Frolicking Selichos Concert

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  • #1587388

    Joseph
    Participant

    Where did these abominable selichos concerts start out from? On the first night of selichos I always remember the Rov giving a half an hour shmooze before selichos started, crying out how we all need to do teshuva.

    When did a dark corner of society turn these very serious tefilos in the runup to the Yomim Noraim into a music festival? Was there some pseudo-rabbi who decided to change selichos into something else in recent times, discarding how we approached selichos heretofore, and some others then followed in his merry ways?

    Will Yom Kippur davening be next, with some “Orthodox” synagogues turning Yom Hakodesh davening into a day of daylong acapella singing, with a choir and all?

    #1587630

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Whether we like it or not, Many chazzanim have had choir’s backing them up for years. As it says in Koheles (1:9)
    וְאֵ֥ין כָּל־חָדָ֖שׁ תַּ֥חַת הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ: While these Selichot services are not my type, R’ Shlomo Carlebach led them for years. As I mentioned somewhere else, while there is no musical accompaniment, the videos of the singing of Verushalayim Ircha by the mispallelim of Aish Kodesh (Rabbi Weinberger Woodmere, NY) (available on Youtube) after selichos each year is (for me) tremendously uplifting, especially how the rav dances with the person leading the selichos.

    #1587636

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    one day you too will reach their lofty level of teshuva me’ahavah.
    They don’t criticize your much lower level of teshuva requiring a Rov to scare you into doing teshuva.

    Kinos sofrim is good be jealous of their higher madreiga just frame it a bit nicer

    #1587652

    1
    Participant

    Choirs backing chazzanim go back to Europe. The former point is correct.

    #1587661

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Joseph, I’m happy to see you find something to vent about but, in the long run, not many people care what you think. If you don’t like that type of selichos, then don’t go. its that simple.

    #1587668

    laskern
    Participant

    In Europe the Reform Movement, Neolog brought organs into shul which was forbidden by Orthodox Rabonim going back to the Chasam Sofer.

    #1587641

    Joseph
    Participant

    What makes anything that Carlebach did kosher?

    Aside from that, supposedly, Carlebach did what he did even when it had no mesorah or other justification in Yiddishkeit or in the Torah world because he allegedly was doing kiruv on his hippies who were barely, if at all, frum. Here we see supposedly sheina Yidden with alle begodim and the vasse zoken attending these selichos-night-concerts.

    #1587728

    apushatayid
    Participant

    teshuva me-ahava?!! thats one of the funniest descriptions i have ever heard for these selichos concerts.

    #1587730

    ObservantJew
    Participant

    There’s something I don’t understand. Singing by Selichos is an old & established custom. What do you think the terms Selicho, Shniyo, Shlishiyo, Shilmoniyos, Pizmon & Akeida (these are found in the older Selichos prior to each Selicho) mean? These are the descriptions of the melody to be used by each one.

    The Kehillos that follow Minhog Ashkenaz (e.g. German, French, Dutch & Swiss) still use different tunes for each of the Selichos types. In Ger, Alexander, Modzitz & Sadigura (among others) there is choral singing on the first night of Selichos.

    The use of musical instruments during tefiloh has been forbidden from the times of the early Acharonim. I’m sure that the Rabbonim who permitted musiocal Selichos have a basis for it. It doesn’t make sense to turn Selichos into a Mitzvoh Habooh Baveiro.

    #1587742

    Joseph
    Participant

    “I’m sure that the Rabbonim who permitted musiocal Selichos have a basis for it.”

    Why are you so sure? Because Mr. Carlebach started that trend? Which “rabbonim”?

    #1587773

    ObservantJew
    Participant

    Evidently the practice was rampant in Europe prior to the Haskoloh, based on the fight over putting asn organ into the Temple in hamburg around 1816.

    #1587766

    laskern
    Participant

    Look up the introduction in the Rabbi Abraham Rosenfeld slichos that these designations indicate the poetic structure not tune, duplications according aleph beis, reverse aleph beis, rhyming and introduction, pesicha e,g. pizman refrain and repetition of the last stanza, sheniyoh, a two lined strophes, shlishiyoh, three lined strophes and shalmiyus, four line strophes.

    #1587993

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    A scarier trend that isn’t getting as much attention is people not making it to Slichos altogether. I’ve now seen multiple places not be able to get a minyan together for slichos. My slate is not totally clean in this regard so I don’t want to sound too much like I’m getting up on a soap box and yelling at the masses. It’s just a scary thought that decades from now selichos could be one of those things like tikkun chatzos that people “used to be careful to say.”

    I’m sure the musical slichos folks think they’re preventing this from happening, which is nonsense. The reality is, if a person can wake up at 6 AM for musical slichos, they’re just as able to wake up for traditional slichos. If they chose not to, that’s just their own bad middah.

    #1588008

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Who are the “musical slichos folks”, the organizers or the attendees?

    #1588070

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Neville: These are not the daily selichos before shachris. This is only on the first night, a motzai shabbos kumsitz followed by the musical selichos.

    #1588088

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Joseph, just because you remember something doesn’t mean everyone else does. Your community prepared for selichos with a mussar drosho. Other communities prepared by sitting together at a melave malka, singing, bonding, being inspired to serve Hashem with simcha, and then at midnight turning to Him to beg forgiveness. Then after selichos, dancing and singing with joy, confident that He will respond.

    During the selichos themselves the joy is of a different sort, וגילו ברעדה, but singing has always been traditional, in every community. What else is chazonus? On Yom Kippur itself, who does not sing אשמנו and ועל כולם?

    So the only innovation, if it is one, is the use of instruments, since it’s a weekday. And what is wrong with that? The issur is only on organs, not guitars or violins or drums.

    #1588140

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    I’ll repost for the sake of someone with a drop of honesty and sechel hayashar….

    I wrote on this exact topic years ago, when this ‘thing’ started out, r”l.

    So here we have people beseeching, begging, praying for their very dear life, they know their life is in the balance, and on the other side these guys are blithely dancing away… Sure – swaying (swigging.. uch) to the tune of השבינו… yeah. That’s for sure “Return us”… You take a peek at those clippings and you get such a feeling of nausea.. “Ribono Shel Olam, look at our tzaros”, one step in, “we have sinned much”, one step out. “Avos Haolam, our holy forefathers”, one pace forward, “please intercede on our behalf”, two paces back… FEH.

    How many people passed away R””L this year, how would they have liked to grab ANY opportunity to push in ONE MORE earnest Tefillah in time….

    The fish of yesteryear had more sechel…. Anyone with a drop of sense (sold out) knows that these are solemn days, days of awe, meant for a specific purpose. You guessed right, probably not meant for dancing away the night merrily .. Hardly the main activity fitting for ימים נוראים.

    If you must, if you can’t control yourself, go into the privacy of a bathroom and sing your lungs out “אשמנו”, “כי עליך הורגנו”, “ולנו בושת הפנים”… No, I’m not judging you, if you don’t know any better, but kindly leave US out of your urges… no need to publicize it. No need to broadcast your contempt of Heavenly Court. כי הוא נורא ואיום is to be taken at literal sense, whichever direction you read.

    How would you think the Navi Yirmiyahu would react knowing that his words השיבנו written with such sorrow, such feeling, such holiness, has turned into the songbooks of “Slichos Concerts” (Vivace tempo). We all know what happens when words of Torah are taken out and made into songs… how much more for this – AND FOR WHAT ITS BEING USED FOR!

    To the rest of us, take a cursory glance at the words, let it fill you with the feelings they were meant to convey, to occupy one’s conscious with. Let the words envelope us with the correct sense of dread and awe of the Ribono Shel Olam, His Yom HaDin. Let us cherish these feelings… let us carry over the feelings of these minutes of true Yirah, Teshuva, Ahavha over into our new year.

    Let us ALL be gebenched with a Kseiva Vchasima Tova – each and every one of us. May HaShem shower his blessings on us, may he shine His countenance upon us… bless us with very LIFE. A fulfilling, productive life, doing Ratzon HaShem with much health, nachas, wealth. AND TRUE HAPPINESS!!!

    #1588184

    Meno
    Participant

    To each his own.

    #1588169

    Joseph
    Participant

    “Other communities prepared by sitting together at a melave malka, singing, bonding, being inspired to serve Hashem with simcha, and then at midnight turning to Him to beg forgiveness. Then after selichos, dancing and singing with joy, confident that He will respond.”

    Milhouse, please specify which kehilos followed this script 50 years ago and 100 years ago.

    Also note that what you described in the above quote is different than the frolicking selichos concerts described in the OP that you nebech can witness today. Having a melave malka is something you should be doing every motzei Shabbos, the night before selichos being no exception. What you describe happening after selichos I haven’t heard of, but be it what it may it is *after* selichos not making a concert *during* selichos.

    “So the only innovation, if it is one, is the use of instruments, since it’s a weekday. And what is wrong with that? The issur is only on organs, not guitars or violins or drums.”

    Why haven’t our silly zeidas came out with that innovation anytime between 100 years ago to 1000 years ago? It took a few wise entertainers in the runup to the 21st century to innovate selichos with something that the rabbonim never thought of for thousands of years?

    And the wild dancing *during* selichos you don’t deem an innovation?

    #1588186

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    … Here we see supposedly sheina Yidden with alle begodim and the vasse zoken attending these selichos-night-concerts…
    ———————-
    Dont judge people and certainly dont judge them by thier clothing.

    #1588231

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “So the only innovation, if it is one, is the use of instruments,”

    Yeah, thats the ONLY issue here.

    #1588239

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “I’ll repost for the sake of someone with a drop of honesty and sechel hayashar….”

    The problem is sometimes a “drop of seichel” isnt enough, and you need to look deeper.

    “You take a peek at those clippings and you get such a feeling of nausea”

    No you get a feeling of nausea, others get a feeling of wow look at the thirst so many have to draw close to the Ribono shel Olam

    “How many people passed away R””L this year, how would they have liked to grab ANY opportunity to push in ONE MORE earnest Tefillah in time….”
    Who are you to say this isnt earnest.?

    “How would you think the Navi Yirmiyahu would react knowing that his words השיבנו written with such sorrow, such feeling, such holiness, has turned into the songbooks ”

    He would be elated! Nearly 3 thousand years later, after all we have been through. People are still trying to follow his message.

    ” if you don’t know any better, but kindly leave US out of your urges… no need to publicize it.”

    did they force you to go?
    Then I agree, That’s wrong

    Look the bottom line is this, not everyone is motivated by ideas of a petty being who if you don’t get real sorry he’ll get you . If you don’t cry and beg then you will be among those “people passed away R””L this year, how would they have liked to grab ANY opportunity to push in ONE MORE earnest Tefillah in time….”

    now some are motivated by that, and thats great! some don’t really connect to the words so they first hear a shmooz to inspire them. (I fall in this category) Although this is also a new innovation (granted not as new as instruments, but probably newer than singing ). and thats great too!

    #1588258

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Froggie is 100% on point. You others aren’t seeing the forest through the trees. The problem is not something as simple as a guitar. It’s the fact that Carlebachers are insisting on making every aspect of the Torah happy hippie fun time. There are times when we’re supposed to have simcha, and then there are times like leil slichos.

    #1588323

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Little Froggie,

    “We all know what happens when words of Torah are taken out and made into songs… how much more for this – AND FOR WHAT ITS BEING USED FOR!”

    Oooh oooh! Can you repost this in the shelo asani isha thread? Slominer’s talking about making a song of that bracha complete with drums and instrumentals.

    #1588376

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Neville Chaimberlin

    “There are times when we’re supposed to have simcha, and then there are times like leil slichos.”

    The 18th century called they want their machlokes back .

    “You others aren’t seeing the forest through the trees. :”
    that line surprised me , since you have it exactly backwards. I thought you did see the forest when yo u said “A scarier trend that isn’t getting as much attention is people not making it to Slichos altogether”

    Selichos just doesnt talk to people anymore . Having a shmuz before hand is one innovation to get people inspired, Carlebach style is another while not my cup of tea the question is would you rather “people not making it to Slichos altogether” OR get together and (earnestly) sing hasheveinu. You can say you prefer the former, And I get that. just realize that is what you are saying .

    I recall a very similar conversation years ago when tisha ba’v programs became popular. Joseph (not our joseph, but another one) said “how can you skip kinnos printed in the pamphlet, dont you know these were all written by chazal, and are yaharog veal yaavor to skip any of them, whats this innovation of speeches instead of mumbling all of them as was always the minhag”
    These programs are now ubiquitous and (as far as I know) uncontroversial .
    Granted these “carlebach selcihos” arent quite the same , but the idea of innovation is

    #1588425

    Joseph
    Participant

    Ubiq: Who gave up saying kinnos on Tisha B’Av? Even in the not so Yeshivish camps the kids sit for hours going through the kinnos.

    #1588469

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Joseph, nearly every shul I’ve seen skips among the kinnos, and then has droshos and shiurim. All the big tisha b’av programs are in place of the bulk of kinnos, not in addition to them. People simply don’t have the patience nowadays to say the whole thing.

    #1588465

    Milhouse
    Participant

    “Milhouse, please specify which kehilos followed this script 50 years ago and 100 years ago. ”

    The one I know for sure was doing this, not just 100 but 150 years ago, is Lubavitch. In Lubavitch the saying is that one should come to selichos וואקלדיקערהייט. But I don’t believe it was only them. Probably most chassidim were doing the same.

    And of course the music during selichos should be appropriate to the occasion; solemn and serious tunes, not jolly rolicking ones. But I don’t accept your assumption that these events are using inappropriate tunes. If there is one place that is doing so, criticize them for *that*, not for using music at all. Don’t include in your criticism those who do use appropriate tunes.

    The bottom line is that *every* community has music during selichos. I can’t believe yours doesn’t. It’s just that traditionally this music has been voice only, and now some people are adding instruments. I can’t see what could be wrong with that, so long as the tunes stay appropriate and they don’t use an organ, which was assered when the Reformers copied it from the Lutherans.

    #1588503

    1
    Participant

    Joseph I think ubiq is talking about explanatory kinnos, where only a few are said btzibbur but the ones that are said are preceded by speeches relating to the kinnah. Sometimes the speeches are relevant sometimes they are hot takes which are inspirational but have nothing to do with the kinnah

    #1588507

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “The 18th century called they want their machlokes back .”

    When did any rabbi in the 18th century claim that Slichos are meant to be a time of simcha?

    “The one I know for sure was doing this, not just 100 but 150 years ago, is Lubavitch.”

    Egasp. Who saw that coming?

    #1588517

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “People simply don’t have the patience nowadays to say the whole thing.”

    Actually, people have a desire to know what they are reading and saying to add meaning to their time in shul. Its why people opt to attend a minyan that says perhaps 20 kinnos, with someone explaining the kinna, including who wrote, it, in what conext, what midrashim it references to make saying it meaningful.

    those who have no patience, should just stay home and “daven it up” there.

    #1588754

    laskern
    Participant

    Isn’t this thread about selichos, I am confused why are we talking about kinnos?

    #1588592

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    NC
    “When did any rabbi in the 18th century claim that Slichos are meant to be a time of simcha?”

    not hat I know of, but as you may know their was a big machlokes at the time when some tried to add elements of simcha to Judaism when many where feeling empty and that they couldnt connect to the older more “cerebral” yidishkeit..

    Obviously not exactly the same, but many today don’t connect to the “Big angry deity that is out to get you unless you really really beg him” now some do, there are public speakers who make a living off thsi brand of Judaism, and that works for them which is great, but to many it doesnt work,
    so the question is what to do.
    (note I’m not saying that all those (myself included) who attend the more traditional selcihos have this (arguably) childish view of yahadus, but many do and it just doesnt resonate with many anymore

    APY
    “…to add meaning to their time in shul.”

    Exactly! Very well said.
    It is critical that What we do religiously has meaning. Just showing up to shul to mumble some selcihos that you dont understand so that your friend doesnt ask where yo uwere last night is not ideal, and arguably bad.טוב מעט תחנונים בכוונה, מהרבות בלא כוונה. sometimes a speech/shmuz does the trick (although this too is an innovation) to others a heartfelt song does it

    #1588806

    Joseph
    Participant

    Ubiq: The way you’d have it is that any guy who got smicha and puts the title rabbi on his shingle can then go and change Judaism and any mesorah, minhag, tefila or whatever because, y’know, some big rabbis did something in the 18th century. So anyone, like say a woman abuser like Carlebach, since he’s a rabbi, can also change Judaism. Because, after all, the idea of Hashem being angry at his children for anything doesn’t resonate with millennials.

    #1588793

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “not hat I know of, but as you may know their was a big machlokes at the time when some tried to add elements of simcha to Judaism”

    First of all, unless one of those specific “elements of simcha” was applied to slichos, you have no point in bringing it into this thread. Chassidim didn’t invent nor do they have a patent on simcha.

    The point is, Carlebachers and other neo-chassidim (not actual chasidim) have purposely blurred the lines on when we’re supposed to be happy and when we’re supposed to be serious. Slichos parties are just an extreme and recent example. I’m sure the general problem is something that’s culminated in people’s minds for years. If you start selling out the Torah in the name of making it more engaging, meaningful, fun (whatever word you want to use) for the young people, you will inevitably end up with Reform Judaism in the end.

    #1588820

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    👍

    #1588822

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph
    Nobody is changing Judaism. The normal selcihos minyan I went to was full.

    NC
    “Chassidim didn’t invent nor do they have a patent on simcha.”
    No but they too faced opposition for their innovations in Judaism trying to appeal to the masses.

    ” If you start selling out the Torah in the name of making it more engaging, meaningful, fun ”
    I agree, though It is quite a stretch to say singing during selichos even with a guitar is “selling out the Torah”

    laskern

    feel free to read through the thread. It really isnt confusing,

    #1588828

    Joseph
    Participant

    “No but they too faced opposition for their innovations in Judaism trying to appeal to the masses.”

    Ubiq: The Reform also faced opposition for their innovations. Rambam faced opposition too.

    Facing opposition in and of itself, does not prove anything. Nor does it make it comparable to other random examples of people that faced opposition in Judaism.

    “It is quite a stretch to say singing during selichos even with a guitar is “selling out the Torah””

    How about a new trend in Yom Kippur, turning it into a kimzuts of singing, acapella, a choir and maybe some dancing.

    For the millennials, y’know. The current Yom Kippur service of nightlong and daylong mumbling long prayers doesn’t resonate with them.

    #1588833

    laskern
    Participant

    ubiquitin – We say all selichos without music and all kinnos including extra selected pieces which are easy to understand for the holocaust.

    #1588842

    unommin
    Participant

    It is absolute ignorance, of many different things, to compare the majestic and dignified chanting by a chazzan (and choir) to the emotionally-driven frivolous narcissistic hip-hop parade of instrument-accompanied racket of the carback-style that is, unfortunately, catching on. The generations are becoming weaker, and unfortunately, more ignorant.

    #1588840

    laskern
    Participant

    They need linear translation selichas and kinnos to understand what they are saying so it should be appreciated.

    #1588847

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The operative word in the subject is frolicking. Unless you plan to plead insanity, discoesque atmosphere is not appropriate for selichos.

    #1588850

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Any of these selichot services are a lot more dignified than what you will see going on in Uman in the videos posted in an article tonight (and these videos presumably are the “kosher ones” selected so that they can be posted on YWN)

    #1588916

    avreimi
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah: you are right but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    #1588922

    a mamin
    Participant

    I am not a Rav so I can not pasken whether using instruments during selichos is permissible . Everyone needs to follow their LOR with their questions . The coffee room is definitely NOT the place to find the answer. Though I will add that making harsh judgements on others is not acceptable under any circumstances. It’s Erev Rosh Hashana please let’s try to find room in our heart for others who think differently then us !

    #1588921

    a mamin
    Participant

    Unfortunately , not everyone is on the same madreiga! Why can’t you see how many in today’s generation are struggling? They need help they are grasping at straws! I am not a Rav or a posek. I refuse to judge anyone negatively just because they do things differently than me or my grandparents ! Each person should do what’s good for them . If there are any questions as to what is permissible they should ask their local Rav.

    #1588926

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph
    “Facing opposition in and of itself, does not prove anything.”
    Obviously

    “How about a new trend in Yom Kippur, turning it into a kimzuts of singing, acapella, a choir ”

    Ummm that’s no longer new. I’ve davened in a chasidish shtiebel most of my life they dont have a choir per se, but there is a lot more simcha than yeshiva davening I have attended.

    Btw you can talk disdainfully of millenials, but you need to realize they are the future. If you lose millennials Judaism is gone in 40 years or so. Luckily the ribbono shel olam assured us that wont happen in spite of your attempt to write them off

    Laskern
    “We say all selichos without music and all kinnos ”

    Many “black hat” congregations dont and as far as I know this isn’t controversial (regarding kinnos)


    They need linear translation selichas ”
    For many, myself included that isn’t enough. I need a shmooz to set my mood. That too is an inovation.

    Unommin
    “The generations are becoming weaker, ”
    This isn’t exactly news, is it

    #1588943

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    There is a huge difference between frolicking at selichos and playing music at selichos.

    #1588974

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There is this idea that anything a little different is the road to reform. Reform started preciscly because some changed were needed and were not done.

    Every doros has its challenges and today’s major challenge is “religion is optional” meaning people will choose to be secular. The choice is not Selichot with or without music, the choice for many is selichot with music or not to go at all

    #1588953

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “There is a huge difference between frolicking at selichos and playing music at selichos.”

    Yes, thank you. That’s what you, me, and several others have been repeating throughout this thread, yet they just keep going back to “what’s the big deal about a guitar? People have had music at slichos for forever.”

    A lot of “millennials” are/were in Yeshiva and are probably some of the most hot-headedly opposed to Carlbachers. This isn’t really an age issue. We aren’t talking about BMG guys going off the derech if they can’t have slichos parties. These are people already into hippie Judaism and it should go without saying that it’s in the best interests of the Torah world to get them back to real Judaism. Legitimizing their charades in the name of kiruv or “adding meaning” is not going to help accomplish that.

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