Here's what I wrote:
I intend to demonstrate the following about Rabbi Luft.Lets look at these again.
1) He is musically ignorant.
2) He is intellectually dishonest.
3) He is a manipulator.
4) He uses "junk science."
5) He is a racist. (This is relevant because he builds his music criticism on racial theories.)
6) His approach is, in the main, not based on Torah sources.
1) He is musically ignorant. I have clearly demonstrated that Rabbi Luft is musically ignorant. I have demonstrated that he doesn't know his musical history or musical terminology, making basic errors that no musically-knowledgeable person would do. Examples include his obvious ignorance as to what 2/4 means, and his misrepresentation about the evolution of the modern drum set. It also extends to his ignorance of music history and the role Rock and Roll has historically played in spreading democracy.
2) He is intellectually dishonest. His abundant misquotes/misrepresentations of Torah sources, as well as other sources, which in reality do not support his position upon review, proves that he is either intellectually dishonest or a flat out liar. Or both.
3) He is a manipulator. In addition to the above mentioned distortions of Torah sources, his entire non fact-based presentation to gedolim and rabbonim consists of manipulation. It is easy to see how a rabbi without any knowledge of this subject, when presented with Rabbi Luft's assertions as fact, would agree that such music is inappropriate. Of course, if a rabbi is asked if idol-worshipping music is kosher, he'd prohibit it. Hence, Rabbi Luft representing his theories as fact, when they are clearly not, ranks as manipulation. And, as I mentioned, there is his manipulation of Torah sources, none of which actually prohibit what he says or implies they do.
4) He uses "junk science." Looking at his "scientific evidence," especially his bringing the work of both Mrs. Dorothy Retallack and rock guitarist Bob Larson, proves he relies on "junk science" to make his case. As I noted, Bob Larson publicly recanted his medical assertions thirty years ago
5) He is a racist. (This is relevant because he builds his music criticism on racial theories.) From quoting the KKK publication The Southerner, to making race-based arguments against rock music, to making common cause with, and quoting favorably, such apparent racists as the reverend David Noebel, to citing "white citizens councils" approvingly, it is clear that Rabbi Luft is comfortable advocating racist views.
6) His approach is, in the main, not based on Torah sources. As I've noted, there aren't a whole lot of Jewish sources quoted in this book. I'd estimate ten or so, and that includes multiple citations various comments by Malbim, none of which --as I demonstrated-- prohibit what Rabbi Luft claims they do. In short, Rabbi Luft's book which claims to represent the Torah viewpoint on this music contains no quotes --not even one -- from a Halachik source, or even from a source claiming to make a halachik ruling. Now that's not exactly compelling, I'd think!
To sum up, I have clearly demonstrated my claims about Rabbi Luft and his book. My assertions are, in the main, supported by the book itself. I did bring a few other quotes from Rabbi Luft's earlier writing for the Yated and from his "Rules for Jewish Music" recently published by the BBC that help support my claims. These are all a matter of public record.
If I were creating that list of assertions again, I'd add one to the list. That'd be "3a) He consistently misquotes/misrepresents Torah sources." I'd included it in the breakdown above, as part of his manipulations, but upon reflection, I believe it deserves it's own bullet point. Distorting Torah to achieve one's own social goals constitutes a huge chilul Hashem. Simply put, it's ziyuf hatorah. And, misleading rabbonim into endorsing those "interpretations" constitutes a true "devar Hashem bozoh."
One additional hagaha, as it were. In Part III, I addressed Rabbi Luft's misrepresentation of the Gemara in Chagiga 15B and Acher's singing of Zemer Yevani. The interpretation I suggested is the Maharsha's explanation of the daf. Rashi's explanation represents an even stronger disproof of Rabbi Luft's contention. According to Rashi, Acher's sin was that he was constantly singing after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, and that's why he turned out the way he did. It was because he was not sensitive to the churban. In other words, it had nothing to do with the fact that it was secular. That's what he happened to have sung, but the same would have happened, even if he'd only been singing medleys of Rabbi Luft's approved nigunim all the time. So, according to Rashi's explanation, Rabbi Luft has no evidence whatsoever on the bad effects of secular music on Acher. And according to Maharsha, as I explained in that post, it's because of the inappropriate lyrics, not the melodic or rhythmic content.
To reiterate why I took the time to do this...
I don't believe that Rabbi Luft is open to considering any challenges. I do believe though that there are those in the community to whom Emes (truth) is important. I believe that those people feel, as I do, that distorting Torah is wrong, full stop. This is true regardless of supposed holy intentions. I know that there are many chareidim, including rabbonim and members of the Agudah leadership, who have read my blog, and specifically my posts on this subject. It is my hope that they will do the right thing and use their influence to head off these askanim. Thus far, the askanim have managed to create several world-wide chilul Hashem spectacles. The fact that they appear to have rabbinic sanction amplifies the chilul. It is past time that responsible members of the chareidi leadership reject these bullies and this approach, both to end the chilul Hashem and to stop the inevitable exodus in response by thinking and artistic Jews who are being made to feel they have no place in the community.
For ease of use, I will be updating all my earlier posts in this series to include links to all the posts on this topic.
Here are my previous posts in this series:
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part I
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part II
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part III"
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part IIIa
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker"; Part IV
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part V
In Review - Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part VI
In Review - R'; Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part VII
In Review - R' Ephraim Luft's "The Torah Is Not Hefker" Part VIII