Frolicking Selichos Concert

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    Reb Eliezer

    In the above tshuva Rav Ovadyah Yosef suggests tp say it before Mincha if it is not possible to say it after chatzos.

    Reb Eliezer

    Whether to say selichos or not is an argument by Reb Moshe O”CH 2:95 and Rav Ovadyah Yosef Yechaveh Daas 1:46 and Shareh Tshuva in the beginning SA O”CH 581 about saying selichos, the thirteen midos, before chatzos. According to kabalah it hurts by starting up with midas hadin considered קוצץ בנטיעות..


    “Yes, thank you. That’s what you, me, and several others have been repeating throughout this thread, ”

    Can you please point out where youve said that? The mods may have deleted it for whatever reason, I cant find it. I too am in agreement!

    In fact youve said the opposite on several occasions. Youve said that the problem is one of simcha, at times that are supposed to be serious eg “There are times when we’re supposed to have simcha, and then there are times like leil slichos.” (unless you translate simcha as frolicking?)

    “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 ”
    two people are using your (excellent) screen name the other one was right I’ll repost in verabtim, :

    “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.””

    The only question is is it better if in decades people says selichos is something people “used to be careful to say.””
    selcihos is something that never had a guitar

    (Obviously I’m not saying this applies to all, but as you note it does apply to many)


    Is there indeed frolicking going on?


    apushatayid, “frolicking” is a pejorative characterization that Joseph put on these selichos, in order to tilt the field towards his position that they are inappropriate. Not having witnessed them myself, but knowing that there are <iem>many such selichos, and that they’ve been going on for decades, by all sorts of Jews, not just Carlebachers, I do not accept that characterization.

    Of course disco-style music is inappropriate for selichos, if indeed there is any time when it is appropriate. Nor is wedding-style music appropriate to the occasion. But solemn or inspiring music, especially of the type already traditional for centuries and accepted by <i>every</i> community including Joseph’s own, does not become inappropriate simply by adding instruments. The only instrument I’ve ever heard of as being forbidden is the organ, and that’s only since Reform adopted it.

    Joseph asks “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?”

    Where do you daven that it is not already so, and hasn’t been so for centuries? In what community is communal singing on Yom Kippur <i>not</i> traditional? I don’t think I want anything to do with such moroh-shchora-dike people. A capella singing is completely appropriate on Yom Kippur, and bigger shuls have had choirs for centuries, and I’ve never heard of anyone objecting to it. And if not for the kedusha of the day there would certainly be instruments as well, in every community, and then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.


    Milhouse, we may be talking about two different things. I’m speaking of selichos that has no basis in any Jewish tradition. They are novel and introduced new elements, whether musical instruments or dancing or a festive atmosphere or whatnot, that simply didn’t exist 50 or 100 years ago during selichos.

    Would you find it acceptable to turn the Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av tefilos in shul into a festive atmosphere with merry singing and dancing?

    As I asked earlier, where do they get the right to innovate Jewish customs on tefilos that we’ve been doing without these innovations for the last 1000+ years? Are they smarter than all our history of Gedolim and zeidas? Which Gedolim back them?; please name names.


    There’s nothing wrong with innovation, so long as it’s in the spirit of the occasion. Musical instruments, dancing, whatever, just because it’s new doesn’t make it wrong. The question is only what kind of music, and I do not accept your assertion that the music is “frolicking”, “disco-like”, “wild”, etc. If there is indeed a shul where the atmosphere at selichos — with or without instruments — is such that you could mistake it for a wedding, let alone a nightclub, then I condemn that particular instance. That would not justify extending the condemnation to all musical selichos, the vast majority of which, I’m sure, do maintain a slichos-dige atmosphere during selichos. Before and after is a different story.

    But those who are upset with the whole idea of simcha at such a time have forgotten וגילו ברעדה. There must certainly be רעדה, and without it it’s not a slichos, but one must not forget the גילו either.


    To summarize, you’d be okay with similarly innovating Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av with merry singing and dancing, correct?

    And having conceded these are modern innovations, you still have neglected to answer the question of specifically which Gedolim approve of these innovations.

    Doing my best

    The sephardim sing by their selichos, and they are considered to have the best mesorah. so when nusach ashkenaz and sephard begin to sing, they are simply returning to the mesorah.
    As an aside i know a sephardic bachur who came to his ashkenazi yeshiva’s selichos and said the sephardic version is much easier to push himself to come as it is more enjoyable.
    so why don’t we all just leave each other alone?
    no one is right or wrong.(at least in my opinion.)


    Joseph, “merry” is your editorializing, not a fact. And yes, I absolutely endorse singing on Yom Kippur, because it’s not an innovation. Everyone does it, including your community. And some of the common Yom Kippur tunes are actually merry. Nor do I have any problem with singing on Tisha B’av, with or without music, so long as the tunes are appropriate to the day. Merry is not appropriate.


    “And having conceded these are modern innovations, you still have neglected to answer the question of specifically which Gedolim approve of these innovations. ”

    It’s an irrelevant question. If there’s nothing wrong with it then no endorsements are needed.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “no one is right or wrong.(at least in my opinion.)”

    Says the guy who just claimed that minhag Sphard is abjectly superior. And, obviously someone will find Sphardi Slichos easier; they say the same ones every day. That doesn’t make them better (or worse).

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “It’s an irrelevant question. If there’s nothing wrong with it then no endorsements are needed.”

    Who says there’s nothing wrong with them? If a gadol doesn’t specifically acknowledge open orthodox shul’s ordaining of females do you think that means he approves of it?

    Of course anything new needs approval. How could any frum yid claim it doesn’t.

    Doing my best

    “Says the guy who just claimed that minhag Sphard is abjectly superior. And, obviously someone will find Sphardi Slichos easier; they say the same ones every day. That doesn’t make them better (or worse)”
    not sure what you’r point was, i just meant that their singing by selichos makes it more enjoyable.


    Milhouse, if Webster’s had video, by the listing for “merry” they could easily use the video here from the Atrium slichos in Monsey where you see the guys jumping up and down and singing. And this is one of the tamer ones. By the Yehuda Green ones it is even worse:

    VIDEO: Monsey: Neturei Karta Protest Selichos Event That Has Music

    “Tisha B’av, with or without music, so long as the tunes are appropriate to the day. Merry is not appropriate.”

    Why isn’t merry appropriate? Vi shteit az m’tur nisht?


    I don’t know what the problem is.

    Is there anyone here who goes to a shul where there is absolutely no singing on Yom Kippur?

    And if singling is okay on Yom Kippur, why should it be not okay for slichos?

    The Wolf

    Reb Eliezer

    There is a logic to be happy for slichos for appreciating that Hashem because of his mercy gives us an opportunity once a year to ask for His forgiveness. Rosh Hashana is a day we designate such that the satan does not know when it is to be mekadreg and Hashem the King sits on His throne when we tell him so.


    Will you jump up and down dancing and singing and/or having a kumzits on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, Wolf, laskern and company?

    Why is that less okay than doing the same for selichos?



    “Will you jump up and down dancing and singing ”

    You will be pleased to know that as people began singing on R”H I started yelling and throwing things.

    It was abominable. right after unesaneh tokef they started singing some marching song they claimed it was a modzitser tune or something but they can’t fool me , you correctly pointed out singing ( certainly such a joyous upbeat tune) has no place on Rosh Hashana and is a modern innovation .

    “and/or having a kumzits on Rosh Hashana”

    I have been to some shuls (not my current one where all the tunes are upbeat and joyous as befits a King’s coronation) where they broke out in a kumzitz particularly during chamol


    Joseph, nothing in the video you linked indicates anything even slightly untraditional happening during selichos. It shows people dancing and singing Rachamono De’onei, which is a 100% traditional and a holy Jewish minhag, after selichos. I do so, my father does so, and my zeideh, elter-zeideh, and elter-elter-zeideh, etc., all did so, and if you have a problem with it then I have no interest in whatever religion such criticism comes from, because as far as I’m concerned it’s not Yiddishkeit.

    If you have information that this was going on during the selichos feel free to post it, but until I see evidence I am going to assume you’re just making it up.

    Neville, until you can point to something that is objectively contrary to some jewish law, teaching, or value, nobody’s approval is needed. Nobody ever asked a rov whether it was OK to install electricity in his house, or indoor plumbing.


    Milhouse, Neville is correct. How can you possibly compare not asking the rabbonim about installing plumbing in your home to every Chaim and Yankel deciding on their own to change how we conduct our tefilos in the Beis HaKenesses?

    Seriously? You think anyone on the street can make modifications on what we do in shul without asking any Rov or Godol?!


    In the alte heim and even in America until relatively recently people would cry during selichos. Nowadays the in-thing is having a hippie-style concert for selichos.

    Every year nowadays there’s more competition for selichos concert shuls. Until not too long ago such a concept hadn’t existed.

    Git Meshige

    Joseph, quit being holier than thou. If you want to be taken seriously then do the following. Pay attention to your Rov Drosho before selichois and learn mussar. One big component of mussar is the preaching to the people against bitul zman. When you cease wasting hours on end on these forums and devote the time to torah study instead, then you have the moral high ground to criticize people who you dont agree with hashkafacally. Until then be quiet


    While I am too young to have heard Yossele sing Bemotzai Menucha live , neither have I heard Oshamnu Mikol om live by Roitman but I was zoche to hear Divrei Hisorerus by Rav Riskin in Lincoln Square. Lucky are those who heard this amazing man bring many back to Teshuvah. Whatever works is kodesh.


    nu, so it was frolicking. were they uplifted in any way?


    You asked where it started and if Yom Kippur is next.
    Actually, it started in the Bais Hamikdosh on Yom Kippur
    during the Avodah, which where accompanied by musical
    instruments. If it was ok there, it’s ok here.


    rdovid: In your shul they use musical instruments on Yom Kippur? Why not; as you said, it was used in the Beis Hamikdash.

    Too bad all your zeidas for thousands of years in golus never had this brainstorm of introducing musical instruments into selichos and Yom Kippur.


    The next thing to become the in-thing will be to have flashing lights like they have by the goyim (and was already r”l introduced to some “simchas” by dancing) into shuls to “enhance” the musical davening.


    For all those who
    Selichos is so unmeaningful That we need eg Carlebach,Kumzitz
    My Recommendation is abolish The

    Preferable To have 10 minutes of collective
    [ with obviously all devices off and out of hands reach ]
    silent contemplation

    Presumably if this presently is too disruptively radical
    Hold A Very Abbreviated Selichos


    “Too bad all your zeidas for thousands of years in golus never had this brainstorm of introducing musical instruments into selichos ”

    For thousands of years no one used penicillin or chemotherapy


    For thousands of years no one used penicillin or chemotherapy

    Right. They probably thought penicillin and chemotherapy were a bad idea.


    For thousands of years they didn’t have penicillin and chemotherapy. (Or maybe they did before Chizkiyahu Hamelech was gonez Sefer Harefuos.) But for thousands of years they did have musical instruments. And the poskim still said they don’t belong in shul. Maybe because they foresaw that people would be so small minded as to be able to see the videos of the frolicking that goes on at these Selichos events, and think that there is some similarity between that and shira in the Bais Hamikdash (or even a Chazzan with a background choir.)


    Let’s break this down a bit, Are they committing an AVEIRA? I wouldn’t say that. Are they Jews gathering together with the goal of serving hashem? I think Soo. They have clearly been failed by the mainstream approach ( I’m not sure who is responsible for that). So they moved to plan B to get inspiration. Isn’t that beautiful? I think it is much better than ditching it altogether even though they usually have been severely burned by the more classic approach. If someone is trying to serve God to the best of their ability, it may be beneficial to focus on that and not their approach.


    “But for thousands of years they did have musical instruments. And the poskim still said they don’t belong in shul. ”

    This very well may be true but that is not the argument Joseph was making. Joseph’s argument is that the fact that something was not previously done is a reason it should not be presently done. It is to that notion specifically which I was responding.


    bad character traits also are inherently not an aveira
    yet in some cases we can say that can even be worse than


    this is holding a discussion having a sad vacuum
    Anyone who knew the great men and women of past
    any cognizant the atmosphere wouldn’t be having this altogether

    Moreso those who have sensitivity to the ones who wrote the selichos that it was not meant to be done on the guitar and they would rather have just erase them all


    The same dichotomy exists with regard to Zemirot on Shabbat. Some “zingen zemirot” while others like in Baltimore “zuggen Zemirot”. The Young Israel movement held that a service with decorum was attractive to young people. Others like The New Haven Chazzan” obm. were zoche to update and modify the standard Tefilah and enliven it all the while maintaining the dignity of the service.


    It’s time for truth, ye but bad traits ARE inherently objectively bad, meaning when they are used for bad… ( not getting into right now, how just about every trait can be channeled for good) To say that a musical selechos is inherently bad is a little much. If it makes you feel better, you can replace the word ” aveira” which I wrote in my comment to ” inherently bad”


    And what of musical Kinos ?
    that as well or you would agree that better to cancel them


    Not everything is a positive for everyone. Clearly, for Joseph and his ilk, a somber mood motivates them to say selichos which in turn moves them to teshuva. For others, for whatever reason, such a setting is not.

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