Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another Look at Askanim

The one thing that is more important than the occasional sex abuse that occurs in the Torah world (Nebech) is the disgusting and pervasive way that some Frum performers incorporate a Rock and Roll beat into Jewish music.

But that is now history. Knowing a priority when they see one - a committee of Askanim (community activists) has been set up in Israel (and no doubt will soon follow here – if our own holy Askanim have anything to say about it). Here is an excerpt from an article in the Jerusalem Post:

"Michael Jackson-style music has no place in our community," says Mordechai Bloi, a senior member of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, an organization based in Bnei Brak that enforces what it sees as normative haredi behavior

Thank goodness for this committee. It is yet another step towards living one’s life BeKedusha U’BeTahara. There are a few committees like this now. So far we have one for Tznius – for travel - and for music. I don’t recall any other such committees to protect us but these three cover a wide range of behavior. And I’m sure that to the extent that any other dangers exist for our children - our holy Askanim are busily involved.

The Guardians of Sanctity and Education are saving our children from the devil - and his music. Last summer in the never ending quest for sanctity - outdoor separate seating concerts were banned in Israel too. God forbid that a boy and girl might actually interact in some way there. (Oy! Perish the thought!) Who knows what kind of disastrous results that could lead to! It could cause great harm to their souls.

Many people have complained that limiting leisure time ‘kosher’activities is an open invitation for young people to find ‘unkosher’ activities – especially during a long summer vacation. But I say, poppycock! It’s called parenting. What kind of parent leaves such things to chance? Parents – Do your jobs!

Far better for young people to find better more holy ways to relax in the summer. Nothing is more relaxing like learning an alternate non Yeshivishe Mesechta like Kinim – a very short one - when taking a break from the Yeshivishe ones they learn during the school year. What better way to relax?

This latest move banning any rock and roll beat from any event is a no brainer. With one stroke of the pen they have eliminated a scourge in our midst. Without it, who knows how many more Jewish minds would have become polluted by a Lipa Shmeltzer who dared to use the melody of a popular secular song in one of recordings and in his performances. American Askanim - taking a page from their ‘role model’ holy Askanim in Israel succeeded in banning such a disgusting concert in New York last year.

Thank goodness that our rabbinic leaders who seem to support these committees have stood up when it counted and nipped this problem in the bud immediately! We can now declare our kids safe from this ‘molestation of the mind’.

Judaism has indeed evolved (excuse the expression) since the bad old days of Reb Shgaga Feivel Mendelowitz, Rav Aharon Kotler, and Rav Moshe Feinstein when there were no such committees. We were on our own then. And what’s worse - our schools were filled with non Charedi influences. Like children from non religious homes that those early misguided Mechnchim actually had the nerve to recruit!

Thank goodness we now have the ability to discriminate and route out these kids from our midst. Who needs them?! Do you know what kind of influences they bring? I remember quite well from my days in Detroit’s Beis Yehuda. You wouldn’t believe it! Rock and Roll was the least of the problems there. Baalei Teshuva brought all of their secular baggage with them. But we no longer have to put up with that. We can prevent their polluting our schools. What about their souls?

Well, they will just have to make their own schools. I really don’t care. When it comes to the souls of our holy Jewish children born in the purity of a Torah true religious home, there is no sacrifice too great. Even if it is the souls of other Jews. Let them eat cake!

The main thing is that we can insure an environment Al Taharas HaKodesh be maintained. Unlike the past we can now have a pure and pristine environment for our children.

With all the negative things said about Rabbi Kolko, at least he didn’t play Lipa in his Shiur. I don’t think even Avreimal Mondrowitz ever dared to play such music in his basement office in Brooklyn where he had his child psychology practice. Can you imagine what that would have done to his patients?!

But now we don’t have to rely on the random good intentions of Mechanchim and mental health professionals. We have a committee in Israel and hopefully we will have one here soon. To take care of the scourge of a rock and roll beat applied to Jewish music.

So there you have it. Our children will be spared this disgusting genre of music. We are protected. Our children can now feel safe. Thank you Mordechai Bloi and all the holy Askanim for all your hard work!