Thursday, December 24, 2015

More On Zochreini Na

Over at Daily Reyd - Torah Musings, Rabbi Gil Student disagrees with me.

He writes:
A Jewish musician suggests banning the song “Zochreini Na” because it has become an anthem of revenge killings in Israel. I disagree. In the US, it has no connotations of that nature whatsoever. It’s just a song. You can see on YouTube (I, II) plain yeshivish weddings where the song is played and no one is waving guns in the air or anything like that. I have never heard of the song meaning anything like that in the US.
Needless to say, I disagree with him. In my original piece, I traced the source of the melody, and how it became popular here in the US. Although he is correct, that -- so far -- people don't generally react to the song in that way here, that could easily change. More to the point, the glorification of aspects of far-right extremism, as occurred in popularizing the song in the first place, and in the fact that Dov Shurin is given any sort of forum in Jewish Media, is troubling. It's not like the song was an innocuous song, that was then adopted by the radicals. That is its source. Indulging this sort of radicalism is a very bad idea.

As Ha'aretz wrote, quoting Rav Sherlo in 2002: "However, Rabbi Sherlo insisted that vengeance should not be the subject of songs and dances: "We don't dance over the spilling of blood... We don't ignore the heavy price that vengeance brings in its wake, and the endless cycle of violence. We don't dance about vengeance because we are careful not to be spoiled by it, not to become enamored of it and of the evil it generates in the world."