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Bnei Brak: Chazanus CD Raises Questions About Disturbing The Dead

cd.jpgA recently released album containing songs performed by legendary Chazzanim has been causing turmoil among the Charedi community due to the fact that the performers are all dead.

Record company AMC, which produced the album titled “בימים ההם בזמן הזה – In Those Days, At This Time,” used old recordings, had the sound digitally improved and added background music performed by a philharmonic orchestra.

This process of audio manipulation has disturbed many buyers, who flooded the company with questions and complaints: “How is it that the cantor knows to wait for the orchestra? There must be some sort of spell here – is this séance? Does the Halacha allow tampering with the voices of the dead?”

Yitzhka Rashi, AMC’s production director, said it was hard to explain why the album stirred such an agitated response, although it was not the first of its kind to be issued.

According to Rashi, what might have caused the confusion was the fact that old, low-quality vinyl tracks have been cleaned up and now sound as if they had been recorded recently. Another possible reason for the misunderstanding may have originated in the advertisements for the new CD saying “The great masters of Chazzanus come to life.”

The numerous complaints forced the company to publish a notice clarifying that the album was based on old recordings:

“There isn’t the slightest hint of a séance or of raising the dead here, nor any form of magic God forbid, only the wonders of present day computer technology,” declared the announcement hung outside the company’s offices and in the streets of Bnei Brak.

One of the tracks that must have triggered some confusion among listeners combines three separate performances of the same song by three different cantors into one track.

(Source: Ynet News)

27 Responses

  1. Oh! it’s not a bad CD, Yes they “come to life” in a certain sense.

    I just object munipulating Rosenblatt’s voice as if he sang in a way that he didn’t (in “Rom Veniso”), but they did only 1 or 2 of those.

  2. This is one of the most ridiculous accusations I’ve ever heard off.
    It reminds me of the case where a relative of mine showed an Israeli Meshulach a film on which Hagaon Harav Chaskel Sarne ztsl was seen and heard speaking. The man fled the room shouting: “Oy vey, a Yid fun yennem Welt” (= “a Yid has come back from the other world”).
    This CD is a most beautifully produced CD (the 3rd in a series). A must for any Chazonus lover.

  3. Neve Aliza,

    You are suggesting an extreme form of censorship; don’t publish an article that would publicize someone’s foolish actions or comments.

    Mkarpas- you hit the nail on the head. i couldn’t have said it better myself. I might also add that this generation is also interested in what might be called “Sensational Halacha” , ie anything that will cause a stir or will attract attention. Raising the Dead?Seance? You need a lot of free time to come up with something that silly

    A form of “superficial halacha” has also formed, where the clothes you wear, school/shul you attend, rebbe you follow, the esrog you buy, etc, now define your level of observance.

  4. THere is something seriously wrong with our community. Not only does the simple manipulation of sounds on a CD cause consternation, but the only possible explanation for this is witchcraft? Is this what our children are being taught?

  5. MKarpas, I’m interested in the source for that quote, though I assume it’s more a function of their sheltered existences that disallow the concept of electronic and digital manipulation to even enter the mind, leading them to cry “sorcery”.

  6. Every society had its meshugaim. It is very sad when their meshugasim are considered newsworthy. Who is worse, the meshuganeh or the one who should know better than to make letzonus out of a whole society based on one person’s comments. That only invites certain types of comments (ahem ahem). It should also be noted that this is the THIRD of a series of three.

  7. Firstly, this I listened to the CD 3 and a half years ago, so whatever this story is about, its pretty old.

    And besides, anyone raising such complaints seriously needs to have his head checked.

  8. The advertising seems a bit disrespectful. Assuming no intellectual property rights are being trampled, I can’t imagine any halachic issues with the project, anymore than reprinting a old sefer with improved fonts. However making a joke about “tichiyus meissim” is rude.

  9. It is for all of you people that have no desire to go that extra mile for hashem’s observance that moshiach isn’t here yet. Spend your time trying to think up these things isn’t easy

    I for one am just the opposite. It is for this reason with my own funding I founded 1-800-chumras – for those times when all seems to be going to easy and well…take on another chumra!!

  10. Moshegren

    I must of hit the nail on the head because my posting was deleted.

    My rav quoted the maamar chazal i mentioned and added the the Brsker Rav Zatsal stated that it
    is halacaha


    I will have to look for it when I get home.

    It is on the same amud and sugiah in which Rabbi Yochanan states that the only people who could legitimately declare that Toroso Umnos and act accordingly were Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his colleagues. i.e. the five talmidim of Rabbi Akiva.

  11. Baki is correct. I have no complaint about my post being deleted.

    The story is originalyy from ynet which seems to have dedicated reporters to seek out stories that make Charedim look bad.

    Secondly, this has the aura of an advertising gimmick.

    Yhe question is who is pulling whose leg.

  12. I have never met a frum person who doesn’t know about the existence of even those modern technologies, even if he never uses them. Editable sound recordings date back to the mid-20th century.

    It is an interesting question if you need permission from heirs to edit a deceasaed person’s sound recording. In some legal systems you might.

    I believe the original hareidi critic was being sarcastic in response to advertisement that mocked the doctrine of “Tihiyas Meissim”. No one ever believed the maker of the CD used kaballah to bring dead hazanim to his recording studio. That was sarcasm that some of the hiloni press took out of context.

  13. There will be a convention for people that are not stupid and only people with a high IQ!!

    The convention will take place at the Javitz center. Just rember if your stupid do not come.

  14. as #23 suggests this ywn report is based on cholini media which unfortunately never miss an opportunity to distort & even tell blatant lies about happenings in the chareidi world.

    therfore [for the first time] i agree with #1 neveliza that this article should not have been reported here .

  15. musicoutlet:

    I don’t know if I’ll remember not to come. Can you set up an organization to remind me? It has to involve lots of electronical and computer equipment…

    mi k’amcha yisroel!!

  16. #12 You can’t have listened to this one, as it only came onto the market one month ago. As this is the 3rd one of a series, you probably listened to the first one

  17. Come on, this story is obviously made up. Some reporter at Ynet had a deadline to meet, so he wrote a story about those stupid obscurantist haredim, because he knew his editors and readers would eat it up. No research required, of course.

  18. This reminds me of my friend who advertised on the NEW SQUARE orange juice container. He wrote, cut out this coupon and bring it in to the store for a free tie when you purchase a suit. Someone called him up screaming that he cut out the coupon and all the orange juice ran out. Der zelber Meshuganer is complaining about this CD. Why do you give these guys a forum?

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