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September 04, 2011

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Bill

Ordered the book from Amazon and read most of it on a Shabbos afternoon a few weeks back while on vacation in Miami. Much more revealing of his followers than of Shlomo. Not much at all on Shlomo's transition / evolution from Lakewood and Chabad to Jewish new age singing sensation. Interesting how, with some exceptions, many of his followers seemed to struggle in later years with multiple wives (not all Jewish) and blended families. Most touching was the author's attempt to make sense of it all towards the end of the book speculating how it could have been different if only Shlomo had provided more direction (halachic and otherwise) to his devotees. IOW, The House of Love and Prayer might have been better off as The House of Love and Fear and Prayer. Love and Prayer alone didn't quite cut it. I've always been suspicious of charismatic kiruv which this candid account only reinforced. On a technical note, the binding split in half after the book was left open in the sun for about 15 minutes. Miami in the summer is hot, but not THAT hot. Buyer beware.

ultra haredi lite

Q
You're insinuations with absolutely no proof are downright insulting to these women.

Q

Or maybe, I'm questioning the validity of their claims. Read my previous comment again.

Fleishike Kishke

Q: Your God is my foot stool, your Rebbe is my toilet.

ultra haredi lite

Q
If you discount the testimony of a witness, how would you like substantiate a claim?

Q

UHL:
How the hell would the girl know whether he came if it was dry-humping? And also, do you think the dry humping could be a figment of an imagination?
I'm NOT saying she was lying. Maybe he did dry hump her. I just think that these specific claims are insubstantiated.
Fleishig Kishke, you use infantile logic to make insubstantiated claims, so I will do the same.
You're a complete Putz.

JRKmommy

I read the Lilith article when it came out, and the details were too disturbing for me to ever engage in Carlebach hero-worship. I can appreciate the musical legacy, and am willing to go to the Carlebach shul when I'm in New York, but won't idolize the man.

Part of the reason that I took the Lilith article so seriously is precisely because it is a liberal, feminist Jewish magazine. The article clearly struggled with the fact that Carlebach was admired for his broad reach and willingness to forego strict Orthodox rules, but ultimately concluded that they had an obligation to report the truth accurately.

ultra haredi lite

Here's a hypothetical to explain B. Newmans story.
perhaps shlomo stayed over Saturday night too and didn't go to shul on Sunday. Sunday was not his big day at the amud.

ultra haredi lite

Q.
Read the Lilith article. Im sorry but dry humping a 12 year old till he came in his pants is beyond disgraceful. Its criminal too. Although as Shmarya noted, shlomo never attempted to portray himself as a righteous right wing holier than thou rabbi, nevertheless, he clearly took advantage of his charisma and manipulated adoring women.

Fleishike Kishke

Q: You don't deserve a response, but essentially I based my comment on what I read in this article and other articles about Shlomo, on the allegations of women he allegedly hit on, on my readings of the Humash, my limited readings in Psychology, and finally speculation, (notice the word MAY in my final sentence). And I'm a novi.

Q

Shlomo didn't have the middle-class "morality" or frum "morality" either. He flirted with and had sex with those who took the bait. He also ate tuna sandwiches and coffee at Denny’s. From my understanding, Hashem doesn’t appreciate either of those activities. Someone whose home is the airport is likely lonely. Having been in his line of business for many decades, he was obviously addicted to the emotional high one gets from performing. He needed constant stimulation and excitement or would have fallen into depression. When not on stage he may have used the thrill of hitting on married women to keep things interesting.

Do you have any proof of this or is this the pontifacation of a three year old?

Moshe aron Kestenbaum,Williamsburg ODA

Shlomo didn't have the middle-class "morality" or frum "morality" either. He flirted with and had sex with those who took the bait. He also ate tuna sandwiches and coffee at Denny’s. From my understanding, Hashem doesn’t appreciate either of those activities. Someone whose home is the airport is likely lonely. Having been in his line of business for many decades, he was obviously addicted to the emotional high one gets from performing. He needed constant stimulation and excitement or would have fallen into depression. When not on stage he may have used the thrill of hitting on married women to keep things interesting.
As for B. Newman who claims that Shlomo came on to her while her husband was in shule … please explain this in more detail. From what I’ve read of Shlomo it seems to me that Carlebach would have been in Shule leading the services in whatever town he was in. How did it come to pass that Shlomo didn’t go to Shule, but stayed home to hit on you? Were his “top guy” and all the other fans not beating down the door, wondering where their star was, sick or something? I don’t doubt your testimony B Newman I need some more details.


Posted by: Fleishike Kishke | September 05, 2011 at 02:43 PM

I was thinking the same,if everyone is in shul why is carlbach home with her? Newmans story is missing a piper

Fleishike Kishke

Shlomo didn't have the middle-class "morality" or frum "morality" either. He flirted with and had sex with those who took the bait. He also ate tuna sandwiches and coffee at Denny’s. From my understanding, Hashem doesn’t appreciate either of those activities. Someone whose home is the airport is likely lonely. Having been in his line of business for many decades, he was obviously addicted to the emotional high one gets from performing. He needed constant stimulation and excitement or would have fallen into depression. When not on stage he may have used the thrill of hitting on married women to keep things interesting.
As for B. Newman who claims that Shlomo came on to her while her husband was in shule … please explain this in more detail. From what I’ve read of Shlomo it seems to me that Carlebach would have been in Shule leading the services in whatever town he was in. How did it come to pass that Shlomo didn’t go to Shule, but stayed home to hit on you? Were his “top guy” and all the other fans not beating down the door, wondering where their star was, sick or something? I don’t doubt your testimony B Newman I need some more details.

Rochel

If you have concerns about these sexual predator stuff, consider that he accomplished quite alot with his music ...

Posted by: Adams | September 05, 2011 at 08:06 AM

What?? If a person is a sexual predator, as Carlebach allegedly is, whatever good he may have done does not, in any way, minimize or excuse how he has violated others and the damage he has done to his victims. You and others who try to play down unscrupulous behavior need to stop thinking this way. A predator is a predator, period.

Q

@Izzy, the fact that you can't see the difference between Carlebach and Mordechai Tendler shows that you suffer from serous dementia.
Carlebach was accused of rape after he died - but he has a legacy left over! Why didn't they sue them, or at least report what they did and take the foundations off the non profit roster? The claims are insubstatiated; angry or biased people, for the most part. Did he act innapropriately? I'm sure he did. Remember, he had many affairs during the sixties, and he became accostomed to free love, hippie style. His way of relating to people bothered some; ok. The accusations of child rape and rape are senseless.
Lilith is about as believable as People magazine.

Shmarya

Posted by: Izzy | September 05, 2011 at 12:49 PM

The major differences between the two situations, I think, is that Shlomo did not present himself as a traditional Orthodox or hasidic rabbi while Tendler did – and still does.

Tendler allegedly did some very weird things with the women he allegedly seduced and coerced. Shlomo didn't.

And Tendler allegedly preyed on women who were extremely vulnerable and exploited his position and their vulnerability to get sex.

Shlomo seemed to go after females he found attractive, most of whom were not extremely vulnerable.

That doesn't in any way excuse what Shlomo allegedly did.

But the comparison of him to Tendler isn't a good one.

Izzy

I think that the comments on this post says a lot about the readers of this blog. I can't understand why people are so forgiving of Shlomo Carlebach, and yet the same people would condemn, e.g. Mordechai Tendler. Shlomo Carlebach allegedly used his position to take advantage of many women, inclusing confused women, and women in difficult situations, including teenagers. Why is that any better than what Mordy Tendler did?

'Yechiel'

Heck, I can't think of any great artist without 'issues'.
So Shlomo's music will continue to inspire me.

B. Newman

What do you mean hearsay??? It happened to me!I KNOW the women are telling the truth. He was inappropriate and sick... when it came to women. In my case, for years till I said that I am going to tell my husband unless he stops calling me.
My husband is a real nice guy and greatly admired his music. I tried to keep it from him so he will not be hurt. But... he couldn't understand why I never agreed to meet nor have him over again.

L'zchooto I'll end with a positive story. We bumped into him at Kennedy airport. My parent Aleyhem HaShalom, were leaving to Israel and I was so worried. They were glad to meet him. The following day, Mom called and told he was keeping an eye on them and kibbitzing with them the whole trip.
I think that describes him the best: A good person , greatly gifted with some issues.

Bas Melech

Shlomo embraced and practiced the 1960s ideals of peace, love, and prayer in all its forms. Few people saw the complete Shlomo. What he did in public was not what he did in private.

I have known his followers and enemies.

Shlomo had and has good PR people. I remember when his music was banned by rabbis. Now it is sacred.

Adams

Consider that many tunes used in most Shules are from him. Musically, he is most inspiring Jewish singer. sort of like our Beatles. Sometimes when I am playing the guitar and not having much going on, I will just play soulful version of some of his tunes and I can keep at it for hours and get the level of Kedusha in the song that I am seeking. I saw him at age 6 and he took a liking to me alas, I only saw him one more time that is close in person but I didn't go over, it was at a health fair in NYC. I was a little turned off by i think i misinterpreted what he was saying to one of his followers who had a booth there. he said 'voos eh doos' which I thought was condescending but not I am thinking he was probably just kidding with her. So I am sorry I didn't say hello that would have been a couple of years before he passed away. If you have concerns about these sexual predator stuff, consider that he accomplished quite alot with his music, he was alone when he started completely no previous genre. and it is heresay what sort of evidence do you have?

B. Newman

He was at our home for Shabbos. My family (husband 2 children and I) loved having him. It was lovely, filled with songs and people who wanted to be near him. The problem started the next day when my husband was in Shull...trying to court me for years, by phone from different hotels. It made me feel bad. It was inappropriate. Some women from what I read later, did fall in the trap. He was doing this a lot. I think he was sick that way and yet so talented on the other hand.

Nameless going on record.

ultra haredi lite

So sad. Really heartbreakingly sad.

ultra haredi lite

Just read the Lilith article. I am experiencing cognitive dissonance like never in my life. I love his music, but now I can also understand why Reb Moshe Feinstein wrote that one should refrain from listening to the music he wrote "leachar shechutu".
The Lilith article is also a great argument for why men and especially powerful charismatic leaders should adhere to the laws of yichud and certainly to be shomer negiah.

yudel

Start with Lillith magazine or New York Magazine

yudel

Shlomo was a huge sexual predator and the women who came forward right before he died to confront him and then after his petira were all told to forgive him and get on with their lives or leave the chevra.

He was quote a 'holy man.'

So they were forced out for the most part and victimized again.

He started his predation out in summer camps humping and coming on trees while talking to his little maidelach.

How everyone by- passes what he did to so many women is beyond me.

But he was like Muktananda and all the other religious types who prey on vulnerable women.

He could never carry on a personal conversation with anyone. He is no different than any other relgious sexual predator just had a stage to get his women.

We all give him a pass. It never bothers one shlomo person . It does not matter he raped women period. Makes me beyond sad and sick.

I saw it all

I walked out of a concert of his because of how he behaved. To this day, while I'll suffer through someone else singing his music, I will not listen to it under any circumstances.

He was a weirdo, plain and simple. He did more damage than good.

ultra haredi lite

What were the allegations?

rebeljew

Oh my G-d! We can't label him. Whatever will we do?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uzi Ben Asher

Some women made allegations in a misandrist publication called "Lilith" after he died and was unable to defend himself.

ultra haredi lite

Abuse? Please provide details.

ruthie

YES, THEY ARE TRUE.
but who are we to judge him?

batyahgirl@yahoo.com

I love his music and it sustained me during my faith crisis. I really feel that if there is a God, He's in Shlomo's music. On the other hand, I am disturbed by the allegations of sexual impropriety and sexual abuse. Are these things true, or not?

Critical minyan

Some Jewish wedding singers are very good.

'Yechiel'

The kumbaya thing I knew... Lord get me high, I didn't know wasn't Shlomo's. Regardless, it is irrelevant to my point. The fact that he sang theses songs is what triggered my suspicions.
That aside, I enjoy his great compositions (and terrible guitar accompaniment) to this very day. An acquaintance of mine claims that 'olam habba' is a gemara, a cinnamon danish and a Coke on the side and Shlomo's music in the background...
I sure hope he's right about the Shlomo's music part.

Betzalel

He was the only talented musician who played "Jewish music" I've ever heard.

Every other musician that I've heard who plays "Jewish music" sounds the same as every other one. No originality, no creativity, nothing. Not that this is so terrible, but it's not so great either.

p

An important player in the development of Jewish music.

May he rest in peace!

Q

@Yechiel,

Lord Get Me high was not composed by Shlomo. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL-gpu3htHo


And Kumbaya is an ancient Negro - Spiritual.

'Yechiel'

About the LSD debate:
Songs like Lord get me high and Kumbaya get me thinking...

'Yechiel'

Sohn of schneer:
I could not have said it better.

mark meyer

shlomo was a holy man whom we all miss dearly

Q

@Yechiel,

"Like."

@Son of Shneer,

well put

'Yechiel'

Once you dig Shlomo it is nearly impossible to appreciate the losers of nowadays who have no inkling what songs from the soul is all about. I no longer attend weddings for precisely that reason. Noise pollution is what I call the 'music' of Lipa and company.

What kind of  goyishe name is Harold z"l?

He was a very sexual man and always smelled nice.

Sohn of Schneer

He was just a mentsch.

He was himself.

More than can be said for many of those who attempt to analyze and figure him out.

He was just Shlomo, take it or leave it, full of apparent contradictions and also very sincere in his way.

Q

Shlomo was in NO WAY a believer in Haredi or ultra orthodox lifestyle. He was a believer in spirituality; he tried to dissuade people from drugs and alchohol. I don't even see where Shmarya sees that in the article.

Q

I don't believe Shlomo ever took LSD. He had a very weak stomach,and to drink wine or beer was hard enough for him.
Shlomo believed that everybody in the world had the right and ability to be joyous. He felt that joy would only come about through love and peace, and he was well aware of his talents and abilities. His public displays of affection to everyone, from the drugged to the grotesquely obese, was a turn off to some, especially women, who felt that he singled them out to make love. whether he did or didn't nobody will know; but that's what happened.
Shlomo's style was an evolution between 1951, the begining of his career, until around 1985, when he tired out. If you were to tell him in 1955 or 60 that he would kiss women publicly, he woul6d shudder, no doubt. But around 1965-7, he embrace hippie culture and changed his way of relating to people.
Shlomo was in NO WAY a believer in Haredi or ultra orthodox lifestyle. He was a believer in spirituality; he tried to dissuade people from drugs and alchohol. I don't even see where Shmarya sees that in the article.

ultra haredi lite

Shlomo will always remain somewhat of a mystery to me. Enjoy his music!

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