Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Thoughts on the Dei'ah V'dibuur Article - 1

Since the article is so long, I'll be breaking it, and my comments, into several posts.
After the compilation of the rules for weddings, it was decided to bring them to the attention of the kosher band leaders in order to receive their agreement and approval. A meeting was set up in Bnei Brak on the 8th of Av between the bandleaders and the members of the Committee for Jewish Music as well as a number of important askonim. The decisions were clear and unanimous.
The bandleaders all said that they were capable and wanted to play according to the rules that had been made, but they were in danger of losing a lot of business if they did so. They explained clearly the present situation, that the bochurim reserve for themselves the right to choose the band, and any band that does not play in the modern style is not popular in the yeshivos. They claim that this is the reason why we are forced to suffer at weddings, to hear unbearably loud and coarse music.
The article is correlating two issues, volume and style, that need not be related. It's quite possible to have a low volume rock or pop influenced band and a high volume band playing old-style "yeshivish" music.
The band leaders requested to bring this information to the roshei yeshivos. They said that only if the roshei yeshivos demand that the chassonim choose a band that plays according to the new rules will it be possible to improve the situation.
I've been saying this for a long time (Here's one example.) Given the level of respect accorded to the Roshei Yeshiva on a personal level by the bochurim, I find it hard to believe that a concerted effort by the Roshei Yeseshiva to positively influence their talmidim on the choice of a wedding band wouldn't be effective. They could begin by coming over to the bochurim who are standing in front of the band egging the drummer and guitar player on and, in a friendly manner, bringing them back into the dance circle. I believe that if the a given Rosh Yeshivah told his talmidim not to patronize a certain band – or insist that they ask that certain musicians not be in the band – that they can have a tremendous positive impact on the volume level (and quality of music) that people are exposed to at simchos.