Monday, August 25, 2008

Worlds Are Colliding!

The trend of Brooklyn "Funkish" producers adopting/incorporating "Alternative" Jewish musician's music continues...

In addition to Yeedle's recent collaboration with Aaron Razel and Lipa's recent cover with Yitzchak Fuchs on "A Poshiter Yid," here's another.

Life of Rubin posts an audio sampler of Shloime Daskal's upcoming release. The third song is a Yiddish translation of Adi Ran's "Ani Ohev Hakadosh Baruch Hu" off of the album, "Mah Yesh Lachem Lidog." I reviewed that Adi Ran album a few years back.

I'm conflicted about this trend. One one level, it's nice that they're aware of and paying attention to these creative artists. On the flip side, it often seems like expropriation rather than collaboration or respectful tribute. The final results often do not do justice to the original artist. However, it can be argued that these entertainers are packaging the tunes in a way that will sell to the Brooklyn market, thereby exposing these artists, on some level, to that community. In some ways it's a chicken and egg conundrum, because there's not necessarily a way to know that the song wouldn't have worked for that crowd without a "Funkish" arrangement.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From the mailbag...

Jordan Hirsch writes:
I double checked with Rabbi Adler tonight. He did not say that there were more victims out there. The Jewish Week got the story wrong. He said that if there were more victims out there, they had an obligation to come forward. It is still more than any other Rabbi has done, and indeed, Rabbi Adler was the only RCBC Rabbi to publicly apologize for the RCBC's role in the Lanner story, but by getting it wrong, the JW implied that Rabbi Alder knew something he in fact does
not know.
The importance of fact-checking... Of course, then the JW wouldn't have had a story. Look for a retraction?

Meanwhile, here's the current article on the subject, "More Victims Sought In Yeshiva Photo Scandal", which repeats the claim that Rabbi Adler asserted there were more victims in his August 9th address.

Yosef Nanach writes:
Sounds to me that this Lipa controversy is a precursor to the outbreak of Na Nach. I don't know what Lipa's lyrics are about, but the use of Holy Lyrics sung by a Kosher singer to "secular" or "secular style" music is a very Na Nach thing, Rebbe Nachman teaches about this. Thanks for posting. Peace and Love Yoseph Na Nach.
J. writes:
What they did at ma na vu was bad for chinuch?

Would you want your kids to just blindly accept everything and anything a Rabbi tells him to do without question ?
I’m not in favor of blindly accepting what rabbis say; especially the rabbis who signed the Lipa ban. Hey, just read my blog! But teaching young kids to be disrespectful, instead of teaching them to articulate questions/challenges is bad chinuch. From an intellectual standpoint, it’s just as wrong to be knee-jerk anti.

Joe Flix writes:
I put in some work here, I tried my best. Please please give me a link and some feedback :) - thanks so much! Joel

JoeFlix Daily: Yeedle, Yossi Mayer and Lipa CD Reviews

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8/20/08 Link Dump

Life-Of-Rubin thinks copying someone else's concept is unethical.

He also calls Matisyahu the "Shmully Boteach of the Music world." Ouch. BTW, check out Matisyahu's bio on Kenneth Cole's site. Here's the intro 'graph:
The past four years have been fraught with excitement and challenges for Matisyahu and his band mates. Since the release of his 2004 debut, Shake Off The Dust... ARISE, Matisyahu has continued to bring his uncanny, electrifying fusion of orthodox Judaism and classic reggae music to millions of new listeners. His first release on Epic Records, Live at Stubbs, a highly successful live concert recording from the famous venue in Austin TX, has sold nearly 700,000 copies and is certified Gold.
Notice anything missing?

Like this:

Jack is a poshiter yid!

An Israeli Chabad rabbi speaks out against concert bans. Shturem reports in האם העסקנים דוחקים את הנוער למחוזות מפוקפקים Via Chrudge.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

(Ginning Up) Rage Against Lipa

Some folks are trying to stir up outrage against Lipa Schmeltzer on account of the Camp Ma-Na-Vu Color War breakout.

Someone named "rover" has been spamming the comments section of many blogs with the following comment, which is not related to the post it was left on.
Looks like Lipa’s is on track for a head-on collision with the “Gedolim”

Get ready for the big ban 2 . . .
Here’s the actual video of what happened:
Spammed blogs include:
Emes Ve-Emunah 08.18.08 - 8:52 am | #

Jewish Blogmeister 9:50 AM

Orthonomics August 18, 2008 9:53 AM

DovBear 08.18.08 - 9:53 am | #

The Muqata 4:54 PM, August 18, 2008

Those are just the ones I've found. There may well be more. "rover" has been pretty busy. I suspect he is one of the Hamercaz people. After accounting for time zone differences on these blogs, it seems that all of those link comments were left within three minutes of the Hamercaz post going up. (Hamercaz's "News" page has a helpful feature telling you exactly how long ago each story went up for the first half day or so after it's posted and I compared the times.) "rover" is definitely trying to stir up controversy about this, as are the Hamercaz people with the publication of this article. The article's point, such as it is, is clearly trying to boost the pro-ban "activists" as well as rile them up. It's not just reporting, as there was no controversy without their soliciting of the kanoim's opinions. And, they didn't quote anyone with another perspective.

On this very topic, Life-of-Rubin busts Hamercaz for lifting his material. Nice! Word is the folks behind Hamercaz are the American Yated Ne'eman people. Whoever they are, they might want to buy (and read) these books. I suppose it is to be expected these days that the folks pushing "frum outrage" would seem ethically challenged themselves. Sad that its come to this, though. "Frum" people should hold themselves to a higher standard.

Incidentally, I do agree that the message sent by the breakout is/was bad for chinuch. However, ultimately the blame lies not with the camp staff who took a fair shot at an out-of-control Chareidi leadership, but with the "kanoim" who act that way in the first place and the rabbonim who don't stand up for emes and yashrus. The man playing the "aggrieved rabbi" did a spot-on impersonation (in the beginning of the clip) of actual behavior I've seen from vantage points on and off the bandstand.

8/19/08 Link Dump

The Jewish Week reports that the principal of TABC, Rabbi Yosef Adler, asserted that there are more victims of Adam Melzer, in a speech at his shul on Shabbos a week ago. Following our commentor's criticism, Vos Iz Neias posts the Jewish Week story with Melzer's name. Progress.

Teruah coins a new term, "funkish." He's got an equation to explain it: "Jewish + Funky - most of the funkiness." Oh dear.

Gruntig posts "Rock en Role Wedding with Lipa." At least it's not a concert!

Here's a nice piece, "The Practice of Ear Training," by Dave Douglas.

How to spread your original music, a Na Nach primer. With help from the Yeshivah of South Fallsburg Bochurim.

Finally, it's time for Hilarious Muppets Bloopers! Gotcha!

Recent Peeps

"Gavi No"
This peep's toddler "Gavi" just wants to sit in front of the band. He's not in the way, and during dinner music it's not too loud. So when his father keeps coming over to yell "Gavi, no!" loudly at him each time he comes back to the bandstand, sounding really ticked off, it's hard to be sympathetic. Especially since it seems, judging by this anger-filled mans' interactions with his other progeny as well, that "No!" just rolls off his tongue. (It also seems like he has serious anger management issues.) And naturally, the kid, fascinated by the music, is at the bandstand all night long. Give Gavi a break! Also the bandleader!

"Drumstick Fan"
This peep loves drumsticks. Not the musical kind. He loves them so much he can't bear to wait the extra time it'd take to load up a plate at the buffet and take it to a seat. Even loading up a plate and stepping away from the table takes too long. So does loading a plate and eating right there. As does loading a plate at all. Or grabbing a fork. The delayed gratification this peep would endure under any of these scenarios is excruciating... so he has to eat his drumsticks while leaning over the chafing dish. Looking on the bright side, at least the floor stays clean.

"Start Ten Minutes Early Woman"
This peep book's music to start half an hour after the invite time for their affair. Ten minutes before we're supposed to start, they ask us to start early and "you'll be done ten minutes early". We're always happy to accommodate, so we start playing. At the agreed upon end time, this peep, who has clearly been watching her watch, comes over to say "we still have a few minutes, so give me a short dance set before you pack up. Besides," she says: "my husband is getting your money now, so it'll be a few minutes." Longer story short, we start playing dance music and no one dances. So, this peep goes around the room urging the last few guests to get up and dance again. We wind up playing an extra ten minutes, until the original end time. Naturally, this peep does not tip.

"We Need Another Dance Set Lady"
This peep has a schedule. It includes a ridiculous number of dance sets, relative to the event and the guests. Yet, no matter how tired out the guests are, how successful (or not) the previous dance sets were, or even how many people are left in the room, no deviation from the planned schedule is allowed.

"The Petit Fors Guest"
This peep feels compelled to show up to all events bearing a platter of petit fors or chocolates. Never mind the fact that it's at an expensive venue, and similar (often higher quality) items are abundant, the "Petit Fors Guest" feels that no simcha is complete without their store -bought contribution to enhance the event. Not to be confused with the "Family Patchke Chef."

"The Family Patchke Chef"
This peep, a close family member of the ba'alei simcha always brings their homemade "specialty" to every family simcha. Naturally, said specialty is something that is a "patchke" in the kitchen. Unlike the "Petit Fors Guest", their contribution truly does enhance the affair, both because of the thought and effort the gift represents. Also, because it tastes good. Their platter is usually gone pretty quickly, and those in the know learn to look out for the "Patchke Chef's" contribution.

Friday, August 15, 2008

From the mailbag...

Psycho Toddler forwards a link to his Floyd inspired cover of Shlomo Carlebach's Nachamu.

Chris Barker writes:
Non-Jewish music producer here. This song has come up in a few of your posts, the one video of the black guy singing it and another discussing the context. Of course the word is offensive, how could there be any question? Whenever it is used even slightly negatively, it makes a mockery of the idea that the a righteous non jew is also entitled to a portion of the hereafter. Sure there's the historical justification, but I've heard the same thing for Wop, Spic, Spade, Cracker and Kike. Whether you say its the year 2008 or 5768, shouldn't we all know better by now? Typically when bring this up some folks claim to understand then go right back to using the word.

To be honest though, I dont get offended. It takes alot more than simple name calling and someone's attitude of superiority to get my goat.
Chris's website is Dubbing In Tokyo.

Rabbi Josh Yuter writes:
Dear Friends and Bloggers,
Some of you may know by now that I'm in the process of several moves. In addition to the craziness of the past few months, I am now moving to a new community and a new career path, having recently accepted the Rabbinic position at the Stanton St. Shul on New York's Lower East Side.

But the moves also extend to the internet, where faced with the questionable future of YUCS, I have moved YUTOPIA and the Jewish Guitar Chords archives to a new host with their own domain names.

YUTOPIA is now located at with the new feed link:

The Jewish Guitar Chords are now appropriately located at .

Currently YUCS is redirecting to the new site, but if you have links or subscriptions to YUTOPIA, I would greatly appreciate it if they could be updated (or if the word could be spread an all that).

Thank you all very much for your help and support. It's been an exciting time lately, and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. I hope I'll be able to continue sharing in the next adventures of my little YUTOPIAN world.

Kol Tuv,
Mazal tov on the new position!

The Na Nach Dialogues - Part I

Last month, I posted "Evolution of a Dance Style - On The Trail of the Na Nachs."

I've since been in email correspondence with Yosef Na Nach. He writes:
The first thing that I want to comment on is that you defined us as a "fringe branch of Breslover". I want to say that though we may not be the majority in terms of numbers, none the less we consider ourselves as following the true path of Torah as described by Rebbe Nachman.

Second, I want to say that I think that it was a kind of negative thing to say that my friend was "expelled from Israel for visa violations". It has negative connotations even if it is true you don't know the details as often governments make mistakes anyway.

Third, you put the words "miraculously received" in quotes this could be taken as if it isn't true. That is hardly accurate reporting seeing that an event like this cannot be proved or disproved but it is merely a matter of belief.

Fourth, the wedding that you attended was that of my friend S., I believe S. is a true Na Nach, fully into it. The Chuson and Kallah were Na Nach and his friends were Na Nach but the family and friends of the family probably were not seeing that Na Nach is very new to America. I would like to add that Na Nach is not a dress code, neither is it not a social club that requires anything other then kosher living and belief in the miracle of the Petek.

It is not a Na Nach custom to dance alone and even though you might have noticed that at this wedding it is not really an accurate perception. I have been to a dozen or so weddings that were mostly Na Nach people and they are also pretty much like black hat weddings, though the joy is markedly much higher. I also know several true Na Nachs who are second generation Na Nach and there is not anything different about their dress then regular religious people. Appearances are deceptive, believe me on the inside there is a great difference.

I should also add that it is true that we do not accept the authority of the overwhelming majority of "Rabbi's" of institutionalized Judaism, the reason is that we believe that there is way too much involvement with money and honor for these guys to be trusted at all. Especially when it comes to issues of eternal importance like our souls. The simple Jew who seeks truth and does not oppose the Miracle of the Petek we take no issue with.

As far as Na Nach music is concerned Saba said that "All melody is appropriate for Na Nach." Rebbe Nachman also makes it clear in Likutey Moharon that all melody can be elevated to Holiness. And certainly all Breslov Melody is accepted among all Na Nachs as True Holy Melody that is usually sung around the Shabbos table though often time we might add the Na Nach mantra to the melody.

About that the guy you saw "davening with talis and tephillin shortly before nightfall" First I would like to say that it does not counter Halaka to do such a thing. It is permissible to wear Talis and Tephillin after sunset and before nightfall and secondly it is not a Na Nach tradition to do so. So you didn't see that guy actually do anything wrong by Jewish Law. I don't know who that was nor what he was thinking but it sounded like you were being a little nit picking. If I wanted to play that game I too can start naming things that are habitually done by religious Jews that are definitely weird by Halaka that I don't want to mention, let's not go there.

I have no idea what you are talking about when you say that Na Nach is not based on traditional Breslov. When I read that it was obvious to me that you have absolutely no idea about the life of Saba, his teachings, who his teacher was nor who his followers are. Na Nach is all absolutely and completely orthodox in the truest sense of the word. And when you said "unusual ideas" I didn't notice that you mentioned any unusual ideas in your article unless you think that a distrust of contemporary Rabbi's is unusual, which it might be, but I think that it is healthy for young people of all ages to question authority of all sorts. Especially when our eternal good is at stake, one has to know where their Torah comes from, remember demons also know a lot of Torah. Rebbe Nachman taught us to be very wary of famous rabbis and he spoke a lot about it in many of his more important Torahs.

My sincere hope is that this shed light on the issue of Na Nach for you and I hope that it opens more dialog between people for there is a great deal of misinformation. I have been watching this movement very closely for twelve years and there is much to be said about it. You said that we definitely have some influence and let me assure you that Na Nach is definitely here to stay as it is gaining a tremendous amount of momentum the more that true information gets out. There has been a great deal of untruth said about it, we are aware of all the lies and they do not concern us, we are only interested in getting out the truth. I have written an article I hope you will publish it, I am first running it by my editor before I send it to you. I would like to call it "Why I am Na Nach."

You seem to be honest so I hope that you take to heart what I wrote above and also read the article I wrote (that I will sent you shortly) and publish it. I thought that it would not be so nice to publish the above information on your site since it might be taken as harsh but if you want you can, I think it would be a mitzvah, it is only that I wish to edit it first. All the Blessings for true attachment to all the Truly Righteous so that we may all together enter this coming final redemption in unity and joy. May it come quickly and in our days, Amen.
Yosef has also sent me the following article which includes his essay "Why I Am A Na Nach.":
"Na Nach - The Controversy"

To get an honest look at Na Nach takes a little research and digging up of the facts about who we are, what happened to us collectively and individualy that made us this way, what is the message that we are trying to give over to the world, what is the belief and lifestyle promoted in Na Nach. I am not a Rabbi of Na Nach, nor am I an elected spokesman, the only official elected representatives of Na Nach are the Saba himself (Rabbi Israel Ber Odesser) Rabbi Noson of Breslov, the early Breslover Chussids and of course Rebbe Nachman ZaL.

Rabbi Israel Ber Odesser (a.k.a. the Saba) is central to understanding Na Nach. He is the student of Rebbe Nachman and the receiver of the true mesoret of Breslov. He spoke a great deal about Rebbe Nachman and much is known about his holy life from his talks and has been transcribed and translated and is available in English in a book called "Israel Saba" published by
"The Keren" which is Saba's own publishing operation, which to this day is the single largest publishing house of the books of Breslov. They are sold at printing cost. The Keren is responsible for the vast majority of Breslov books in the world including the ones in the shuls and Breslov establishments. They are also responsible for selling many of the Amulets that contain the holy name Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman in them as well as a photocopy of the Petek. They also promote much Na Nach music and are actively involved with doing Hafatza in the vans that go out all over Israel. The Keren was started by Saba with his own money. Though he was poor most of his life towards his later years many people gave him money for "Pideon" (a blessing) until he collected a small fortune, all of which he gave only to the Keren for the spreading of Rebbe Nachman's teachings.

He himself remained living a very modest and simple life in a one room house. Towards the very end of his life he traveled from house to house, often moving in as a guest, teaching Rebbe Nachman's Torah to simple people. Though he suffered very much all his life, he was always very joyful as can be testified by anyone that knew him. His life was one of intense devotion in the Breslov path filled with extreme self sacrifice in the way of prayer and teaching. He was also very good friends with the President of Israel at the time (Zalman Shazar) and their correspondences created the book called Ibey HaNachal (also available in English).

Just skimming through these books one cannot help but be in awe of the intense holiness of this man and the great love that he had for Rebbe Nachman. Almost every page is filled with great encouragement to keep all the Torah, Mitzvot, how great it is to be Jewish and to rejoice that we have all these teachings of Rebbe Nachman in the world, and to learn Rebbe Nachman and to follow his ways for this is all of our life and all of our vitality and the whole reason that we came into this world. The worst thing that the "opposition" ever said about him is that he was crazy, but anyone who gazes into Saba's words with an eye of truth can immediately see that he was not crazy at all. So what's the big deal about Na Nach? Why the controversy? To understand this we have to go a little deeper into the history of Breslov and what was going on at the time that this miracle happened.

The Miraculous Na Nach Letter and Its Meaning Today

One of the unique things about Breslov is that it is the only chasidus that does not have a flesh and blood living Rebbe. All other chasidic dynasties have a Rebbe who is the heir to the dynasty. The new Rebbe receives his position because he is the son of the previous Rebbe or a student. In the Breslov world at the time of Saba there was an underlying debate. Though they all agreed that only Rebbe Nachman was the Rebbe, some said that there were also sort sub-Rebbes that we should look up to as leaders who can connect us to Rebbe Nachman. Saba's tradition said that there were no such leaders. Yes, Saba had the oral tradition straight from Rebbe Nachman.(see note below). But this was not enough, for others might claim that they also have a tradition.

One of the main implications of the letter from Rebbe Nachman is to let us know that Saba is the true receiver of Rebbe Nachman's tradition. As it says in the letter, "my precious student, to tell you I have enjoyed your service and UPON YOU have I said 'My fire will flicker until the coming of the Messiah". Instead of becoming proud about this, Saba turned around and said that if you want, this letter was written for you. As Saba said "and upon you and you and you and you." So when the letter was revealed two things happened. One, the Breslov "Rabbi's" who opposed Saba opposed him because they were jealous (and not necessarily because they didn't believe the miracle), and Two, the need for Rabbis became eliminated. Now a few points need to be made clear here. First, when I say that there is no longer a need for a Rabbi, this does not mean a Posek. Na Nach's learn and keep Jewish Religious Law, as prescibed by the "Shulchan Auruch" (The Jewish Code of Law) and consult Poskim concerning the details of how to live a Kosher Jewish Life. Second, it does not mean that we cannot learn from our friends who may have greater scholarship then us. What it does mean is that there is no need at all for all this excessive honor and money that is given to "Rabbis" who claim to help people when in fact the only power that anyone has to help anyone only comes from G-d through the Tzadik, as is explained in detail in the teachings of Rebbe Nachman.Though there was a time in the past that holy men were able to receive honor for the sake of heaven Saba says that there is no one living today who can. All those that are receiving honor are only doing it for themselves. Saba himself never recieved any honor for himself, though he was acknowledged as a famous holy man of great learning. Whenever anyone tried to give him honor he himself fled from it often by deliberately making a complete fool of himself. (there are very many stories of this).

Thus, the only people who really have serious issue with Na Nach are the so called Rabbinic authorities who have an attachment to money and power, the ignorant and uninformed and not the simple Jew at all. For it is only the former who have what to lose; the simple Jew only has what to gain. In short, Saba gave us a light to see the awesomeness of Rebbe Nachman. Rebbe Nachman is so high and such a Tzadik that he will fix the whole world and everyone in it. All we need are the books of Rebbe Nachman, to read them to the best of our personal ability and to follow the ways of Rebbe Nachman to the best of our ability and the rest is up to Rebbe Nachman and Hashem together.

Why I am a Na Nach

Now I would like tell a little bit about myself and my relationship to Na Nach. I have been a Baal Tshuvah approximately 12 years and it was 12 years ago that I first read the story about the miracle of the Petek. I found a small book "The Letter From Heaven" lying in a beis Midrash in the middle of the night, read the story and believed it without questioning too much. After all I saw that there was a letter of approbation from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and if Rabbi Feinstein thought that Saba was a Goan in the Torah, it was obvious to me that Saba was a kosher Yid. As well, Miracles happen every day. I have often witnessed the hand of G-d in my life personally so I accepted that this is a miracle that happened to another Jew and he thought it important to publicize it, as we all should publicize every miracle that happens to us in order to increase the glory of G-d as is explained in Likutey Halakot by Reb Noson of Breslov.

It was only about six months ago that I had a personal spiritual awakening concerning the implications of this miracle and decided to dedicate my life to publishing the petek and spreading the teachings of Rebbe Nachman to the world. Once this decision was made and I got to work making stickers, videos,writing up flyers and passing them out to tourists and designing banners etc. a new world opened up to me that was previously hidden completely. I was almost always an outsider to every social group and I have gotten used to this, I was not looking for a group of friends to fit into nor looking for any financial support I was simply looking for a healing from G-d and that is what I got. The world that opened up to me in this holy work that I am involved with is the world of the "Mafitzim"(those that spread out the name of Na Nach). I have always loved all Jews, and in my quest of G-d and truth in Judaism I have mingled with what I thought was many Na Nachs, but in truth was only a handful of young American kids who all had issues with drugs and their parents and authority in general. (These are universal issues with the youth of today and not specific to Na Nach).

As the years went on I found that little by little all of these kids slowly grew up and all were getting off the drugs and finding stability and joy in their lives, getting married and staying strong in Yidishkiet and in Na Nach. I was happy to see this and though I understood what they were all saying with their Na Nach Torah, still I had "issues" with Na Nach, this now is revealed only to have been issues with myself in relationship to the world and that Na Nach was not only a Kosher belief system but it is flawless as far as "issues" were concerned. The world that opened up to me was a world of some of the most wonderful, stable and clean living, dedicated to yidishkiet, joyful and cool people I have ever had the privilege to meet in my life.These people, though mostly poor, dedicate most of their time and money and lives to living the teachings of Rebbe Nachman and spreading the word to the world at large and to secular people in particular. And though there are only about two or three hundred of what I call "hard core 'Mefitzim' they have managed to launch the single most successful marketing campaign in Israel on a shoe string budget. Here in Israel everyone has heard of Na Nach and among the "secular" they enjoy a great reception as fun loving, joyful people that "keep the rules" of Judaism, but with joy. Even among the black hat Religious here (a minority group of Jews) the Na Nachs are all considered Kosher. It is only a very few (mostly the uninformed) black hatters that seem to take issue with Na Nach.

So, Na Nach has become an outlet for people, like myself, who want to rebel against the falsehood found in the institution of Judaism, yet still want to live a clean and holy Jewish life. There has never before been such a thing in the world. Until now rebellion against the institution of Judaism has always meant being secular but now it has become fun for even secular people to be religious, if it's Na Nach religious.

*Note: The tradition of Saba is as follows. Rebbe Nachman, Our Teacher, taught Reb Nasson (his main student) who had a servant who lived in his house called Rabbi Moshe Breslover, who in turn had a student called Rabbi Israel Karduner whose holiness is undisputed. Rabbi Israel Karduner and The Saba were inseparable for five years which they learned, prayed and practiced Judaism together every day with a great bond of love between them. Now, until the revelation of our holy Messiah it is up to us and our friends to do what needs to be done to bring about the final and ultimate redemption it should be soon and in our days amen.
Yosef writes:
I would really appreciate to be informed of any responses to these articles exactly what they said. Na Nach is a very big light, controversial and misunderstood, I consider it part of my service to G-d to try to clear the air as best as I can and open dialog with any sincere (or even semi sincere) inquiries.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lipa Gets Booted

Teruah posts video of Lipa getting booted of stage mid-concert at Camp Ma-Na-Vu for singing the "Usher" riff.

It's a Color War breakout, natch.

It's an interesting clip from a sociological standpoint too. The fellow playing the outraged rabbi does a pretty good impression of how the banning sort come across, even to those within the community.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Announcing The "New" Big Event Concert

Guess who's planning a concert? Details at his website.

News flash! Guess what Lipa's got newly lined up and laid out for your fabulous, 'fun'damentally fantastic, fan-based entertainment...

Let me give you a couple of clues:
1. It's BIG. Really, really big.
2. It's an EVENT. A brand new, out-of-the-stratosphere, simply, superbly, singularly sensational event that will knock you, shock you, hock you, and rock you right off your plush, poshite seats!!

Yup, you guessed it. Lipa's working on a whole new incomparable concert, with concerted, concentrated effort, together with Sheya Mendlowitz! The two of them are planning and plotting, conniving and contriving, to make this show the absolute ultimate in performance perfection. Prepare to experience a Lipa production unlike any you've seen or heard, attended or banned before. This extravaganza will virtually explode with an extreme excess of talent, exceed your expected expectations, and make you exult in extensive, ecstatic excitement (Exclamation point!!)

So get your juices flowing. Get your anticipation growing. Get your heart racing. Get your feet pacing. Get your pulse throbbing. Get your head bobbing. Get your ears ringing. Get your soul singing…. Get ready for the Lipa event of a lifetime!

Check back frequently at, for further descriptions and details. Dates, times, venue and more lebedige Lipa neias will be posted regularly, so be sure to stay tuned!
Fundamentally fantastic, indeed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

8/11/08 Link Dump

The Klezmer Shack mentions that KlezKanada 2008 which runs from Aug 18-24, still has some openings.

Ari has also posted the audio from Steven Greenman and Walt Mahovlich's recent concert in MA. Check it out!

Over at Hirhurim, there's an audio roundup of Torah lectures including:

Rabbi Hershel Shachter - OU Shliach Tzibbur Conference:

Should be required listening for anyone who wants to be a shatz. Includes many classic no no’s and the famous R’Zevin story as to how to get horses out of the mud with only an amud (guess the punchline).

Some interesting side issues including recognition that contradictions in the Mishneh Brurah could be because the Chofetz Chaim was the general editor but others wrote portions and that women got aliyot in the time of the tanaim but then it was decided this was not kavod hatzibbur (me – doesn’t this imply time and place dependent?) Follow the minhag hamakom!

Rabbi Ally Ehrman - Chassidic Rock: Music In Halacha:

Is it for entertainment or praise and thankfulness? Is it just to enjoy the music or meaningful? Is it for the sake of a mitzvah? Just listening – no, inspiring – OK. Rock concerts – bad, Chassidic song festivals of old – good.

Discussion of general music prohibitions and some possible heterim for specific situations not included in takanot. FWIW IMHO - this is a classic case of halacha not being completely algorithm, that is if you reduce the issues to symbolic logic you’d be hard pressed to see why we are meikil here and machmir in so many other situations.
Finally, here are some videos of Lipa Schmeltzer not in concert this summer. These are non-performances of " Wake Up" and and "Biksav/Ba'al Peh" off his new non-secular influenced album "A Poshiter Yid."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Three Weeks in B'klyn

Sounds like the Bein Hametzarim were rocking this year in B'klyn...

In addition to the Three Weeks shindig we noted here, Ohel threw a BBQ bash during the Nine Days.

Here's a recent letter to the editor published in Hamodia with Ohel CEO David Mandel's response.

It seems odd that the way that community observes some halachos and minhagim punctiliously, while stretching others -- to be charitable, (no, I couldn't resist the pun) -- beyond recognition.

Mandel forgot to mention that in addition to Nine Days BBQ's, Ohel's Mara D'asra Shlita also permits tax fraud, gezel akum, and infringing intellectual property.

Update: For those who think the line above is just snark, it isn't. Ohel's Mara D'Asra is on public record as permitting the above mentioned.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine's "Case Studies In Jewish Business Ethics"

I've been meaning to highlight "Case Studies In Jewish Business Ethics" by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine for a while. I picked it the book at the YU Seforim sale last winter. It's a must-read for anyone in business.

The book has sections that are directly music-related. One is "Scalping at the Nosson Scharf Concert", wherein the author addresses the following issues: price scalping and ona'ah, ticket scalping on the day of the concert, hassagat gevul, violating the seller's preference, ticket scalping and secular law, and conflict between dina d'malkhuta and halakhah. The other is "The Glatt Boat Affair" which looks at lifnei iver, customers' expectations and the disclosure obligation, the no-dance rule and ona'at devarim, tokhahah and the no-dance rule, and pilot-testing.

But really, the whole book is relevant. The main sections are as follows.

1) Moral education
2) Advertising and Marketing
3) Salesmanship
4) Pricing Policies
5) Labor Relations
6) Consumer and Social Ethics in the Marketplace

Rabbi Dr. Levine uses case studies of real-life situations to address the scope of how Halakha governs the marketplace. The presentation is interesting and clear. And, even in situations where the reader might assess a situation differently, Rabbi Dr. Levine's approach is insightful and thought-provoking.

Amazon has it here:


Yashar Books' Gil Student emails:
Don't forget about Rabbi Levine's more recent book, Moral Issues of the Marketplace in Jewish Law:
Amazon also has that one here:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

8/6/08 Link Dump

Simply Tsfat makes it to Kosovo.

Here's a rather extreme way to stop the tuba players from playing D and A all gig. Ouch! Hope everyone will be OK!

Life of Rubin informs about Gershon Veroba's "Band Festival Project."

Teruah has an interesting pair of posts about how songs expressing a Jewish view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Check out
"Sweet Home Jerusalem, Music and the Culture Wars" and "Salaam (Od Yavo Shalom Alienu) - More on music & culture."