Home › Forums › Controversial Topics › Carlebach niggunim
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April 23, 2018 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #1510325
In my experience living in out of town communities, “black hat shuls” sing carlebach niggunim (not aggudah). It seems most yeshivish minyanim do not use his nigunim. I’m wondering how communities given some controversial ideas and practices he used.April 23, 2018 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1510337
Clarification post: I’m wondering how some communities use his niggunim, give some controversial ideas and practices he used, even when they were clearly against what these communities stand for.April 23, 2018 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #1510349Me12345Participant
It’s good songs so we don’t really think about what he stood for. There were also parts of his life that he was very accepted and songs from that time r more universally acceptedApril 24, 2018 12:13 am at 12:13 am #1510354benignumanParticipant
Rav Moshe, quite a while ago, already was matir using his niggunim. The use of his niggunim has become accepted in even the most yeshivish circles.
The only posek I have ever heard of who assurs listening to his music is Rabbi Yitzchok Abadi.April 24, 2018 12:13 am at 12:13 am #1510351
I understand, and grew up I. Shuls that ocasiionaly used his niggunim, but I would think not using his songs is clearly the right thing. He pretty openly pushed for some shocking thing, bordering on conservative ideology. We wouldnt use conservative “good tunes”April 24, 2018 7:45 am at 7:45 am #1510400Chaim EliezerParticipant
My objection isn’t the character of the composer, but the niggunim themselves. They often force one to distort the syllables and meter of the text, and unnecessarily drag out the davening.April 24, 2018 7:53 am at 7:53 am #1510404
I thought MO shuls used Conservative tunes all the time? Maybe it’s actually Conservative Shuls using MO tunes and I have it backwards.April 24, 2018 8:41 am at 8:41 am #1510414
Benignuman: Rav Moshe’s teshuva about Carlebach is far from a wholehearted endorsement. It is very critical.April 24, 2018 8:41 am at 8:41 am #1510416ZionGateParticipant
“…..They often force one to distort the syllables and meter of the text, and unnecessarily drag out the davening….”
With Carlebach niggunim?? Never experienced that, they fit nicely ; on the contrary, so many other niggunim don’t fit the text.
Hence, the oy, oy…, ey, ey,…. tra- la- la…, na-na-na- to fill the gaps.April 24, 2018 8:42 am at 8:42 am #1510421
I happen to have known Reb Shlomo. No, I was not approving a whole lot of what he did. Absolutely not. I recall having a conversation with someone the day R’ Shlomo was niftar. He had commented to me about the petira in a sarcastic manner. I simply asked the fellow if he had as many people being currently Shomer Shabbos to his credit as R’ Shlomo had to his credit. No answer.
I do not approve any form of aveiroh. Negiya is a serious infraction, and there were other behaviors that were questionable if not outright issurim. I do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. And I will not stand in judgment. No problem calling an issur an issur. But I am not a Dayan in Beis Din Shel Maaloh, and I cannot judge him for his character. No, I do not run around calling him a tzaddik. But the opposite is likewise not indicated. He was not an apikores, and he connected to Chassidus in a manner that was helpful to others, but with some compromises (that I reject).
Lastly, the character of a composer is not really my business, and that is suggested in the tshuvah from Reb Moshe ZT”L. Do we calculate the character (bein odom laMakom) of anyone else? Do we examine the business tzidkus of the proprietors whose businesses we patronize? How about our friends and neighbors? Do we examine their dealings to see if they have ever engaged in lashon horah, hasogas gevul, gezailoh or ona’ah? Do we check their (wives’) shaitlach to insure they are not using human hair with issues? How about their stockings? Which hechsherim do they bring into their homes? It’s ridiculous, and that is obvious. We need to create a conception that distinguishes the individual from his behavior, and judge accordingly. We’re not talking about being meshadech with him.April 24, 2018 11:03 am at 11:03 am #1510580
The little I know, we often do judge character when it comes to cases that affect the rabbim. Carlebach gave smicha to women, amd was a instrumental in women of the wall, both thi gs we activilely dissascociate with. I don’t know of anyone who goes to hear women of the wall or yct rabbis on certain topics because it lifts them spiritually and than separate from them because of there other behaviors. Carlebach really pushed his ideology and from what I know we do cut ties with leaders of dangerous movements like that. But for some reason, we just like his songs and they get a pass.
To be clear I’m talking about his ideology, and actions in his shuls, removing mechitzos ect. Not his personal character or negiah issueApril 24, 2018 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1510620benignumanParticipant
I never said he endorsed Carlebach. It was critical of Carlebach. But Rav Moshe held that there is no isur in using his niggunim.April 24, 2018 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1510651
side point; the OP question is textbook phrasing of loshon hora. main point: who is arbiter of “pure” music? is abie rottenberg music better Mr. Judge? how about the Slovakian peasant or Russian shepherd songs the chasidim sing? it’s clear that Reb Shlomo’s songs resonate deep within the heart and it is really painful to watch this smear campaign. Is MBD a tsadik oilam? you seriously better take a good look in the mirror and think about if you are in position to judge who’s music should be sung and who’s is off limits. sarah schnerir would probably be castigated as a feminist activist in today’s world, Reb Shlomo in his time was accepting of all people and was noach im habriyos, unquestionably his contribution to tons of kumzitzin and Shabbos/yom tov davenings are a zchus and tremendous benefit for those that reach higher madraigos through niggun. stop hatingApril 24, 2018 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #1510657
groissechuchum: Are you also angry at Reb Moshe for publicly publishing his Psak in hundreds of tousands of Seforim in Butei Medroshim and homes throughout the world highly criticizing Mr. Carelbach?April 24, 2018 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1510669
I heard quoted from a teshuva of Rav menashe Klein, his niggunim are assur, even his early ones. I have not seen it inside, and understand he’s generally pretty machmir, and certaintlt accept the above rav moshe. But to say we separate the person from the product is not simple, and not always true. To avoid having comments deleted again I’ll just say the problems with him are serious it seems we shouldn’t be so comfortable using his songs.April 24, 2018 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1510676
Grooswr chachum, I would post full answer but it is not allowed on coffeeroom. This is not simply a hashkafic issue, not an issue of mixes concerts or woman’s place in yiddisheit, he was openly stating things that are assur are mutter. In terms of who is ok and who isnt, we cannot go into details. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, we will have to leave it at that.April 24, 2018 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1510736
TLIK & GC; It’s not a matter of hating or judging, examining etc. We are talking about someone who was over averos befarhesya, the classic definition of chillul Hashem! Of course it is up to Bais Din shel Maaloh to render judgement, however the Torah gives us guidelines and defines who is an apikorus. See Perek Chelek in Sanhedrin.
What do anonymously authored Slovakian or Russian peasant songs have to do with this topic?April 24, 2018 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #1510750
as far as I know Reb Shlomo was shomer Shabbos and shomer Kashrus and baal emunah and baal bitachon – there are stories of him being over aveiros – does that paasul an entire person? but the vibe I get from the questioner is really a sneaky way to discuss how bad the deceased was disguised as an innocent halachik/hashkafik question, I am not fooled, it is clear to me that this is an attempt purely and simply to discredit, demean, and disparage someone with fans and admirers. I cannot believe that this toyles harabim to save people from chas vshalom singing a niggun which by doing so would have them be oived avodah zarah. it is simply a very sneaky way to white wash an obviously negative vent and rantApril 24, 2018 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #1510749YOSEFParticipant
JOSEPH–the teshuva of Rav Moshe was not highly critical at allApril 24, 2018 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #1510762
Grosserchacham, I really just wanted to know the justification of people, who already disagree with his actions and m.o. That’s why I tried to keep it to black hat, vs ultra right wing like an aggudah type shul. Both groups aren’t the typical carlebach type. Certainly if you there is no problem with carlebach there’s nothing to talk about. Thjis is specifically a question for people who do not stand at all with carlebach but are more than happy to sing his kabbolos shabbos. Don’t kid yourself into thinking I’m the first to raise this point, it’s no smear campaign. I’m sorry this has offended youApril 25, 2018 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #1511656Takes2-2tangoParticipant
Are you allowed to daven in a shul which waswas built by a donor whos money is known to be dirty money, ill gotten etc?April 25, 2018 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #1511660
Not all Averaros are the same, Some Averios people are more willing to forgive than others
Most people are willing to forgive missing Davening one morning and not putting on Tfillin that day, Most people are also not willing to forgive (I am not saying anyone did those things, just using them as an example)April 25, 2018 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #1511661
You are persisting to connect the nigun with its composer. I also disapproved (and still do) of the behaviors and other things that are unacceptable. I still do not believe that finding a person disgusting has anything to do with a nigun composed by him. And I repeat Reb Moshe’s tshuvah that stated this as well. I do not need to disagree with your statements about Carlebach. They are simply not relevant.
Lastly, we do have guidelines about who is considered an apikores. R’ Shlomo does not qualify for that at all, and I have yet to hear a pronouncement of any talmid chochom who would consider this. To say that he committed aveiros is easy. He was not secretive about that. I simply do not connect the character of a person to the nigunim he composed. End of story. Now, does Reb Moshe concur with that or not?April 26, 2018 7:28 am at 7:28 am #1511677👑RebYidd23Participant
(I forgot the rest of what I was going to say.)April 26, 2018 7:31 am at 7:31 am #1511720
There is a well known Movie Producer who was R’L jewish who was accused of doing similar Averios, He has become shunned by the world for these averios, surely we can follow the same example as the goyish world in treating some perpatratiors of certain averios similaryApril 26, 2018 8:16 am at 8:16 am #1511745
Zhavasdad, +1, although most people don’t know what your talking aboutApril 26, 2018 10:08 am at 10:08 am #1511759
ZD, why would you advocate following the goyim’s example? That’s a terrible idea.April 26, 2018 10:46 am at 10:46 am #1511863
You wrote: “Some Averios people are more willing to forgive than others” I am never able to forgive someone for not putting on Tefillin, missing davening, or chilul Shabbos. Those mitzvos are completely בין אדם למקום, and I have no authority over this. Frankly, someone’s degree of Avodas Hashem is not really my business. My obligation of הוכח תוכיח is a responsibility I have to HKB”H, and I have a mitzvah to say nothing if saying something will not work. Meanwhile, it is commonplace to stand in judgment of another’s status as an Oveid Hashem, and this is a perversion of our role and responsibility. I may be repulsed by the behavior I view in others, but I will never have the privilege to judge. What part of אל תדין is it difficult to grasp? Not even a בית דין has the authority to address these issues. Can you picture a בית דין accepting a defense from a בעל עבירה that he has done תשובה? They cannot, as these are matters that are not in their jurisdiction or domain. It is not up to me whether he should be forgiven.
Remaining with the feeling of disgust some 20 years after he passed away is your privilege, although I wonder if that is in accordance with דברי חז”ל. Once again, this is not relevant in any halachic way with his niggunim as poskim have stated.April 26, 2018 10:56 am at 10:56 am #1511816yudelParticipant
At his G=grave there are many stones on the matzivah left by the many visitors that came to hear him de compose the sweet melodies. You never know! One day, One day!April 26, 2018 11:58 am at 11:58 am #1511887izzygParticipant
I don’t have the time to read all the entries so maybe someone already wrote the following:
a well-known story circulated about shlomo’s last day on earth. There are two versions – I heard one from a relative who received it from the man involved. This yid refused to shake his hands in a shul that morning. Shlomo was offended but the man said it was because he was lax in negiyah. he was silent for a few seconds and asked “what if i do teshuivah over that?” the yid agreed. Shlomo then said, I have just done teshuvah over that aveirah” – the yid shook his hand and Shlomo left happy. An hjour or two later he died at the airport.
How are these people who refuse to be mekabel his teshuvah – holier that hakadosh boruch hu???April 26, 2018 11:59 am at 11:59 am #1511888
My understanding is that Reb Shlomo felt is pikuach nefesh for some neshamos and if they would get a hug from someone (a rabbi, a pop star, a known person) this would restore their confidence and remove a lifetime of disenchantment and rejection. mutav to be oiver one aveirah thereby hopefully capturing mitzvos harbey was cheshbon. can a therapist give a hug acc to halacha? and like story of Acher – had we been there would we have acted any different? the guy’s dead decades let him rest in peace, let the fact that his song withstood the test of time be testament to their sanctionApril 26, 2018 11:59 am at 11:59 am #1511892
It is appropriate to not support the business of a get refused, with or without a public statement of a vaad or bais din. Same with a moser, etc. This really has nothi g to do with judging their individual character, I do not know how their mind works, or what drove them to their decisions. These people really may go to a higher place in Olem Hannah than anyone we come into to contact with, and we shouldn’t speculate. It is Hashem who judges, but people absolutely have social responsibilities. I don’t believe any frum community looks the other way all the time, we all have a line were the actions of someone compel us to act a certain way toward them. To pretend otherwise is willfuly naive. If it doesn’t apply to carlebach that’s perfectly acceptable, but this don’t judge is reactive nonsense, immature thinking, and has nothing to do with anything.April 26, 2018 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1511909Chaim EliezerParticipant
Consider the “mizmor leDavid” we sing when returning the Sefer Torah to the aron on Shabbos. The standard tune adapts easily to the irregularities in the text, such as additional syllables. Carlebach’s niggun does not. Unfortunately it’s not possible to attach .mp3 examples to blog posts here.April 26, 2018 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1511915
ZD, why would you advocate following the goyim’s example? That’s a terrible idea.
If the Goyim do something right, we should follow their example. Appeals Process in Beis Din came from the GoyimApril 26, 2018 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1511927
I cant say I am the most meticulous when it comes to Mitzvas, and I am fairly leniant on what I expect from other, However I do expect people who are supposed to be better than me to behave better than me and not do things that I would never considerApril 26, 2018 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #1511975
“Appeals Process in Beis Din came from the Goyim”
Incorrect. Butei Dinim today do not have any appeals process they lacked previously or got from the goyim.April 26, 2018 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #1512073
Tlik & GC; I don’t approve or disapprove of anyone’s behavior, Hashem and his Torah may though.
One of the definitions of a min/apikorus is not accepting even one mitzvah of the Torah.
I am not disagreeing with Rav Moshe zt”l or any other Posek chas veshalom as I am not even a Rav. I’m just pointing out a hashkafic or emotional aspect. If he had eaten pork in public in order to bring lost souls back to Yiddishkeit, would all his defenders feel the same way? What is the difference? Could he have used the same vacuous pikuach nefesh excuse?April 26, 2018 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #1512280
You are being ridiculous. The hashkafic aspect is whatever you wish it to be, so that’s not objective. Your hashkafah has no relevance to me, nor mine to you. Emotional is equally not-transferable. I might be able to challenge your hashkafah as being based on inaccuracy, but cannot do that regarding the emotional. In any case, you are entitled to both your hashkafah and emotion, but are not entitled to impose that on anyone else. You keep returning to the argument that I have stated is irrelevant. You address the inappropriate behavior, and look for additional examples, or ways to make it all sound worse. I’m not impressed. I agree that there were plenty of actions of his that were horrible, and inappropriate for someone purporting to share divrei Torah, etc. When I look for works about hashkafah, I can B”H find many resources of gedolim, and I don’t feel any drop of interest in seeking R’ Shlomo’s insights. But again, we are not discussing his hashkafos or his behavior. Just his nigunim. You may feel negatively about them, and are entitled to to do so. But that doesn’t affect how others should feel.
You are correct in expecting those purport to be models for behavior to exhibit behavior patterns that are above reproach. Agreed. Again, this has diddly-squat to do with his musical compositions.
Your social responsibility does not include imposing your will on others. It does include Live and Let Live. In the case of rebuking someone committing a sin, that is not your will at all, but Hashem’s will.April 26, 2018 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #1512366
Tlik: Where did I advocate imposing my hashkafos or emotions on others? The coffee room is about expressing opinions.April 26, 2018 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #1512428
The little I know: I never ever suggested taking any sort of action or to stop using his nighunim, I will absolutely continue to do so. I don’t think it’s so obvious though. What you are also saying is really that there is no social responsibility to do anything ever. Live and let live is really not taking any sort of action. If people are ever required to get involved, that is an imposition of will. Is it ever required in your opinion? You seem to say not. Maybe you don’t think it’s required here, which is ok. I don’t really think it is here, but it’s not so clear. Sometimes it is necessary for one group to impose on another, I think that is obvious.April 26, 2018 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #1512429GAONParticipant
“There is a well known Movie Producer who was R’L jewish who was accused of doing similar Averios”
How are you comparing the two?
There is one thing about one being a Ba’al Avero” and another thing one committing/accused of certain averos. They are two separate concepts.
How to look upon it is, what is the person as a whole? What are his feelings toward mitzvos and hashem.
Where is the passion and the feeling of his nigunim coming from?
What are his basic thoughts/intentions upon composing them?April 26, 2018 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #1512434
K-cup: Your social responsibility does not include imposing your will on others. It does include Live and Let Live. In the case of rebuking someone committing a sin, that is not your will at all, but Hashem’s will.
Live and let live is a very non-Jewish concept. Jews very much must judge the character and others and reject unsavory characters. Tochacha is an obligation not an option and rejecting those who we must reject is an obligation.April 26, 2018 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1512445
Gain, carlebach is in the same boat as said movie producerApril 26, 2018 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #1512469
“ZD, why would you advocate following the goyim’s example? That’s a terrible idea.”
You clearly didn’t get the mushul. He was saying, if EVEN the goyim say this kind of behavior is below their societal standards, then obviously it should be below our’s. If you know the case he’s talking about, I don’t see how you can disagree.April 26, 2018 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #1512505klugeryidParticipant
Oh and BTW those who are comparing his activities to a certain movie producer.
Besides being ridiculous as that low life has been proven to have done much worse than anybody ever even accused carlbach of doing, it’s also מוציא שם רע.
ויש חרם קדמונים שלא להוציא לעז על המתיםApril 26, 2018 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #1512501klugeryidParticipant
The idea of not using his songs comes from the idea that music is the language of the soul.
It comes out of his soul and enters the listeners soul.
That’s the reason that music from an impure place is different than buying shoes from such a person.
(ill GOTTEN money would probably have the same affect)
The reason there is talk about carlBach is because his music seems to express devotion and yearning for purity while some of his behavior was shall we say ”questionable”.
Most of the songs sung today are in a great part seriously frowned upon by most serious rabbanim and people with a sense of purity.
The reason carlbach is a discussion is because his music is so close (at least) to the pure side.April 27, 2018 7:54 am at 7:54 am #1512562
Carlebach is accused of the same things as the movie producer, neshamale acknowledges it and has support groupsApril 27, 2018 7:54 am at 7:54 am #1512565
I don’t think anyone was actually claiming Carlebach did the exact same thing as the producer.
What is this case about the “pikuach nefesh” excuse?April 27, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1512594
Neshama became Reform.April 27, 2018 9:34 am at 9:34 am #1512607lesschumrasParticipant
Avi K. , your facts about the movie producer ( a Jewish Holocaust survivor ) are slightly off. Unlike R. Carlebach, he confessed, was convicted, jumped bail and fled to Europe. He has not been shunned. He has continued to work, received honors and was perceived by his industry peers has being persecuted. Do 40 years Europe has refused to extradite him
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