On Lipa Being Banned
This was not meant to be the first post. Far from it. The first post was intended to be a little history of me and the beginnings of this blog. However, the day I set up the blog a major event like this happens. Incredibly apropos, so lets discuss the issue at hand.
This topic has already been mentioned by major bloggers such as Frum Satire but I have a different problem with it altogether.
The banning was expected. No major event like this could be allowed to happen without some controversy. The surprising thing was that the protest actually succeeded. Unlike last year when the concert in Israel went ahead despite the protest, Lipa has pulled out, and Sheya Mendlowitz is now scrambling to refund money to advertisers and ticket holders. The usual rhetoric was pulled out. Statements such as “…the sight of dancing and singing performers would cause ribaldry and lightheadedness that would lure young people away from spiritual purity…” and “…strip the youth of every shred of fear of heaven…”
What is this, Purim? Do they really believe that the Jewish world is so on the edge that the sight of Lipa Schmelzer will send the youth off the cliff to secularism in droves? This kind of thing honestly sickens me. The Jewish world that these people reside in is so enclosed and filled with such a lack of outlets. This is the one thing Chassidic kids can look forward to and then just two weeks before it happened the rug is pulled out. For heavens sake, the concert was going to have a mechitza, separate entrances, and Lipa had promised only to perform traditional Chassidic melodies. This kind of banning is what disillusions kids and sends them off the derech. The lack of kosher outlets and hyperbole spewed by their “leaders”, and when I say leaders here, I mean two people in the community with an axe to pick. The problem is that in the frum world, once someone protests something, noone will stand up to them for fear of being seen “less than frum”. The text of the banning was copied word for word from the one last year for Israel, and it was brought before prominent American rabbis with the promise that it had already been approved by the Israeli rabbis. However: “Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky of Philadelphia, told The Jewish Star that the rabbis did not verify the claim that the edict had been approved by Israeli rabbis. “Usually we meet together. This time, with time pressing, we did not meet together, and maybe it was not the right thing,” he said, according to Hamodia.”
Well so much for that. Congratulations, you’ve managed to destroy a persons livelihood (Mr. Mendlowitz, who now has to reimburse 3000 ticket holders, the event sponsors, and Madison Square Garden for the rental. And The Garden don’t rent cheap. It’s estimated he’s $700,000 in the hole for this one.) a rare night of entertainment for frum people and you’ve tainted Lipa Shmeltzers name by associating the idea of him performing with people going off the derech. Worse of all, you’ve lost G-D knows how much money for the charity Simchat Tzion, a group that makes weddings for orphaned brides and grooms in Israel. All in a weeks work, aye?