Banning Jewish Music: Rabbi Luft Continues His Mission by Black-Listing

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luft.jpgYWN recently had an article (HERE) about Rabbi Ephraim Luft of Bnei Brak who was introduced as the man who heads the “Committee for Jewish Music”. His goal is to have a hechsher placed on permitted music, and more importantly, ban all music not deemed suitable for the frum world. He claims that he is supported by “leading Haredi rabbis”.

His mission has led him to a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post, and today with the BBC. The following are excerpts from an article appearing on the BBC Website today:

Lipa Schmeltzer looks and sounds every inch the popular ultra-orthodox Jewish singer that he is. He sings in Yiddish. He dresses in the clothes of a Haredi Jew and all of his song lyrics come from the scriptures.

Yet some say Schmeltzer’s music, and that of others like him, is indecent and unfit for public consumption.

“They are leading the public astray and are causing a great negative influence on the young generation,” says Rabbi Ephraim Luft, head of an ultra-orthodox organisation in Israel called the Committee for Jewish Music.

Supported by leading Haredi rabbis, Rabbi Luft has drawn up a black-list of musicians and bands – music that he says that is not kosher and cannot be played at ultra-orthodox weddings or public events because of its decadent nature.

What Rabbi Luft objects to so vehemently is not just contemporary, western music – rock, rap or pop – but the use of modern instruments and beats in the tunes of orthodox singers like Lipa Schmeltzer.

“The main part of the music should be the melody. Percussion should be secondary. They should not bend notes electronically and should not use instruments like electric guitars, bass guitars or saxophones in Jewish music,” he says.

Sitting in the dining room of his small flat in the orthodox town of Bnei Brak, close to Tel Aviv, Rabbi Luft explains his preference for traditional, even sombre, Jewish tunes like Kol Nidrei.

A serious, studious man the rabbi explains how he thinks modern music is disrespectful, leading young people astray and can lead to the collapse of education and the family system.

It is a broad charge, but the rabbi is convinced that in the last 25 years music has gradually eroded moral standing in society.

Saying that music is “powerful”, he says the “purpose of modern music – its influences – is to distract young people and change good characters into bad”.

The Rabbi says such music, even Jewish rock music, “where the dangerous beat plays more of a part than the melody, has no place in a society where people are trying to keep their moral standards high.

There are approximately 500,000 ultra-orthodox Haredi Jews in Israel. Because of the loyal relationship between orthodox Jews and their rabbis, the influence of bodies like the Committee for Jewish Music and the Guardians of Sanctity and Education is considerable.

They have already succeeded in banning virtually all public concerts by ultra-orthodox groups and singers in Israel.

Famous, successful singers like Avraham Fried – a devout, observant orthodox Jew – are not exempt. Making up around 8% of the population of Israel, the Haredi community has real economic clout. Boycotts have been very effective.

Menahem Toker, an award-winning disc jockey, who was dismissed from a radio show under pressure from Haredi activists, warns the policy could backfire.

“In Jewish Orthodox culture there’s no cinema, no theatre, no television. The only thing we have is music”, says Mr Toker.

“We are the same, orthodox, people but if they don’t find an alternative they’ll lose the young people – they’ll go to non-kosher shows and they’ll have lost the next generation.”

(LINK to BBC)


59 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Toker, We have been gaining young people. Mr. Toker, we have gained entire new generations.

    Mr. Toker, we have gained all this WITH all our stringencies. So Mr. Toker, we will keep all our stringencies and we will continue adding new generations and new young people PRECISELY BECAUSE we have these stringencies.

    Mr. Toker, history has, and is, proving us correct. We intend to succesfully continue doing everything we have been doing for the past 2,000 years the same way.

  2. I want to see in writing which Rabbonim are giving their approval for his work and not just his say so. Because we all hopefully read the letter from Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, ZT”L, about how we are making things treif and limiting our teenagers’ ability to enjoy themselves within the walls of Torah. He wrote what could be the possible results. I think you can still find that letter on http://www.theyeshivaworld.com.

  3. and who is Rabbi Ephraim Luft? He doesn’t look old enough to be a gadol. The persons who matter are the gedolim who are taking the position, not the shamash who posts the notice on the wall and gives interviews to the hiloni media (or is he someone with strong views who found a rav to tell him he is on the derech, and misunderstood it to be a license to announce that all of the gedolim have picked up as their shliach to pursue his pet complaint).

    Given that virtually all Jewish music has in recent years (since the destruction of the Beis Mikdash) been copied from goyim (we have better things to do with our time than be creative), it’s hard to imagine banning all non-Jewish melodies that have been adapted voer the centuries.

  4. Mr. Toker, we have gained all this WITH all our stringencies. So Mr. Toker, we will keep all our stringencies and we will continue adding new generations and new young people PRECISELY BECAUSE we have these stringencies.

    So says Joseph as he sticks his fingers into his ears as far as they can go and buries his head in the sand as deep as he can.

  5. BS”D

    Menachem Toker is indeed not someone who we should look to for guidance. That pretty much applies to anyone in the Jewish Music world; they are no different from candy manufacturers except that their product is music and not candy.

    A hechsher is a good idea which will never work or which will lead to abuse, whereas a ban will only backfire. And a ban based on beat or origin of a song really makes no sense; only words matter.

    Music that is below standard, however, is not what is leading kids astray. It is only a symptom and a kind of “gang symbol” that signifies the listener as part of a certain crowd. Some of the worst of the “alternative” music is a commercial attempt to turn those who are astray or going astray into a hopefully lucrative niche market.

  6. Does Rabbi Luft have nothing better to do than to take away every outlet the Jewish world has? At least Rabbi Luft comes by his intentions and motive honestly, to put a “hechsher” on music. It always boils down to the mighty dollar (or shekel). This is just another ploy by a Rabbi to start a business based upon halacha, when in actuality the only thing this has to do with halacha is geneva. Geneva of people’s livelihood and an increase in consumer goods because of a useless hechsher.

  7. Ephraim Luft is not dealing with a straight deck of cards. He shows his ignorance by describing how little he actually knows about music. There is a special place awiting for him in Gehenom for trying to destroy frum and erlich, (YES, I SAID ERLICH) peoples parnassa. Most of the music business are nice hard working people who want to make a living, and would be more than willing to play klezmer if that is what the crowd wanted! Shame on you Ephraim Luft! It’s people like you Ephraim Luft that are delaying the coming of Moshiach.

  8. Music that he considers appropriate was the rock of several hundred years ago. His statements are completely arbitrary. I agree if he succeeds in making jewish music horrible then there will be more chareidi kids listening to goyish rock

  9. Shame on Ephraim Luft. I know him personally; he’s a Avreich from England, in his late 40s. He honestly believes in what he’s doing and is only acting l’shem shamayim, but unfortunately, like the time he tried to influence who would become Rav of Kiryat Sefer, he will not succeed.

    The chassunas he made for his own kids had the most beautiful “Jewish” music, truly awesome, and I have a lot of respect for what he believes, but going to the BBC with his story is not going to help his cause.

    Our kids have so little available, we can’t afford to “assur” the one thing they have – music.

  10. Really? This would be so silly if it were only a Purim drasha. The older generation never really appreciates the music of the young – at 57 I am in the middle, wincing at some of what my youngest listens to – and remembering well my parents doing the same 35 – 40 yearts ago. But to raise that to a “kashrus” issue is . . well . . wierd. Respectfully said, wouldn’t the Gedolim’s time be better put to weightier matters – I mean, imagine the Rambam if it were full of shuvas on pop music. Wierd

  11. I guess for people that love music it will have to be Goyishe music and Goyishe concerts!!! Congrats on pushing more people away because of stupidity!

  12. “Rabbi Luft explains his preference for traditional, even sombre, Jewish tunes like Kol Nidrei.”

    How old is he? well, if I would be his age I may want to listen to traditional music. How about Yossele Rosenblatt? Yom Tov Ehrlich? their music is great but not something that interest me.

    How many young people listen to none Jewish music, I know too many who do. When new CD’s come out for example Lipa Schmeltzer, those people have something to listen to instead of old “traditional” style boring music.

    Let me ask another question, how many “traditional” style music CD’s do you know that came out lately that were successful, how many CD’s has been sold that it was worth making them.

    When banning these CD’s, what are you offering instead? and please do not say “Kol Nidrei” style, Kol Nidrei I will listen to on Yom Kipur.

    I appreciate Lipe for coming out with his CD’s, he’s a great job. Keep up the good work Lipa.

  13. I will listen when gedolim from all variaty of Charaidim (Chasidish, Litvish, Sephardim) publicly anounce a ban. Not just their signatures which we all know have been forged in the past.
    Banning music simply because it has a saxaphone or electric gutars makes no sense. How far back would he like to go for instaments?
    Efraim Luft said music should be somber like Kol Nidre. Can you just imagine the chasanas of the future if he would have his way.

  14. “The main part of the music should be the melody. Percussion should be secondary. They should not bend notes electronically and should not use instruments like electric guitars, bass guitars or saxophones in Jewish music,” he says.

    Who is this guy?! Granted, there is plenty of garbage out there, but to say there is no place in jewish music for these instruments is ridiculous. Just because there was no electric guitar and saxophones at the Yam Suf we cant enjoy it now?!

    I think these bans on EVERY stupid little thing have no place in the Jewish world.

  15. I wonder if that song “Tzaveh, Tzaveh Yeshuas Yaakov” is OK. The tune was taken from a Czechoslavakian Polka.
    And the Kaliver Rebbe’s Sol Lo Ko Kush mar – which he bought from a Hungarian Shepherd.

    Also about bending notes. The notes which we have today are from an 8 octave system are different than what was in the times of the mikdash.
    So then all music should be assur – even the tune he approves for Kol Nidrei. Those notes are also “bent.”

  16. What in the world is going on here? This is really a disgrace! People such as this “Rabbi” only make it more difficult on the individuals who actually want to improve REAL frumkeit issues such as Shmiras Halashon, Limud Hatorah, Tefilah, Chesed and Kashrus. It is a pity that these attention grabbers actually have a forum to spread this krumkeit. You feel that certain instruments (laughable!) don’t have a place in Jewish music? So don’t listen! Don’t play those instruments! Why does this crooked thinking get mainstream attention? It would be very difficult for me to believe that the real Gedolim sat down and went through the orchestra outlawing the unjewish sounding instruments!! So….you don’t miss Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum zt”l? Where is R’ Eli when we need him so badly? This story would be over soon if he was here. Phony frumkeit had no place in his world. The good side of this is that the “askoonim” are running out of things to ban. They’re reaching for straws now. Hold on to your hats!!

  17. Kol Nidrei! That’ll be awesome. At the next chasuna, let’s all sit on the floor and cry. At least the music won’t be too loud and our eardrums will be safe! This guy is way out of touch with reality.

  18. I always wondered what is going to happen in our generation because we are the first generation that kollel has been pushed on everyone. Before you all call me every name in the book, let me tell you I’m not against kollel, but it should be just for yechidey sgulah. We like to forget the misnah of asarah batlanim- which means every city had ten people learning all day. Maybe in our generation we need a lot more than that, but why everyone. Not just that they look at someone who goes out to work as an oisvorf. The is just an example of someone who is bored with his time and is looking for something to do. Maybe if the people who are financially supporting him -stop, he won’t be so bored because he will be busy earning a living and won’t have time for all this narishkeit.

  19. It is true that all music affects us emotionally, perhaps even physically (a heavy metal beat probably causes the heart to beat faster etc.)and for sure it affects our neshamos. But, while some music is obviously inappropriate for Jewish souls, it is hard to draw the line on certain instruments, and electronic sounds. I am certainly far from being a teenager, and I consider myself quite conservative, yet I enjoy certain music that this Rabbi Luft would probably ban. I think this is something that no clear cut line can be drawn on and we have to leave this to our own discretion. I would say though that some tunes and beats to which words from Tehilim and davening, such as Kedusha, are sung to , are totally inappropriate.

  20. WOW! I was getting really nervous because it’s been like, a whole week with nothing banned. Great. No music. Now I feel better, frummer, and certainly closer to hashem. Anything else I should throw away? I want to be a realllllly big yaray shamayim, and I was initially concerned and intimidated by all the tough growth that I would have to do- but it seems like all I have to do is keep up to date with all the stuff being banned. Thank you. That’s so much easier.

  21. Whether or not this is actually a good idea or not, I do think his intent is commendable.

    Jewish music, in general, seems to be more imitative of the secular culture surrounding us, and I am not so sure that’s appropriate.

    Since secular culture today has become so amoral and immoral, there is no doubt that those same ideals and thoughts are reflected in their music; so, if we copy that music, we are, in a sense, copying that mindset, as well, and programming those ideals into the minds of those we buy that music for.

    In addition, and related to that, there are many middos that we are known for, chief among them, according to chaza”l, are Baishanim, Rachmanim and Gomlei Chasadim. Within that spirit, what is the song conveying? Is it anger and attitude that smacks of gaavah (no busha)? Is it hachanaa to Hashem and asking for the geulah, as some songs do? Is it conveying the simcha to be oveid Hashem, as many songs do? Is it glorification of learning Hashem’s holy Torah?

    While there may not be a clear answer to this issue, what is clear, as always, is that you don’t win by lowering your standards, and this is, I think, what this Rabbi is trying to accomplish.

    Arguing, as some are, here, that people will, G-d forbid, leave the faith because we don’t lower our standards so our music matches our decadent culture, goes contrary to emuna. If you are stringent for no reason, that’s something else; but to be makpid on being a good Jew, should bring only bracha and hatzlacha to all of klal Yisrael.

  22. Joseph,

    In case you weren’t aware there was a phenomena known as the haskallah, where hundreds of thousands (maybe more) Jews gave up on G-d/Yiddishkeit, let alone the stringencies. Believe it or not we face the same phenomena today.

    We are not safe and we are not surviving as we should because every day countless neshamas are lost to the streets for whatever reason. Bans like these are stuoid and are only counter-productive. It’s either assur or muttar. To ban something which is already assur is redundant. BTW Joseph, the gedolim have banned the Internet, but here we all are on Yeshivaworld!

  23. sammygol, it was good to hear from you twice in 1 article!!
    It’s been a while and I hope all is fine.

    I suggest that everyone look and read the question posed by the Tzaddik talmid chochom and baal menagen, in the jacket to his new cd, rabbi Shmuel Brazil.

    He asks, What constitutes Jewish music?

    He gives a true answer and ruu hadevorim lemi sheomram.

    This reminds me of the YU shtikel were everyones chain gets rattled and deep rooted feelings of personal frustration surface and we lash out at everyone (i.e. all frum) because someone made a homemade organization.

    Gam zeh yaavor. Good Shabbos to all. I going to get my erev shabbos carlebach fix. Is he Kosher?

  24. To Hakatan,
    Why do people like you in our generation always grab on the toful and leave the ikkur in Judaism? Is it perhaps keeping the ikkur is too hard? Maybe in Elul you and your ilk should have some introspect and try to find ways to improve yourselves. If you work on yourselves, for a change, maybe you’ll grow and if you do, you will elevate the people around you, not just yourself!

  25. Don’t you have to wonder, if so many people are interested in Lipa’s music, that maybe that’s something that the Rabbanim should address. Instead of focusing on banning it, addressing the real issue, which is why is your Torah community is listening to it as Rav Mayer Schiller pointed out.

  26. Two thoughts occur to me on this subject in response to Rabbi Luft. First, he is concerned about losing frum Yiddin because of Jewish music, without realizing that Orthodox Judaism is BIGGER today in large part because of the baal t’shuva movement in the 1970s and the influence of “Chassidic Rock” bands like the Diaspora Yeshiva Band which really is the genesis of the Jewish music we have today. I know that the Diaspora Yeshiva Band played a large part in my becoming frum in the early 1980s; their music even helped me to learn prayers and I use some of their tunes when I daven from the amud. Even bands that heavily borrow from pop music, such as Schlock Rock and Variations, had a tremendous influence on people becoming baalei t’shuva over the last 20 or 30 years. Where would we be if the only Jewish music we had now was Litvishe songs sung to dirge like melodies?

    Second, when Rabbi Luft says melody should be primary and percussion secondary, I can’t help but think of Tehililm 149: “Let them praise His Name with dancing, with DRUMS and harp let them make music to Him.” Apparently the Psalmist put percussion first over melody. I think Miriam, the Prophetess also had a preference for drums.

  27. sammygol: “But, just as nobody reading these pages would trust Mr. Luft’s hechsher on a pizza, unless ascertained that he knows both the practical halacha and the technology involved, nobody would pay much attention to him in this matter, as well.”

    For your illucidation Rabbi Luft has been involved in this issue for perhaps 20 years.

  28. To baruchgershom:
    I totally agree w/u. What people fail to realize is that Jewish music has always borrowed from its surrounding culture. What’s more, instead of banning and bashing these singers and musicians, we should thank them for providing an outlet that would otherwise send our youths elsewhere for entertainment. These people have a special place upstairs. It is unfortunate to say, but I believe that people like Lipa, Diaspora, MBD, Mattisyahu etc.. have done more to keep and even bring back the youth, than the Rabbi’s and all there bans. Can anybody pinpoint any case where someone actually went off the derech because of Lipa or the others?

  29. All I have to say is that I already have a Rav whom I go to for guidance. I don’t need or want someone who is pretty much unknown to tell me what I can or can not listen to. Did it ever occur why no other godol has issued a public ban as of yet on this topic. Well meaning individuals wind up doing more harm than good. It was due to many of these songs that were banned that I was able to wean myself off from listening to Goyish music as a teen. I also remember how various English songs from these groups touched me in a way that no sefer was able. It was through such mediums that I could feel a bond to Hashem and improve on my avodah. Many of the more hip and zippy types have taken me out of bad moods and enabled me to have a more chilled out personality.

    So, yes the music is too loud by weddings, a lot of it I can’t stand listening to (I guess I am getting older LOL) due to the rocky beat, but I don’t see why we need to start something like this when there is so much else out there that needs to be worked on.

  30. Does Rabbi Luft know what beat was used during the time of the Beis Hamikdosh? I can assure you that it was not the beat of the Eastern European sonei yisroel that he cherishes.

  31. “should not use instruments like electric guitars, bass guitars or saxophones in Jewish music,” he says”

    Ok… how about Klezmer? Or what of the decades of weddings of gedolims sons who had such instruments?!!

    Torah existed before this guy came around.

  32. Ephraim Luft …. who do you think you are?

    how about naming the gedolim behind you … oh, i forgot, there propably are none.

    even if there were … are you nuts? do you really think that that is the problem with jewish music today, the instruments? how about the direct songs copied from bon jovi, led zeppelin, aerosmith, joseph, abba, simple plan and other non jewish bands? or if it is done with trumpets and violins is it okay.

    give me a break

  33. I’m all for banning at weddings electric guitars,saxaphones and drummers who are hooked into the sound system. we might go home one night without a huge headache.
    the greatest songwriter of our time R’ Shloime z”l had no need for all this ear splitting music during his concerts and look how his songs have continued to be played and sung all over the world even after all these years.

  34. While Rabbi Luft’s idea in general is a good one, I wonder why Lipa Shmeltzer is the “kappora hintel” of the day in this issue? It seems to me, that there is a personal vendetta out there against him. His music is by NO means anywhere as objectionable as OYF SIMCHAS or MATISYAHU (which I will not allow in my home) and yet, no one says a WORD against these “artists”.
    Yes, I think there needs to be some kind of supervision as to what kind of music is made available out there for our Jewish youth. But, for heavens sake, stop picking on Lipa!

  35. “Sitting in the dining room of his small flat in the orthodox town of Bnei Brak, close to Tel Aviv, Rabbi Luft explains his preference for traditional, even sombre, Jewish tunes like Kol Nidrei.”

    funny, since the Kol Nidrei tune came from a non-Jewish song

  36. More “negative” Yiddishkeit, instead of “positive”.
    And I don’t like a lot of the heintige music, but banning Lipa is not going to help anyone stay frum.

  37. This insanity will only drive more people away from Judaism. Music is powerful and uplifiting, who is this man to decide what we may and may not listen too. Total insanity!

  38. This is typical narrow minded thinking that is typical of most of the British Rabbonim and Kehilla nowadays.

    As R’ Eli Teitelbaum made very clear, the more you assur, the more you push youngsters into things that really are metamai and are harmfull.

    As a youngster, like many others, I was quite into goyishe music. what kept me from listening to it constantly was the availablity of new exciting Jewish music. If the Rabbonim manage to stop new music like Lipa’s, Shnitzler, Shloime Gertner etc, all that will happen is that youngsters will listen to more Goyishe music!
    Yes, Jewish music now isn’t of the same level of Jewish music of yesteryear. Yes many or even most of the tunes originate from or are influenced by Goyishe music But at least the words used in Jewish music are fro Gemaras, Tehillim or Tefillos, whereas the words used in practically every single Goyishe song would not have been allowed into even Goyishe houses just a few decades ago.

    It is very easy for rabbonim to assur Concerts, New Music, etc etc. But often this not only won’t help, it’ll help speed up theimpact the Goyishe velt is having on our community and our youngsters!

  39. Health I don’t know what I said to deserve your resentful words.

    I disgree with you that I am grasping the tafel and ignoring the ikar; my point, however, was that the tafel should not be disregarded simply because it is not ikar. Incidentally, I don’t think it is possible to disagree with that view and still remain a halachicly observant Jewm so I’m not quite sure what the issue is.

    Of course, I don’t know how you can, anyways, determine what is tafel and what is ikar, but, regardless, my point was that one should not compromise halacha in the hope that this will prevent kids going off the derech because a mitzva haBaa BaAveira is an Aveira, not a mitzva, and, therefore, is not the correct approach. I did not, however, say one should seek to impose chumras on anyone nor that this was a wise approach.

  40. I have refrained from comment to this point, but this has gone Way too far. To blatantly asuur things in a wholesale manner is not only wrong but certainly drives people from yiddishkeit. “Lo sosifu…..Lo sigreu.” as the torah tellls us in Parshas Voeschanan has a Pashut Pshat too. In past gfenerations, one never saw respected rabonim blatantly assur that which is inherently mutar. I beleive it wa R’ Chaim Kanievsky who is quoted as saying, one cannot assur a sonfg or music simply because it “goes boom boom boom.” The old chasunah music of yesteryear were mosly classical or modified classical songs, written by goyim, and quite a bit of it for the church. Yet the gedoilai torah never assur-ed it.I hate to say this but “Joseph” you need to learn some mussar badly. it is chidesh elul, be mekabel on yourself tolerance, acceptance and most of all set up a mussar seder.
    When the ghreat Rav Moshe Feinstein was approached to assur pirchei concerts he vehemently opposed assuring them in fact encouraged them. Yet today, everyone thinks he’s a gadol. And all the true gedolim are strung along by “Kannoyim” that lie and mislead them to sign ludacrous takonos. Then along comes the people with the agendas that misquote and twist halacha to sound like it agrees with them. Even though of what they say is not at all what the halacha is.
    Perhaps before coming out and espousing that youre taste in music and musical instruments is the only acceptable music, learn some halacha, and mussar. If you need help perhaps i’ll be glad to teach you. but don’t try to alter the face of Klal yisroel based on nothingness.
    Music is a powerful expression. The freedome to expres oneself with whatever music one chooses brings one closer to HB”H. and therefore brings kedusha o this world.
    I propose to start a movement to stop the blatant chumros and issurim. The twisted agenda with regard to music, tznius etc.
    Take note, there are certain gedoilim who never sign such Kol Koirehs. Note who they are. They are our true gedoilim.
    Do you think the witch hunt against Lipa was right? Do you think misquoting a Chaya Odom to assur certain types of dresses is right? And then calling it a Deoraisa???? Do you think misquoting a Chafetz Chaim on Tznius is right? GET WITH THE PPROGRAM. The young generation is laughing at you and YOU ARE LOSING THEM R”L.

  41. WE ARE WINNING!

    We are gaining more Baalei Teshuva!

    From the Orthodox, many people keep becoming frummer (for lack of a better word.) More chareidi, etc.

    We are gaining all this (like comment #1 rightfully pointed out) with all the chumras the Chachomim placed in Klal Yisroel!!!! And while sometimes someone goes off the derech, as unfortunately happened throughout Jewish history, it is SMALL phenominon — despite what all the pessimisits and negativists would have you believe. We are ADDING new Baalei Teshuvos AT A RATE LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN JEWISH HISTORY.

    And these Baalei Teshuvos are JOINING Klal Yisroel with all these chumras!!!

    IT IS WORKING!!

    Baruch Hashem! We will continue this method despite the above naysayers opposing what our Chachomim decide!

  42. Recently I came upon an article that summarized a specific part of our Jewish heritage and dropped a blanket over this aspect of our culture. That being Jewish music. The article stated that although the air is saturated by spiritual theme and harmony it is also barged down by the music stolen from non-Jewish records and artists, namely, rock and roll. The author gave what, to his knowledge, would seem the most realistic approach to curbing this evil intrusion, that being to make a hechsher on Jewish music.

    This article is a theoretical and inventive play on public opinion. If this is the case put a hechsher on clothes, a hechsher on sports, a hechsher on life itself because that is your own personal opinion. If I think classical music is beautiful and you say a goy wrote it and that makes it treif, don’t listen! I have not heard of children being drawn towards Jewish music that leads them off the derech with the harsh beats and improper lyrics. Non – Jewish music seems to work differently. Music is the language of the heart and this individual who would gladly say that the “Rabbi’s Sons” is the epitome of Jewish song may find it disturbing to find that the authentic “firsts” of that style music was a non – Jewish band. Many of the niggunim of the rebbes were taken from waltzes and marches made by the countries in which they did reside.

    So many times we see that things are based on the thoughts that went into a process. Music is created by thought and if a man gets a hisorirus from a non – Jewish song then takes it and sings his hisorirus into that tune it will become a song of great promise and love for hashem. Oh and if you know that it comes from a non – Jewish song then singing the original words or feelings along with it may not contribute to the yiddisher taam if you know what I mean. A harsh beat doesn’t mean a non – Jewish song it means stronger emotional impact. The same goes for powerful instrumental backing.

    In short this is the reason so many issues arise in our now fragile society. By creating fences beyond the gedarim of the “Gedolim”, ( Not the one’s who consider themselves such) better known as extreme chumras, a group will take this on as halacha and entail sinas chinam. A man who wears a starched white shirt with a small designer label on it as his clothing is looked down upon whereas a shlump wearing wrinkled shirts is admired. A talmid chacham has an absolute and authentic obligation to be neat and presentable at all times. Dress like a mentch K’HALACHA! The same goes for music. Music lives in a person and at the same time the feeling within is what brings out the emotion. So I do not agree with this person and yet I do, for if the music were not changed by hisorirus then it would still contain the goyishe taam. No hechsher can find this. Each man must be able to determine or trust HIS Rov and HIS own self.

    My next comment will be more direct i promise.

  43. Look around. We are not winning. Look at all the “kids at risk” how and why do they get there?
    Read Eli Teitelbaum’s ZT”L article from Yeshiva World last year. Is your philosophy “Bogen” that its OK to give up some for others. Learmmn how to research before making a statement “We are winning” you sound like Iran as they were getting killed during the Gulf War.
    Wake up and smell the coffee.
    I have to deal with these kids. Beleicve me WE ARE NOT YET WINNING…

  44. I agree with #61. Klal Yisroel IS Winning by keeping all our traditions and chumras. So many new baalei teshuvas… sure we nebech lose some youth. But those numbers are relatively very small (STILL even ONE is too many.) But we are gaining by doing everything we are. (Even many MO are becoming chareidi.)

    We just need to keep doing what we’ve always been doing.

  45. a qoute more or less from Marlyn Manson the rock star said to a Christin right group that said his music is bad (treif) and causing a great negative influence on the young generation more or less what rabbi luft says

    He said MAYBE YES AND MAYBE NO HOWEVER IF YOU FEEL MY MUSIC IS SO BAD, (TREIF), REMEMBER THIS II A FREE COUNTY AND NO ONE IS PUTTING A GUN TO YOUR KIDS HEADS TO BUY MY RECORDS.

    SO THE REAL QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK (THE Christin right AND OR RABBI LUFT), WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG WITH OUR KIDS THAT WE DRIVE THEM TO LISTEN TO Marlyn Manson AND OTHER ROCKERS LIKE ME. THAT IS WHAT I WOULD BE CONCERNED WITHN AS A PARENT

    HE MIGHT BE WEIRD, BUT A SMART GUY. HE DID SHUT THEM UP, THEY HAD NO ANSWER

  46. To chuck

    I agree with #61. Klal Yisroel IS Winning by keeping all our traditions and chumras.

    I thought one in not to make a gezara on a gezara.

    however from what I see some robonum and making a gezara on a gezara and then another gezara on a gezara and then another gezara on a gezara and to top it off they then make a chumra. And at the end no one knows any more the original avera and wht or reason behind it