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MUSIC, MOVIES & TV-----jewish music (V)

I don't see what is traditional or Jewish about taking a Carelbach tune and superimposing Greateful Dead arrangements into it. Carelebach songs are clearly Jewish, in the sense that they facilitate the penetration of the words that they are being sung into the psyche of the listener or singer. I don't know if his songs actually enhanced understanding of the words the way real Jewish music used to (I started a topic called "Jewish Music" that discusses this), but nowadays, it is perhaps the best we can do.

But to take those tunes and superimpose on them Greateful Dead type arrangements, which is basically all Reva L'Sheva does to them, I don't understand why that is considered a positive thing. If it helps attract people to Judaism, ok, I can hear that, but that doesn't mean that they did not make the song much less Jewish in the process.

In other words, they are not bringing the non-Jewish-acting Jews up to the level of Jewish music, but rather bringing the music down to the level of the non-Jewish-acting Jews.

Which may be fine, but the subject of discussion here is not the kiruv potential of certain music, but it’s Jewishness.

It is therefore not surprising that the same frum teenagers who, when listening to certain Carelbach songs feel comfortable sitting solemnly but happily thinking about the message of the words, will, when hearing the same song played by Reva L'Sheva, start "rocking" like simple clubhoppers with a beer in one hand and cigarette in the other. Visit Kalba Savua on certain nights and you will see this.

At the wedding of Shachar Bassan to Tiki Witt, Kalba Savua was playing Carelbach with a reggae twist. A man with a grey beard approached the band and asked them to stop. This happens sometimes, at frum weddings when the band gets a bit out of control, that the rabbi will politely reign them in.

But this wasn't he choson's Rosh Yeshiva that made the band stop.

It was Shlomo Carlebach.

"Chevra," he said to them, "Can you please play it the right way?"

Carelebach considered the rocked up versions of his songs to be not his songs at all. "It's nice and sweet and cute," he once said to his "chevra" on the West Side when they played for him a metallic version of one of his songs, "but it's not my song."

Those who were the biggest mavenim on what being Jewish and close to G-d means, enjoyed Shlomo Carelbach's songs. Rav Aharon Kotler ZT"L was particularly fond of "lulai soraschah". Yet I have no doubt that Rav Aharon would not find the same place in his heart for the rocked up version of the same song. It's just not within the realm of human imagination to conjure a picture of Rav Aharon listening to that stuff.

Rav Shlomo Alkabetz ZT"L (the author of "lecha dodi") writes that the reason music affects a person so deeply is because music is the language that the soul was used to before it came down to this world. The angels are constantly singing to G-d, and that was what the soul was accustomed to hear when it was in heaven. (Manos Halevi, Esther).

So here's the question: What do you think the melodies sung in heaven by the angels sound like? With no cultural influences, no commercial agendas, no Yetzer Horah, and no deadheads that need kiruv, do you think their music sounds more like lulei soraschah by Carelbach, or the metalized "mah tovu" by Reva L'Sheva?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have heard that there are many poskim that do not allow us to listen to any musical instruments at all since the destruction of the bes hamikdash, except for simchas mitzva. can you elaborate?

Also, even from the poskim that do allow music today, how do we/you know which songs are mutar? If they are "confused" as you put it, why do we have a heter at all?

Don't get me wrong I love music, but I have heard in the name of Chassidhse sforim that if a person hears music from someone that is not l'shem shomayim or even worse, has thoughts of impressing women chasv'sholom, anyone who hears this type of singing becomes metameh which can cause to do great sins chas v'sholom. I don't know enough about the singers of todays time to want to take that kind of risk...