The NY Times article is exactly what I thought it would be, it mirrors the Jerusalem Post article. One thing is for sure it’s a huge Chillul Hashem. Even worse it continues to drive a wedge between the “normals” as I like to call them now and the “lunatic right wingers” within our own frum community.
This post is a combined post featuring my thoughts on both the Ny Times article and Rabbi Horowitz’s article titled “Lipa” – Where Do We Go From Here? Some Parenting Thoughts about the ‘Lipa’ Concert Brouhaha” available here.
Over the last 2 weeks I have discussed this topic with all kinds of people. The Modern Orthodox, The Conservative and Reform Jews, The Yeshivish, The Boro Park Chassidishe, and of course my fellow Lubavitchers. What I have found the most interesting is that while a lot of people are outraged by this, the most vocal were the mainstreamer frum people. Not the Modern Orthodox, but the regular “chareidi” frum community members.
What the troublemakers set out to do is save the “at risk” or any future youth who might somehow from this become at risk. What they have actually done is tragic. Not only did they probably further push away the “at risk”, because before this those at risk would at least have the option of being at a Jewish concert, with Yiddishe themes, and frum singers singing about the torah and hashem.
Instead they will seek their entertainment elsewhere. I’m afraid to even think where. So not only did they not accomplish their original goal but they have riled up the “normals” the regular day to day frum people.
Over the last 2 weeks our community has been fractured and many people are angry. This would like fighting the terrorists in Iraq by rolling tanks over the buildings in Manhattan. Not only did you do nothing, but you’ve dragged the people and the community your fighting for into the battle. People are angry, don’t think this is just about a bunch of loud mouth bloggers. Everywhere I go people are talking about this. People who don’t go on blogs and people who don’t even like Jewish music.
This is no longer about Lipa Schmeltzer or Jewish Music. This is about the future of Frum Yidden everywhere. This is not just a topic of the week it’s a battle for the next generation.
Let me bring in Rabbi Horowitz’s article into the mix. Before I give my thoughts on that specific article let me preface this by pledging my undying support for Rabbi Horowitz. This man is a shining light in a very dark world. If we could clone 33 Rabbi Horowitz’s we’d all be in a much better place right now. Rabbi Horowitz has done nothing but fight the good fight with logical, rational, down to earth, smart, intelligent discussion. He has become something of a Rebbe among the Jewish Blogggers.
In almost every article I’m standing right there cheering alongside “here here!” but not today. Not on this one. I’m glad Blog in Dm was the first one to say it, but I was thinking it. People were forwarding me that post Friday non stop. I was so excited to read what he was gonna write. My Friday was very busy so I printed it out and thought it would be a good Shabbos read. But when I finally did read it Shabbos afternoon I was very surprised.
Rabbi Horowitz did not really address the problem. Now, let me just say, maybe he will, and I look forward to that day, but right now he didn’t – in fact what he did was almost defend the Gedolim out of fear that everything was crumbling around him. Like a man calling to people fleeing a crumbling building shouting, “no, no, don’t worry, it looks bad, but it won’t fall!.” But Rabbi, it is falling and its not good. We need a construction team into there bad, preferably led by someone like you!
Instead of addressing the root of the anger and concern among the frum men and women, he tried to calm us. For the sake of the youth, and he’s right, but, what about us?
Because he used the teen/parents analogy, let me use it too. To me at least, Rabbi Horowitz was like that Uncle. You know when you’re young and you get into a huge fight with your father, there is that Uncle that is there to comfort you. He may tell you he doesn’t always agree with your father, his brother, but don’t ever forget he’s your father. (that sounded less confusing in my head.)
He doesn’t offer any real explanation, but he wants you to remember that although you may be angry with him, he’s still your father and keep that in mind. It’s a strange kind of noncommittal comforting. I feel I’m not explaining this right. I hope you, the readers, are getting what I’m saying.
I’d like for a moment to bring in something from far left field. The Matisyahu situation. Remember back when Matisyahu decided he was no longer Chabad? Remember what I said? I was most angry because a yid has to have a Derech that he belongs to. We don’t self regulate or self psak. We use our Rebbe’s, Rabanim, Mashpia’s, Roshei Yeshiva, Gedolom as a conduit to the Torah and Hashem. They are our fathers, we look to them for guidance, love, support and leadership.
So when that connection is tested it becomes tragic. Matisyahu stopped believing in that conduit and a Yid without a Derech is a dangerous thing. We all need a Derech, we must belong to something. To ground us we need to have someone to look up to and someone who can lead us. Mix and match Judaism doesn’t work.
Thats why its so important that Rabbi Horowitz address the actual issues rather then just warn us about burning our bridges with our fathers. We won’t burn them, we need them. In order to survive we need our Gedolim, we need our leaders, but right now we are confused and lost and angry with them. Things went down, and have been going down (re:bans) for the last few years that are straining that all important bond between Rebbe and Chassid. Rosh HaYeshiva and Masmid. Rav and Kehilah.
We need someone to fix the bond, we need people to be the go between, someone needs to address this, and it must be fixed. If not, we will all just be aimless, wandering, confused people with no direction, lost in a world of darkness.