Jewish music was respectable and could be used for singing with holy words. Even simple peasant music was clean and fit for playing at Jewish simchas. But in modern times, with the development of recording and radio and the entertainment business that catered to the masses, a new purpose was found for music -- to arouse the yetzer hora."
Really? In the old days music wasn't used to arouse the Yetzer Hora??? Well, that shoots down Rabbi Mattisyahu Solomon's excellent essay on the power of music that was published in the Purim edition of Mevakshe Torah a few years ago.

So, older secular music is OK??? I'm looking forward to adding those 17th century sea chanteys and 18th century German beer drinking songs to my wedding repertoire. I have a hunch that the author only justifies the old peasant songs in light of the fact that so many Chassidic rebbes sang them.
"It is not a coincidence that the young generation in America began to rebel and discard any ideas of morality and respectful behavior exactly at the time that rock and roll music was introduced. Therefore we must take care to avoid this type of rebellious music that promotes bad influences, and it is obviously absurd to set a rock song to words from holy sources.
I suppose that's why so many Sephardic Chachamim used the melodies of Arabic love songs for their piyutim.
"We must also not forget that the majority of the guests at a wedding are over thirty, and most of them feel sick when they hear the latest treif rock songs made by "chassidishe" singers whose only connection to true chassidus is usually the yarmulke on their head.
The thirty tear-old guests probably grew up on MBD, Avraham Fried and the like. The condescension here towards the singers is palpable
"The answer is no. Most bochurim do not want to hear wild music, but they are under a lot of pressure from a handful of bochurim who do not take Yiddishkeit seriously and set the style and the fashions in the yeshivos. Anyone who doesn't "keep up with the times" is mocked and looked at as not normal by these stupid boys who are themselves not normal.
Let me see if I understand this. The handful of boys who don't take Yiddishkeit seriously set the style in the yeshivos??? Where are the Roshei Yeshivah??? Don't they have some responsibility here?

Finally, " these stupid boys who are themselves not normal" is not the language one would expect from someone purporting to represent the Torah point of view on any subject, and certainly not on a topic as subjective as music.