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January 18, 2010


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Yehoshua Halevi

I'm going to make up Jewish Gangsta Rap songs about Frum ASS
Stupity that goes on how mad frummies think of G J Rap.

I'm gangsta Yol wats up my yiddas in here man this shit going down
My YIDDA thru da hood. Dat shit glocks down my YIDDA this post is
Motherfucken bitch ass shit motherfuckers punk ass.

I Listen To Tupuc Shakur he is The Beatles of gangsta rap

Ralph Fiennes

Many of the tunes to our prayers are taken from German drinking songs. From my reformed, ashkenazi Nusach, the following prayers were sung to such melodies: Adon Olam, Aleinu, the Birkat, and many others.GooD luck


When we had real Gedolim, bullshit like this just never surfaced. Sadly, they are no more, so it is surfacing now.
Just like by shavers, R' Moshe Feinstien paskened lift and cut is muttar, but yener chacham today in Lakewood decides that we all have to pay them to mangle our shavers.

Baruch Atta

This is another example of what I call the "Islamization" of Judaism.

Mr. Apikorus


Yes I do. I'm on record here as a Chicago Bears fan (used to live there).


You got to love it: "When the saxophone was adopted for use in jazz bands in the 1920s it received the name "the Devil's Flute because of its indecent seductive tones." footnote 6

The people who wrote this need psychiatric help - stat!



Just thought of a great parody. How about the "Lonesome Foursome Losers" with apologies to the Little River Band.



I wonder if the Losers will be putting out an album any time soon. They seem to be so knowledgeable about music, lol. They should listen to the latest Mordechai Ben David (MBD) album. The pulsating disco beats reminds one of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" or a night at Studio 54. I don't think MBD will be applying for their hechsher any time soon.

Yochanan Lavie

Steve: The gentiles have the Three Tenors. We have the Four Losers.

alternative childcare

Mr A: You don't like bears? :)

Mr. Apikorus

Die Walkure has its moments of languor also, but I was squirming through the first two-things of Siegfried.


These four losers have been given too much blog and media attention already. Let them do something constructive with their lives instead of trying to dictate what people can listen to. Who the hell appointed them as the music police?


Saxophone has been good to my family. Grandpa Beckerman played saxophone, clarinet and guitar, making money in various well-known Jewish bands, such as "Cherniavsky's Yiddishe Jazz Band," as well as playing sax with the Philharmonic around WW1. He played his Selmer tenor until he was about 90, when it got too heavy for him.

His son, Uncle Jack, worked his way through college and grad school (Michigan) playing in dance bands. I have his old Buescher Aristocrat alto, not that I play very well.

This sort of thing might not have affected them that much, as neither of them was religious.

alternative childcare

Mr A, gotta take issue with you on this point: "The first 2/3 of "Siegfried" is boring. The last 1/3 makes up for that."
Aside from Adorno calling Siegfried the most sublime work of Wagner, how can you call Act 1 scene 3 dull? That's the forging of Nothung, perhaps the best bit of the whole Ring! Perhaps you meant Die Walkure, where the first 2/3 are the family part?
Anyway, coming back to this forum, one can discuss whether Mime was meant to be an antisemitic figure :)


I guess people will have to get rid of their "Guitar heroes" games....i can't wait for the advertising claiming that a kind and generous avreich has agreed to receive your CDs and Guitar Heroes games and will give you in return new kosher CDs and the kosher game called "Violin Gedolim".
Well worth the swap.


"The final end and aim of thoroughbass, should be none other than the Glory of G-d and the recreation of the mind.

Where these are not kept in view, there can be no real music, only infernal jingling and bellowing."

J.S. Bach


PS: actually as a fan of classical music, my preferences fully fit their criteria...

It is not a novelty that rabbonim pronounce bans about music. For further reference see Israel Adler´s book "La pratique musicale savante dans quelques communautes juives en Europe aux XVIIe–XVIIIe siecles".


"I'm sorry, but you have to be a glutton for punishment to do the Ring in one sitting"

yeah, I did it when I was about 18 (and a big opera fan). They played it on one day in the radio, starting aroung 6:30 and finishing after midnight. I really got up this early on a sunday and sat all through it.

But truth to be told: I never acquired a liking for the "Ring" in particular or Wagner´s music in general. Lohengrin or Fliegender Hollaender are quite OK, but anything from the ring onward is not my taste (except, perhaps, Meistersinger)...

Mr. Apikorus

One of the Andrews Sisters, I forget which, married Vic Schoen, the singing group's bandleader. Thus the sond has a second meaning.

Mr. Apikorus

That would have been "Siegfried." Das Rheingold is about 2 1/2 hours long, with only one intermission.

The first 2/3 of "Siegfried" is boring. The last 1/3 makes up for that.


whenever i hear the guitar or saxophone, i inexplicably begin to furiously masturbate. i've stopped going to chasunahs because of my powerful yetzer harah and am glad that someone is finally is someone being bold enough to take measures to cater to the needs of people like me.

Jew Dude

I recommend the Leib duo of Tropper and Pinter to the ad hoc anti music committee. They have a long and distinguished career of working together to control only other peoples vices. May G-d spare us from the holier than thou charlatans amongst us.

alternative childcare

OCR: I lose syntax when excited.

Clear: "rabbi" luft is so wrong it doesn't even pay to start arguing rationally. Keep in mind that medieval Hebrew poetry, by the same authors who wrote the Kinot, and much of the prayerbook, wrote poems dealing with all of the subjects you enumerate above, some quite rowdy.


"Even simple peasant music was clean and fit for playing at Jewish simchas."

Have these "rabbis" ever even listened to the folk musics of the world? (Stupid question, I know.)

Sure, a lot of songs were "clean," but a lot were not - not by the "rabbis" standards at least. Many, many songs about falling in love, meetings ones lover (not tzniut), etc. Then, a lot of songs about cheating lovers, revenge, despair over being crossed, etc. And, of course, the whole corpus of songs filled with all sorts of clever euphemisms for sexual encounters, body parts, etc.

Then there are the folk songs of North America, Ireland and Britain, which in many of them, at least one of the characters always ends up dead by the end of the song.

There are rock bands out there whose entire discographies are more "clean" and wholesome than the "simple peasant music" of yore.

Office of the Chief Rabbi

My tuchis hurts at the thought of the entire Ring in one sitting. I've only seen one of them live -either Das Rheingold or Siegfried, can't remember - and it had at least 2 intermissions.

AC -
money donators ?

Why not merely "donors?"

alternative childcare

Mr A: Bei Mir Bistu Schayn - great song, but Scholem Secunda wrote it, he also wrote cantorial music, chamber music, all around underappreciated composer.

Mr. Apikorus

Since Shmarya has challenged me to a fight, I just downloaded the Gillette "Look Sharp!" March. Would that get a hecksher?

Speaking of swing, the Andrews Sisters weren't Jewish, but recorded "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen." How about that?


This is like a movie I saw with Kevin Bacon. A rabbi in a small town, played by John Lithegow, was trying to ban rock music and dancing... no, that's not it.

Oh, I remember! It was Christian Bale. A rabbi, played by Kenneth Brannaugh, in 1930s Germany, was trying to ban swing and swing dancing... maybe, not.

Yosef ben Matitya

i wonder if mariza singing 'meu fado' got hekhsher!
by the way, how does it work?
ok, no milchig-fleishig, but like mariza gets hekhsher to be heared by women, no? for us men alas, it's kol baisha etc... well, pity! sure beats avraham fried or shweiki anytime of the day.
she looks besser too.


To Mr. A and Rob Wisler:

I'm from Chicago and never knew that Sir George Solti was Jewish. I just assumed (from his name) that he was Italian.

I was in Budapest in October taking a Jewish themed tour, and the tour guide listed a whole bunch of famous Hungarian Jews. I was quite surprised (and elated) to hear George Solti's name.

alternative childcare

Let's get down to what he really wants:
Little boy choirs singing slow yearning melodies with no beat or harsh instruments to disturb "the moment".


Another quote: "The use of "swing" both in the singing and instrumental accompaniment should be avoided."

They're about 70 years too late. The Barry Sisters were singing Yiddishe melodies with a swinging backbeat since the early days of radio.


Yated said in the article:

"In earlier times, most of the non-Jewish music was respectable and could be used for singing with holy words. Even simple peasant music was clean and fit for playing at Jewish simchas. But in modern times, with the development of recording and radio and the entertainment business that catered to the masses, a new purpose was found for music -- to arouse the yetzer hora."

Many of the tunes to our prayers are taken from German drinking songs. From my reformed, ashkenazi Nusach, the following prayers were sung to such melodies: Adon Olam, Aleinu, the Birkat, and many others.

A. Nuran



Ichabod Chrain

"The use of "swing" both in the singing and instrumental accompaniment should be avoided."

But that would rule out Benny Goodman.

Sorry, "rabbis." If it's between you and Benny, I'm going with Benny. Any time."

Heh, it's not just Benny Goodman, they'd also ban Lawrence Welk. Besides swing was big in the 40's. I know the ravs in the 40's had other things to worry about, but if swing was such a problem, some of them could have gotten around to banning it.

"Walter: 1/2 Jewish, Lotte Lehmann, 1/2 Jewish, etc"

And don't forget Reb Elvis z'l.


Ya know, back in the day, I saw the Butthole Surfers in concert do their own unique version of Hava Nagilah.

Very tasteful.

It would have truly been a shame to have missed it.


The scene 1 comment has me laughing. This attempted music ban is nothing new. They stopped Lipa. I wa seven told by a Rabbi once that MBD is treif. The best thing to do is to ignore them.

alternative childcare

This story points out a serious issue within the frum world. A jerk like this guy (picture here: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/luft.jpg) writes stupid (see his pseudoscience), ignorant, racist nonsense, and now instead of everyone saying, shut up you pferd, as they would have in the past, now one has to "disprove" him with all sorts of articles, in a sense giving him a kind of halachic high ground.


"The use of "swing" both in the singing and instrumental accompaniment should be avoided."

But that would rule out Benny Goodman.

Sorry, "rabbis." If it's between you and Benny, I'm going with Benny. Any time.

Mr. Apikorus

You're right. I just looked at the box set. I was confused because Solti later became the conductor of the Chicago Symphony.

Yochanan Lavie

Apologies to the Beatles:








Rob Wisler

I certainly agree with you on Birgit Nilsson as Brunhilde. What a heartbreaking performance in both the 2nd and 3rd acts of Walkure. However, Solti never recorded a Ring Cycle with Chicago (although they did perform one in a "concert" setting (without costumes), the Ring Cycle that you're thinking of is the one that Solti did on Decca/London Records with the Vienna Philharmonic recorded between 1958 (Das Rheingold), 1962 (Siegfried), 1964 (Gotterdammurung), and 1966 (Walkure). It's the "standard" of all of the Ring cycles and the first one recorded complete and in-studio.


Luft is an ignorant racist.

Blog in the DM has a nine part analysis of Luft's book on this.

See: http://blogindm.blogspot.com/2008/10/in-review-r-ephraim-lufts-torah-is-not.html

Chicago Sam

This is such a silly topic. It might as well be, "Kosher Music: "In G$d we Tru$t"


This had to be the silliest thing I found in a long time. I would continue to proudly play my hechsker free Jewish music. They can pay ME to hear it.

Mr. Apikorus

Dr. Dave: I never did the Ring in one setting (actually, in Bayreuth it would be four settings, consecutive days). I'm not that much of a glutton for punishment.

I understand the seats in Bayreuth are quite uncomfortable.


I wonder what kind of music 'decent' people like Kolko, Tropper and Mondrowitz listen to?

Mr. Apikorus

Rob, the one I have, which is probably the best of the Ring Cycle CDs, was recorded by Solti and the Chicago Philharmonic, I believe in the late 1960's until early 1980's.

The recordings were remastered recently, and I'll probably buy the new set (not that CD's ever wear out).

No Ring Cycle performance, including those I went to at the Met last year, ever will compare. There is no Brunnhilde like Nilsson. Possibly not even the real one.


"There are certain types of music, such as rap and reggae, that are disgusting and have no place in our community."…

These men need some exposure to Matisyahu. One may argue about the reggea style, but his lyrics are far more respectfully and emotionally conveyed than some of the flat renditions that are more likely to get this certification.

Critical minyan

Scene 1
a rundown yeshiva classroom somewhere in orange county

bochur - rebbe, I have a confession to make. I listened to a song that didn't have a hechsher.

Dirty fat rebbe - oy. How could you? You must be stronger. You must fight your yetZer harah. Come sit on my lap sweetie. Let me squeeze you to toughen you up.


Please, Seymour, now you're making it personal.

Please cradle your AC/DC and GnR albums gently in your arms. Do not even think of bringing harm to those masterpieces.


does that mean I have too throw out all my ac/dc music and Guns n roses?

This is idiotic many songs that are song in shul and or at home for shobbos (zmiras) where originally gentile songs

Will there be a fee?

Critical minyan

The craziest part of this article is that there actually some people who care. Somebody out there is throwing out his Jewish music albums just because the musicians didn't pay off the rabbi


Well, why not.

Actually, some 500 years ago, the catholic church "invented" classical music by forbidding dissonances, and giving clear rules of composition (the so-called Palestrina Style).

So perhaps this will be the start of a whole new era of innovative jewish music?

As they say: If you get caught by the censors, it plainly means you were not subtle enough...


This is typical of the Haredim: since they have nothing better to do with their time (ie-go to work and earn a living rather than accept welfare), their minds-which might not be such a terrible thing to waste-focus on minutiae. These people actually remind me of children between 8 and 10 that are making up new rules to a game and changing them to suit whatever mood they happen to be in at the time.


Pascal Lamboni

On his assertion "It has been proven that rock music has a very negative effect on people and on animals and plants, while classical music has a very positive effect."

I wonder if Rabbi Luft watched this episode of Mythbusters....


Seems like plants like heavy metal.


I recall a wedding, with a mehitzah (divider between men and women), where the men thought that the women were talking too loudly. A man took to the microphone and announced, "It is requested that the opposite-side-of-the-men's-side be quiet."

Dr. Dave

I'm sorry, but you have to be a glutton for punishment to do the Ring in one sitting.

All those bloody leitmotif's!!!

And to make things worse contemporary composers are expanding upon this themes!!

A year ago I spent an excruciating hour at a LASO concert at the Hollywood Bowl listening to a program by a modern composer who began with last few bars of Götterdämmerung and then went into an all percussion piece representing Alberich having survived the apocalypse.

Thank G-d the rest of the program was Holst's Planets!!!


that's it...keep making rules, see where people go. there will soon come a time when the masses of religious jews will take a stand and say with one voice, "stop binding our hands, stop shackling our hearts, stop enslaving our minds"
i don't even need to make an arguement that proves the stupidity of this issue. it speaks for itself.

Rob Wisler

Sorry, that's Keilberth, not Kleiber...

Dr. Dave

The use of "swing" both in the singing and instrumental accompaniment should be avoided.

As Wayne and Garth would say:

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that schwing!!!

Rob Wisler

Actually Api, it's the Vienna Philharmonic under Solti (real name: Stern), not the Chicago Symphony. I just bought a new remastering of it on SACD. Still like the 1955 Beyreuth performance of it by Kleiber better though.


This is nothing suprising. We already knew that orthodox judaism has a thought police.


Of course this is in line with one of Shmarya's original gripes about the american haredi world, but the line of the Sotuherner is the evil of black/african music.

According to Rabbi Luft, "African" music is bad, but music written by holy German composers is OK!!

Mr. Apikorus

I'm not unaware of it at all, AC.

Walter: 1/2 Jewish, Lotte Lehmann, 1/2 Jewish, etc. And of course, Wagner has been performed by the Israel Philharmonic, with Daniel Barenboim conducting.

As you probably suspected all along, I'm a big Wagner fan, although I never much cared for Parsifal.

alternative childcare

Mr A, I'm surprise that you of all people are unaware that Wagner performance was once a Jewish thing, before the war, many of the great Wagnerians were Jews or married to them (Bruno Walter, Lotte Lehmann, Emanuel List, Fredrich Schorr, and the greatest of all, Lauritz Melchior, was an open anti-Nazi and left the country during the war). Bruno Walter's Walküre was an act of resistance recorded in Austria when the Nazis forbade them to work in Germany.

Anyway, this is all about control and getting publicity. Nowadays in the chareidi world you either need to be descended from someone famous or you have to pull a Glenn Beck to get attention, writing a real sefer gets you nowhere, and even the ArtScroll books are now too numerous to get attention (and anyway, they name them after the money donators rather than the author for the first time in Jewish History). So if you are some loser with 10 kids and a nasty wife living in a tiny cramped apartment and you want to appear in Yated Neeman, you have to create a new chumra. And if it reads like Nazi propoganda, well, back in Europe things were better...

You know, of course, that the Zionist Conference led by Herzl opened with the theme from Tannhauser?

Mr. Apikorus

These clowns should be forced to listen to the Ring Cycle 24/7. (In fact, listening to it just once takes close to 24 hours (about 16, actually.) I recommend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra version conducted by Solti (a Jew) with Brigit Nilsson as Brunnhilde (not Jewish).

Great music. No guitars. No saxophones.

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