The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, March 03, 2008

Give Rabbi Horowitz a Break

Full Disclpsure: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is my first cousin and soulmate

I am about to hop on a plane and really don't have time to do this post justice but I am chagrined by the negative reaction to Rabbi Horowitz's recent post.

I think part of the negative reaction is because people have come to expect alot from him as a spokesman for "normal Chareidihood". I think some people think he's punting here.

I can assure you he is not. I've spoken to him about the Lipa incident and he is heartbroken. As he notes, he will, after a bit of reflection, address the ban itself.

But remember. His main gig is as an expert in parenting. THAT'S WHAT THE POST IS ABOUT; NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. And the message is correct. He is not apologizing for the gedolim. He is recognizing that there is a tremendous disconnect as a result of this horrible ban and he is admonishing parents who are troubled by it to remain calm and reasoned in front of their children despite their disappointment or anger. That is wise advice.

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  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said…

    i don't have to be reminded who RYH is and what he stands for. Just as the gedolim, who so predictably disappoint, RYH predictably inspires.

    Additionally, I thoroughly understand that RYH is admirably playing interference by putting sorely needed words in the mouths of otherwise speechless Jewish parents, who are now faced with the bitter reality that blind faith in people and irresponsible worship of subjective "daas torah" is today's Aygel haZahav.

    But I can't stomach seeing RYH, in trying to stem the destruction, take an highly unsuited apologetic tone, even if as a means to an end.

    Rather RYH take one for the team, why not one of the leaders responsible for this mess stand up and admit a mistake was made. Talk about kovod haRabonim, that sure would inspire me -- which is saying a lot.

    What is further disheartening, though, is having to watch as the one and only leader with the courage to sound the alarm, desperately scrambling to shove the shanda back in the box.

    Since the "gedolim" stepped into the sunlight, let's see if they can survive the light of day. One should expect nothing less from a nation of Emes, v'haShalom, v'Ehavu.

    But I humbly expect more of RYH, not to debase his well deserved reputation and give those most undeserving a free pass.

  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I'm sure you will see more of RYH on this matter and I respect the fact that you (unlike the cretins commenting elsewhere) understand the impossible situation in which he finds himself.

    And, you are right. It would be nice if one of the signing gedolim would step up.

  • At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Moshe said…

    What I can't understand is why people are taking this much harsher than the Slifkin ban a few years back.

    I can really understand why Rabbonim would like to ban Lipa - even though I don't think that it pays to ban anyone or anything nowadays - education is far more wiser. In the Slifkin ban, on the other hand, they were banning the words of great Rishonim and Acharonim and were writing off a large portion of Jews as heretics and nonbelievers.

    Somehow, this leads me to think that the intellectual situation of the Jewish NAtion in the USA is quite low - they care more about music than they do about intellectual pursuits. We were once people of the book - now we seem to be people of (shoddy) music.

    (Yes, I understand that the ban was done in a way unbefitting Torah scholars- but so was the Slifkin ban. The two bans are very similar - with the exception that one is important (Slifkin), while the other is simply narishkeit (lipa)).

  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said…

    I think you're forgetting two points:

    1) The outrage from the Slifkin ban was furious and hardly muted, particularly among those who were outraged by the 'Making of a Gadol' ban, and started to sense the pattern.

    2) Sliflin came toward the beginning of the spate of banning we have seen in the past few years. The popular outrage seen today is the cumulative effect of people realizing that things have gone too far.

  • At 10:05 AM, Anonymous open the gates said…

    Moshe -
    Somehow, I don't think the performers or producers who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars consider this ban "narishkeit." I don't think the orphans of terror attacks whose weddings were to be paid for through this concert would consider the ban "narishkeit." And I'm sure that musicians whose livelihood has been threatened for years by the attitude (and the askanim) underlying this ban would consider it to be "narishkeit."

    It's not a zero-sum world. Yes, the Slifkin ban was an awful thing. But don't dismiss out-of-hand the suffering caused by this ban. Even non-Lipa fans and people with tin ears should be horrified by what's happening.

    Finally, if this ban causes enough of a backlash, perhaps it will prevent future "Slifkin bans" as well. One hopes.

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous megapixel said…

    agree on the rabbi horowitz thing. His column was not about the lipa affair, but rather to point out advice to parents on something very likely to be overlooked, what with all the emotions running rampant.
    i do wish these rabanim would come forth with a strong explanation for us though, it would be easier to swallow their psak.

  • At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Moshe said…

    Open The Gates:

    There is abig difference between this ban and the slifkin ban.

    This music (which I call narishkeit) can be banned. It is within the power of a Rav of his community to not allow such events to take place. Obviously, it needs to be done in a menschlich way - that is, the performers should be spoken to in advance and no financial harm should come to them (aside from the loss of their profit).

    On the other hand, the Slifkin ban is not something that any Rav at all can do nowadays - as it is something that deals with the Yesodei Hadas, and is a position taken by many Geonim, Rishonim and Acharonim. A modern day Rabbi can not call all of those rabbinic authorities kofrim - he most definitely can call lipas singing "narishkeit"

  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    >>>no financial harm should come to them (aside from the loss of their profit).

    That is a contradiction - their job is to do concerts. Their inability to do their job is a financial loss. There is no such thing as a loss of profit. If you mean they shouldn't lose their investments that is too late if they have bought equipment etc.


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