Adama Veshamayim – Avoda Zara

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  • #1714251

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    To list a few very significant factors for why this issue is about more than just a ‘chill’:
    1) Many Yidden get a great hisorerus from this song, and its not just another nice tune–the words carry a unique message that is not stressed a lot elsewhere: the profound idea of connecting to Hashem through His beriah, not just on an intellectual/left-brain level but “be’ruchi ve’nishmasi”–on a soulful/right-brained level. Perhaps not everyone out there relates to this concept so much, and some are quick to relegate this to the bin of avodah zara notions, but many neshamos genuinely connect to the Kevod Hashem that fills kol ha’aretz. The song in question powerfully brings out this experience for many such people, and to rob them of this–when there are indeed legitimate arguments to serve as a basis for this minhag Yisrael, as explained clearly in my postings above–would be would be a terrible loss and shame.
    2) On the negative side–there are real consequences of causing machlokes and pain to many different people involved here, from the producers and singers, to those who really enjoy it and those who requested that it be sung by their simchos (and again, there are legitimate arguments to validate this minhag, so as not to require that we make a machlokes out of it).
    3) When it comes to ‘being too machmir’ in general and this case included–one of the big things that turn kids (and adults) off of Yiddishkeit is that they perceive it to be overly restrictive and harsh in an imbalanced way. We need to SHOW them that a life of Torah and Mitzvos is not at all dark and primitive, simplistic shallow and narrow-minded, etc, but rather deeply profound, broad-minded and empowering, embracing the truth and beauty of life in its FULL entirety. By simply leaving things as ‘lets just be machmir with it’ we are adding fuel to their fire and indeed making our Torah-lifestyle less balanced and broad-minded than our Maker wants it to be. We should be strict when that is really called for, and permissive when that is really called for; spiritually oriented and halachically G-d fearing; looking for all the practical, emotional and psychological factors at hand in every situation. With this ideal of ‘balancing-both’ at the forefront of our focus, we will bring ourselves the full enrichment that Torah-life has to offer, and our children and neighbors will see and wish to take part.
    As Shlomo Hamelech summed up: “lakol zeman, ve’es lechol chefetz tachas ha’shamayim–there is a time for everything, and a moment for every drive under the heavens”.
    {I humbly request that whoever reads this last point do so carefully and patiently. Although it’s not too complicated or deep, it contains profound wisdom, and yet it is not in line with the way many people naturally think. This matter of embracing complexity and balancing opposing ideals is not the most common trait. Not surprising that it is rooted in the words of the wisest of all kings and men.
    Forgive me if it sounds at all like I’m preaching here, I just feel very strongly about this matter.}

    #1714282

    interjection
    Participant

    Bakancisthekey

    If listening to such a song is a form of serving a”z then people are not being “chumrah chasers” by saying that it is forbidden to listen to it.

    The question here is if this song falls into that category.

    #1714285

    interjection
    Participant

    It’s very likely that this song is totally muttar and that this song is arousing feelings of deveikut and yearnings for teshuva.
    But it’s possible for a person to get high from a different source and mistake it for a spiritual high.

    #1714313

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    @balanceisthekey

    1) What if someone likes a priests classes about the old testament because it makes them feel holier?
    I’m sorry but halacha doesn’t really care about your feelings in every area. Is it right to steal if you feel you rightfully deserve it? What if not being tzniyus or shomer eneyim makes you feel holier? Can you go against halacha simply because it “feels” like it should be okay?

    2) If someone is sexually abusing people in the community, we shouldn’t publicize it because “Oy nebach, it will ruin his name”. Obviously it’s wrong to make up stuff about people, or on purpose give them a bad name but if someone is causing harm to others; either by sexually abusing them or by giving people things to listen to or see that are against the Torah; that’s not the time to keep quiet.

    I have NOTHING against Matt Dubb, I don’t know if he knew the origins of the song or not; and I’m not EVEN discussing THAT. We are discussing the origins of a noun, a physical thing, that may or may not be assur. No one here has criticized or made threats to or judged Matt Dubb.

    3) Is it being machmir if your Rabbi says it’s assur? Oh no, were turning kids of yiddishkeit by telling young girls they have to wear socks and can’t wear pants. It’s assur now to watch inappropriate movies? What? But, like so many people do it and it’s fun, it can’t be assur. Uch, I don’t want to be frum anymore.

    #1714402

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Yes, there are two issues here that have been discussed from the beginning of this thread till now: a) is it inherently muttar or not, and it was explained about 25 replies ago that there are two different arguments that justify this minhag yisrael, ayin sham. b) is it appropriate to be machmir here, being that there’s a possibility of a”z, and that was addressed in these last replies.

    #1714414

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    Balance is the key: Do you realize that all your arguments can also be used for arayes or eating chazer?
    If its assur, its assur.

    If its muttar, I’m all pro-it (I have stated multiple times in the coffee room that I’m pro- Jewish rap and rock). But avoda zara – no.

    #1714529

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    “Balance” is a buzzword, not a real value. It either is or is not avodah zara, and all other points are irrelevant.

    #1714637

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    He’s not getting it. I’ve never witnessed a person love a song so much. He’s kind of making me want to go listen to it assuming it turns out that it’s not avodah zara.

    Balance: If a community had a “minhag” to murder the 5th child born in every family, you could say all the same arguments you’re saying for this. I don’t think you realize the implications of a”z in halachah. Case and point, I bet you think it’s extreme for people to compare it to murder.

    #1714712

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    You have yet to explain:
    1. tHE DEFINITION OF MINHAG YISROEL
    2. The names of the Rabbis who have announced this specific song isn’t avodah zora.

    #1714709

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    RebYidd,
    You’re right that an abstract concept like balance can become easily thrown about, popularized and superficialized into a meaningless word, but it can’t be denied that in truth, balance is a real matter of great Torah-life-value. Ask any Rav and they will tell you that ‘shikul ha’daas’–i.e. taking into account and weighing all the varying relevant factors in a situation–is most crucial in Halacha, both in the initial stage of clarifying the sugya in Shas and Poskim, and in the important follow up stage of applying the yesodos of the sugya to the situation at hand. We all know that things are not at all black and white, not in the theoretical world of limud haTorah and not in the practical world of kiyum haTorah. Life is full of grey, or to put it in more pleasant (and accurate) terms–many different colors.
    This shailah at hand–even with something as serious and ‘black and white’ as the issur a”z!–is a beautiful case in point.

    #1714906

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    There is no balance between avoda zara and not avoda zara.

    #1714947

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Shopping613,
    1. Minhag Yisrael is not about Rabbonim coming together and initiating something, as was suggested before (that would be in the realm of a takana), but rather it is organically developed over time by a larger group of Torah-following Jews. There is no exact number given in halacha for the amount of people involved in order to get the status of a minhag. Certainly a whole town’s involvement would create a ‘minhag’ in that town, but beyond that the parameters are not ‘black and white’ and must be determined by the Posek, which leads into…
    2. Of course this issue, like any other significant one that you are not sure about, should be brought before your Rav. I am merely responding to the dayos of others that were posted on this thread with my own humble daas, trying to bring out points that I think help clarify the full picture of this ‘sugya’.

    #1715027

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    “This shailah at hand–even with something as serious and ‘black and white’ as the issur a”z!–is a beautiful case in point.”

    Uggghhhh. Blaaarf. Next you’ll be serenading us with “honest struggle with halacha” and “balancing the right of gays with the torah” and other reformesque cliches. I’m not sure if you’re getting your hashkafois from Ami magazine, but it’s definitely not from chazal.

    #1714981

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    RebYidd,
    Every single halacha, like every matter in life, has subtle nuances to it, making it subject to different viewpoints and variations– chilukei dayos and chilukim. The big three aveiros are no exception, only that with them we are generally more machmir in cases of doubt (and of course really with any de’oraisa we are machmir in a safek). Despite this severity however, the arguments have been laid out that this case is different because it is a Minhag Yisrael, which is equivalent to a Rav paskening that it is proper, so long as it can be shown not to contradict Halacha either by a) relying on a pre-existing daas yachid (in this case R’ Ovadiah Yosef) or b) relying on a sevara that is within reason, even if it is a chiddush (in this case–the fact that R’ Moshe could very well agree here that is fine since in current times the song seems to be primarily associated with neutral/open-ended intentions of Rainbow-Gathering-members and the like, no longer sung primarily in an a”z context).
    This is some of the ‘balance’ within the halacha itself, before even getting to the major balancing act regarding the practical application of the halacha to this particular setting–should we be extra machmir beyond the base-line halacha or would that be an inappropriate chumra, and that gets into all of the complicated social and psychological factors listed above.

    #1715074

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Despite this severity however, the arguments have been laid out that this case is different because it is a Minhag Yisrael”

    You’re the only one arguing that. You’re writing proofs which rely on an axiom not accepted as truth by anyone else, so no matter how hard you argue, it’s a waste of time. Nobody here believes a pop song that came out recently is a “minhag yisrael.” I don’t even think you truly believe that. It’s such an absurd argument that I have to conclude you’re either trolling or so obsessed with this song that you have it on repeat 8 hours a day and it’s started to adversely affect your logical reasoning/sanity.

    Even if we were talking about a 100% uncontroversial, super frum, super Jewy pop song that definitely wasn’t A”Z, it would still be ridiculous to call it a “minhag yisrael.” You’re grasping for the weirdest of straws.

    #1715064

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Yeshivishrockstar,
    You began this thread nice and objectively with a fact-based accounting. Please stick to that approach of dealing with the facts and points being made; there’s no need, no point, and no virtue in resorting to subjective comments that just put other people down.
    If you have something of substance to say in addressing one of the points that was made, I’m very happy to hear it.

    #1715104

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    Ahh yes. “Subtle nuance” and of course “complicated social and psychological factors”. I must have missed those.

    You are aware you sound sound like you’re from YCT, BalanceIsOffKey?

    #1715315

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Yeshivishrockstar,
    Is there any toeles be’emes in such comments?
    If you’re seeking to ‘defeat negative forces’ out there, the greatest way to do it is to look for the positive trait that they do have and bring it into your own broader worldview, so instead of making a mockery of these important concepts why not stress their chashivus while plugging it into your broader framework, whether its about being a yeshivish rockstar or whatever else makes up your worldview.
    In short: don’t negate, integrate.

    #1715546

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “In short: don’t negate, integrate.”

    You’re aware that, generally speaking, users of this forum tend to adhere to something called “Orthodox Judaism?” This small religious group holds that worshiping idols is wrong because of laws laid out for us in the Bible. We also do other stuff like observing the sabbath and wrapping phylacteries.

    #1715544

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Balanceisthekey: when you post a total distortion of Yiddishkeit, expect to be mocked. It’s a mitzvah. Leitzanusa d’avoda zara.

    #1715552

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    Balance, when the other side is willing to have a “conversation” to discuss “deep halachic concepts” I am willing to have that “meaningful dialogue.”

    But, when we’re talking halacha – and a simple fact-based shaila to boot – , and someone keeps throwing in extra-halachic concepts such as “balance” and “nuance” which are unclassifiable, undebatable, unprovable, and entirely based on emotion, and are very reminiscient of non-torah hashkafa of YCT and the reform movement, I will make fun of him

    Even if it’s not so “subtle” and “nuanced.”

    Kol letzunasa asura…. chutz…..

    And this type of hashkafa fits this catagory better than adama veshamayim.

    #1715313

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    NevilleChaimBerlin
    Thank you for bringing things back to a course of reasoned debate–that “a pop song that came out recently” is not considered a Minhag Yisrael–almost all the dissents for the past while have been lacking any substance, just venting frustration and negativity.
    Its amazing that we have such strong sensitivities to a”z, ashreichem Yisrael, be’emes, but please–let’s let only clear-headed reasoning lead every discussion and comment.
    To be fair and honest, all my talk about balance does also have to be balanced also–by the need for simple whole-hearted Temimus, letting the neshama’s pure senses of yashrus and emunah shine forth, but certainly this has to work together with the complexities and analysis of the seichel. That combo is what gives us our unique Shleimus of being Yidden!
    To address your point about this being considered a Minhag or not, this gets into what I responded before to Shopping613, that the parameters of ‘Minhag Yisrael’ are not clearly defined in Halacha and need to be determined by a Posek assessing the situation. I can definitely hear the possibility of the argument that you are making that this is not considered a Minhag, but I can also definitely hear the argument that it is, being that it has been played and sung a lot around chasunas, events, shuls, etc over the past year or so. Once again, bring it to your Rav to decide, I’m just putting forth another deiah that I think deserves to be heard out.

    #1715568

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    My friend, you–and I, and every other Yid–are called upon to open your G-d given human faculties and use them, not to follow any sort of baseless ‘flowy emotional stuff’. I really don’t know why terms like ‘balance’ and ‘nuance’ come across at all as scary, vague, evil, or unnerving–they are basic features of Torah and life!
    I have yet to hear from you any substantive response to the actual halachic points–many of them–that have been made. There is absolutely nothing extra-halachic about what I’ve said–it all goes into dealing with the shailah at hand in a real and comprehensive way, determining what is Ratzon Hashem. Life is complex and Halacha is complex.
    May Hashem open our whole minds to see the whole truth and beauty of His Torah and creation.

    #1716626

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Thank you for bringing things back to a course of reasoned debate–that “a pop song that came out recently” is not considered a Minhag Yisrael–almost all the dissents for the past while have been lacking any substance, just venting frustration and negativity.”

    This almost makes me feel a little guilty about my delayed, insult post. This spam folder thing is making for weird threads (kind of hilarious actually). How’s that going, mods? Should I make a new account? I feel bad burdening you with this.

    #1716819

    apushatayid
    Participant

    So, is the songwriter wiccan? the band? those who did the remix that the israeli group took it from, are they wiccan? you could construe the lullaby twinkle, twinkle little star as worshipping the stars if you want to.

    #1716837

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “So, is the songwriter wiccan? the band? those who did the remix that the israeli group took it from, are they wiccan? ”
    Seems the song was wiccan and was taken by an Israeli “Bu-Jew” group, and then by a frum guy. Hanaah from A”Z stays assur no matter how many times it’s exchanged. If the line of transmission is as believed, then it seems like it would be assur.

    #1717158

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    The song was written by and for a wiccan cult to serve nature.

    #1717270

    ERLICHE YID
    Participant

    After all if there’s a cashash a chance that it is az who wouldn’t be machmir come on you are talking here of Avodas zara! Of the aseres hadibros who wants to risk for such a stupid thing

    #1717293

    Non Political
    Participant

    @balanceis the key

    “the parameters of ‘Minhag Yisrael’ are not clearly defined in Halacha and need to be determined by a Posek assessing the situation.”

    “it is a Minhag Yisrael, which is equivalent to a Rav paskening that it is proper”

    Please clarify

    #1717322

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    I was suggesting my humble opinion on the matter that this does in fact get the status of a Minhag and would thus be justified with the other factors mentioned before–R’ Ovadiah’s daas yachid as well as the sevara that R’ Moshe could also agree here (see above), but like all significant matters that a person is unsure about, one should consult his Rav.

    #1717334

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I cant find any evidence that tony french or the band prana are wiccan. even if they are, perhaps they are atheists. wiccans, especially the ones who were popular in the 70s and 80s were more hippies than than anything else.

    #1717321

    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    Neville – the song was composed by a Wiccan to serve and praise Gaia, the earth god. However, the song’s popularity has caused the original intent to be forgotten, which might provide slight justification.

    Balance – the reason why no one is addressing your “halachic” arguments is because, quite frankly, they’re unintelligible and have nothing to do with the subject. If someone would say 1+4=7 you could explain him where he went wrong. ut if someone says 2+5=cucumber, he’s “not even wrong”. (Do yourself a favor and google that phrase.)

    That’s what bringing in nuance and subtlety, and making statements like halacha is complex is in this subject. It’s not even wrong,

    #1717386

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I was suggesting my humble opinion on the matter that this does in fact get the status of a Minhag

    That’s beyond silly.

    #1717392

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “However, the song’s popularity has caused the original intent to be forgotten, which might provide slight justification.”

    I don’t see the relevance. If somebody made an idol to worship and a Jew later acquired it and used it as art, that doesn’t make it mutar. The original intent is always what matters with A”Z. However, I cynic in me says if certain poskim found a way to matir avoda zara hair, they’ll certainly figure out how to construe this as mutar.

    Ironically, the song is obviously only popular with those who are makpid on not listening to any goyish music. Nobody in their right mind would listen to these Jewish parody singers unless they felt like they had to, and now those people are defending possible A”Z.

    #1717454

    Non Political
    Participant

    @balance

    “I was suggesting my humble opinion on the matter that this does in fact get the status of a Minhag”

    But you yourself said that the criteria for determining what gets such a status are not clear and needs to be determined by a competent Posek.

    I’m trying to understand how your point of view as you are expressing it.

    #1717562

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    yeshivishrockstar
    You’re right, don’t be caught up in the ‘balance, subtlety’ stuff if it makes you uncomfortable; that was only a part of a part of the follow-up to the main arguments that I made. So far, I think only one of those points have actually been contested with any sort of reasoned argument–by one person, nevillechaimberlin.

    nevillechaimberlin
    The sevara is that here it wasn’t ‘converted’ by Jews–already before it reached the hands of even the secular Israeli Jews who translated it, it had become largely associated with the ‘neutral’ rainbow gatherings and the like, and the meaning of the vague keyphrase of the song ‘I feel it in my soul/ruchi ve’nishmasi’ was/is open to whatever the person singing it has in mind. This is one of the main points I mentioned in the beginning.

    nonpolitical
    The YWN cofferoom is obviously not a place where psak is happening. This is sort of like a virtual beis medrash–at least re these Torah-related topics, I’m not sure about the summer camp stuff :)–where we are all sharing our views and judgment calls on these Torah topics, while ultimately it is the view and judgement call of your Posek that will decide for you practically.
    Does that make things clearer?

    #1717651

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “The sevara is that here it wasn’t ‘converted’ by Jews–already before it reached the hands of even the secular Israeli Jews who translated it, it had become largely associated with the ‘neutral’ rainbow gatherings and the like”

    I understand what you’re going for here, but that did not seem to be the argument you’d been using this whole time. It’s similar to a conversation about Halloween: today 99% of goyim think it’s an arbitrary, secular, fun holiday. And, interestingly, many of them have elevated Thanksgiving to the point of being pseudo-religious. Yet, we clearly go with the original source in determining whether or not we partake.

    #1717686

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but as Ive been saying a number of times, there are multiple components that make up the argument–this sevara (or alternatively, relying on a daas yachid like R’ Ovadiah zt”l) is being used after the fact that it has become (arguably, la’aniyas dati) a minhag Yisrael to justify it, because thats how ‘organically produced’ Minhag Yisrael works–it encourages us to find a smach/basis for something, even though we might now have done so a initially, consciously; we wouldn’t say to rely on a das yachid or on a novel sevarah like this to be matir a de’orisa chamura before any such minhag exists.
    I’m not suggesting we start any new minhagim now re haloween… 😉
    ashreinu that we have such amazing genuine moadim! a gutten yom tov!

    #1717709

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    To reiterate: I don’t think this sevara is crazy-novel; its very much within reason, just a novelty that would take a lot of courage to say on our own, but the koach of a minhag Yisrael would encourage us to do so.

    #1717756

    Non Political
    Participant

    @balnce

    “…Does that make things clearer”

    No, because you are not being internally consistent. I’ll grant you that IF singing this song does become an established minhag recognized as such by Poskim of stature then you would have something. I would also grant you that IF there are leprechauns then there is also probably a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    #1718732

    balanceisthekey
    Participant

    Non-political
    I can understand if you don’t hear this argument that I’m contending regarding the parameters of Minhag, but I don’t understand at all why you are saying that its internally inconsistent for me to argue this way.

    By the way, after doing a little more research and iyun, it became more clear that not only is the issue here dependent on how many people it takes to establish a minhag, and for how long etc, but more fundamentally on the basis for following Minhag Yisrael in general: Some Poskim seem to understand that it is only because it acts as a proof that there must have been a legitimate Psak by a Rav in the first place that initiated the whole Minhag (and the Psak just became forgotten, and now ‘revived’)–in which case you would not have that over here, as there doesn’t seem to be any Rav who initially was ‘machshir’ the production of this song with full knowledge of its origins. Other Achronim from later centuries however clearly express the idea that the basis for following Minhag Yisroel is that Klal Yisrael is zoche to a special Hashgacha from Shamayim, and that if a sizeable group of Yidden act in a certain way (again, it obviously has to be justifiable within halacha, like here where there is a daas yochid and another sevara to rely on) it automatically has the stamp of Heaven on it being machshir it. What’s considered ‘sizeable’ would still be up to the Posek to assess, along with this fundamental issue of how much inherent chashivus to attribute to a Minhag Yisrael.
    A fascinating sugya to the say the least!

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