Monday, September 10, 2012

Carlebach Circus Selichos?

Here's some video footage of the Carlebach Shul's Selichos this past Motzoei Shabbos.

 A couple of thoughts/comments.

1) It's Carlebach, not Carelbach. You'd think people in the music business would get it right.

2) Shlomo didn't do Selichos this way. (See here:

3) This is clearly a huge fundraiser for the Carlebach Shul. I hope they took in a lot of $$$. The community at large should support the Carlebach Shul's work year-round. Since they don't, a few big events are needed to raise funds.

4) It's obvious, both from watching the video and speaking to people who have been, that there are a very large number of people who do not connect with traditional Selichos. My question is, is it better to create Selichos entertainment for them, as this is, or would it be better if they were to find something else to do Selichos night?

5) Looking at the video (and knowing some of the people there), one can see that there are some who are sincerely attempting to connect using this medium. Equally clearly, one can see that there are many more people simply there to party. Is that necessarily a bad thing? To the extent that the party atmosphere does not distract (or even enhances) those sincere seekers who connect this way, I'd say it might even be a good thing. On the plus side, it largely keeps some of them --the ones who wouldn't be comfortable just skipping the whole ritual -- out of other shuls, where they would no doubt be talking or otherwise disturbing anyway.

6) Personally, if one wants to hear inspirational musical Selichos and/or pre-Selichos, there are numerous options available in the NY area that I'd recommend over this event. YMMV.