Roy Neuberger on Kanye West and American Culture


Watch what Reb Roy Neuberger has to say on Kanye West, American culture, the Parsha, and the Mitzvah of Tzipisa Liyeshu’ah


  1. Some of the points raised are incorrect. Esav did not demand to eat red meat, he demanded to eat red lentils which are a vegetarian dish and by the way there are plenty of angry Vegans out there. He decries assimilation and identification with Esav’s culture but then uses a folsky Yiddish saying which is based on on of Esav’s main languages, German. He offers Kanye West as an example of Esav but Kanye is Black, usually related in exegesis to a different lineage. He refers to prophecies of a third world war but that is really not necessary. It is quite clear we have stood on that verge over the past year and at other times. He says that fully religious Jews will survive but that contradicts the traditional teaching that first Mashiach Ben Yosef will arise and be killed in the Wars of Melech Ha Moshiach. His video has more in common with Apocalyptic Christian presentations.

  2. Many good points, David Y. But I think you are incorrect in suggesting that there is any tradition in the Torah about the lineage of African Americans. Kush and Mitzrayim are described as descendents of Cham but most African Americans came to America from an entirely different part of Africa. On the other hand, the lineage of Esav is associated with Western culture and the Christian religion (even for nations that are not literally descended from Esav), both of which Kanye West is most definitely a part of, so I think it’s fair to associate him with Esav.

  3. Also, associating Yiddish with Esav is about as ridiculous as it gets. Yiddish may have started as German but it was held) used by almost every gadol of the Ashkenazi world to spread Torah. The Chasam sofer spoke strongly in favor of Jews using Yiddish and not the other European languages around them. Even Rav Yosef Ber Soliveichik spoke out in favor of preserving Yiddish, which he called a “kli kodesh” due to its use over the generations as a vehicle for transmitting Torah and yiddishkeit.

    Yiddish is based on German the same way a sefer Torah is based on a cow hide. A sefer Torah and a pair of leather cowboy boots may have started out as the same sheet of leather but that’s where their commonality ends.