Friday, December 30, 2005

High School Productions-Part 2

My second beef with these things is that they do not know how to-or rather- care to keep secular things secular, and religious things sacred, the way they should be.

If someone is writing a performance about something from the Torah, it is beyond my comprehension how they think it is okay for them to use things from completely secular sources. When I mentioned this to people, they said, "Well, they don't want it to be nerdy, so they have to use something contemporary." Puh-leez. Let it be nerdy. Why mix in something completely inappropriate (I don't mean it has sexual content) with something as holy as the Tanach.

For example, if I am writing a play about Lavan in the Chumash, and I want the girls to sing a song about him, will I have them perform, "Gold Digger," by Kanye West? (I don't know if that relates, but you get my drift) Absolutely not.

My previous blog, "In My Humble Opinion," was really mixed up like that. I started to feel uncomfortable writing about Madonna on the same page as something relgious. You'd think I'd just stop writing about this shtus and Tumah, but I just separated it onto another blog, "Media Michelle." Hehe.

This leads to a recent discussion I had with a friend of mine. She had only Goyish music on her iPod, and told me she considered putting some Divrei Torah on it as well. I felt it would we awkward and improper to have "Gemara Shiur" right above "Green Day," because I personally feel that they should remain isolated from one another.

A few weeks ago, I had to put a bencher in my glove compartment. When I opened it up, I found a Goyish cassette tape inside. I wouldn't allow those two objects share a small space. I took my tape out and put it somewhere else. Is that stupid? pointless? hypocritical? Perhaps this is simply my Bais Yaakov education rearing its head. What do you think?

24 Comments:

At 12/30/2005 9:00 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

you have a good point about not wanting to mix tumah and torah but does a bencher and a goyish tape in one glove compartment called mixed?
i guess that is your question my opinion is that its probably not about the mix,just its not appropiate,like taking a sefer to the swimming pool

 
At 12/31/2005 11:01 PM, Blogger Lost said...

Interesting idea. I honestly think that a Jew in the 21rst century is consantly mixing the old and the new. (ie. tfilla on palm pilots, shiurim on ipods) I think that in order to live productive frum lives, we must integrate the old and the new. i am quite fine having Karduner and Coldplay on my ipod, and I wear a skirt to a movie. You see what I mean? Where do you draw the line of this 'frum,' and this is secular. The kanye west song is obvious, the siddur/tape thing is more a certain sensitivity. which is important, just not s/t i would hold to.

Love, thoughtful as usual. enjoy the end of chag and have a happy new year! I hope too see you around next semest..

 
At 1/01/2006 1:43 AM, Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

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At 1/01/2006 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tosher Rebbe visited the home of a prominent mechanech about 30 years ago and noticed a secular book on a shelf with sifrei kodesh. He pointed this out to his host and said, "Our avodah is to separate the kodesh from the chol."

End of story. Draw your own conclusions.

 
At 1/01/2006 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon, don't bring me Chassidishe maasehs. There's nothing wrong with mixing the two. It's the attitude that you can't mix 'em that leads to people saying, "well, I don't want to be a hypocrite, so I'll stop learning."

 
At 1/01/2006 6:48 PM, Blogger Josh said...

The way I see it, there are only two options. Either you mix them or you don't. If you say you don't mix them, then how do you allow them at all? I mean, if you are choosing to load your Ipod with Torah or secular music, and they shouldn't be mixed, then wouldn't you have to choose Torah, and never listen to secular music, if you want to be considered frum? By saying the two are opposite and can't co-exist, then aren't you saying a person must choose either a holy or profane existence, but not both?

On the other hand, if they can be mixed, then both realms are part of your Avodas Hakodesh (or at least could be). Kanye West could be used to relate vice. It may just be the YU graduate in me, but I think the view that you're taking is quite dangerous - basically you're saying that kids will have to choose between a Torah lifestyle or a secular one. And with that dichotomy, you'll turn off plenty of potential frum people who are taught that loading their Ipod with music makes them not frum. It may be a relic of your BY education that told you this stuff is shtuss, so that you should stay away from it completely. But if you're choosing instead to absorb secular influence at all, you better come to terms with how it fits into your Avodas Hakodesh.

 
At 1/02/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Steve Cash said...

I just wanted to tell you that your blog displays the topics very well. I think the topic is a little boring though.

 
At 1/02/2006 2:53 PM, Blogger Steve Cash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1/02/2006 2:56 PM, Blogger Steve Cash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1/02/2006 4:07 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

lmao steve well its boring to you but not to us

 
At 1/02/2006 5:55 PM, Blogger Rabbi Yonah said...

I want to echo what josh said and add to it. Clearly you have an issue with wathcing lots of tv and wanting to be a frum maidel. In my humble jewish opinion, I think you can keep non-Jewish music next to your torah tapes on the ipod, but also be mindful, what non jewish music you listen to. Does it inspire life or death? Does it promote your well being or not?

everything is a vessel, the question is what is inside.

You cannot escape the world that we live in but you can filter it.

 
At 1/02/2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Interesting stuff you guys say. I guess I don't have a good handle on what I said. You're right. You can't choose one or the other 100%, because that is not what life is for. But I think that there is a time and place for everything. For the high schools to use Goyish music to represent something in the Torah,to me is still wrong.

 
At 1/02/2006 7:38 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, hope you aren't offended , but maybe you should get a tape with a shiur on it, and not some vibishe airhead stuff, but a real Shiur on Nach or Chovos Levovos or something and actually listen to it in the car. Then you wouldn't have all this silly stuff floating around in your head.

 
At 1/03/2006 11:06 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Semgirl-I am not offended,since I know listening to Goyish music is not ideal. However, to be quite honest it is hard to take that criticism after seeing some very risque topics on your blog, as well as not being Shomer Negiah.

This situation is yet another demonstration of how we all have our own nisyonot, and we can't judge. I should not judge you on your negiah habits, because I am not in your shoes. (That doesn't mean I don't do so wrongfully)

Do you listen to shiurim in your car?

I actually have a set of Rabbi Orlofsky tapes, and some assorted others, but they're reserved for Sefira and the Three Weeks.

 
At 1/03/2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Actually, it wasnt meant as criticism as all. It was just friendly advice, since you seemed bothered by your dilemma.

I try to listen to Pesach Krohn tapes on long drives, and when I take my lil brothers places, I always have R Juravel tapes.

 
At 1/03/2006 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like SemGirl is doing teshuvah....

 
At 1/04/2006 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

michelle, thanx for putting semgirl in her place . she is way too holier-than-thou for her actions...rabbi juravel indeed.....i think the rabbis would steal their tapes outta her car if they knew about her behavior.
btw, nice plug for media michelle

 
At 1/04/2006 11:39 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

"Rabbis stealing" I think thats a Doreissa,

What exactly are my "actions" that you object to ..

Wotvr..

 
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At 1/04/2006 2:46 PM, Anonymous Y.C. Kaufman said...

Enough Semgirl bashing, let's leave those comments for her blog. Personal attacks of other commenters is stupid and just kills the whole discussion.

But as for Michelle bashing, bring it on, guys! ;-)

 
At 1/04/2006 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, especially if she wants to do teshubah. As for her guy-bashing, I think she has to ask me for mechilah before she is completely forgiven. She seems to think that guys are all buffoons, all sex-crazed, and that attitude offends me. I guess it's the feminazi influence....

 
At 1/08/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger debka_notion said...

To quote one of my teachers, "it's a Torah world"- perhaps the holiness is in finding the spark of torah in the goyishe music, rather than saying that since it's secular, it must totally lack holiness. Just offering a different point of view.

 
At 1/31/2006 9:51 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Separating the c.d.s & the bencher is a sensitivity that I think is very special. I agree with you 100%-secular songs should not have a place in the productions that bais yaakovs put on. I don't understand how that started, since no one's supposed to be listening/watching whatever it was that the songs were originally on.

 
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