Tuesday, February 24, 2004

JM Interviews in Messianic Paper

This article was posted to the Yahoo Jewish Music group. It is the first of two parts that obviously were published in one of the "Meshichist" Lubavitch journals. The authors asked several JM performers three questions:
1) Do you have Moshiach songs in your repertoire, and if yes, how do
people respond to it?
2) Have you had a personal connection with the Rebbe or Chabad?
3) We are in the month of Adar, a month of joy and song. As a singer who brings joy to people, what do you think of Chassidic music today? Does the new sound we hear deserve the title of "Chassidic music?"

I think that the whole thing is quite revealing.

Here are some excerpts of their interview with Mordechai Ben David.
You popularized songs of Moshiach. What does your listening audience have to say about that?
I started it with "Moshiach, Moshiach," which was enormously popular throughout Eretz Yisroel, even among the nonobservant. I've said it before – the song's tremendous appeal is not altogether logical. The reason it became such a hit is simply because every Jew believes in the coming of Moshiach, so even when an nonobservant Jew hears the song, his spark is ignited. I am thrilled that the song was so well received by all sorts of people of all ages, including little children and seniors.
So you will certainly stand before Moshiach and sing. Have you composed a special song for the occasion?
Naturally, I will sing "Moshiach, Moshiach."
What do you think of Chassidic music today? Do you think it deserves the title "Chassidic?"
Unfortunately some music today is inappropriate. In my opinion it isn't only the style of the music, but also who is singing it. The first thing you have to know is who are the singers. Chassidus explains the effect a doer has on the person who receives. The early tzaddikim said that if you listen to a singer who is not a yerei Shamayim (G-d-fearing), it can have a negative influence.
I don't think I'm the biggest yerei Shamayim, but I try... I think that whoever loves music ought to be careful about this.
As far as the different musical styles today, I don't even have the time to listen to all the popular music. I try to get music back to its Chassidic roots.
Read the whole thing.