Hendel does Israel

While I may no longer technically be in Israel, I have no intention of stopping who I am or what I am about. We all know the timeless Chabad teaching of "Mach Doh Eretz Yisael" - its very empowering. I'll let you know about my journey, my struggles and my dreams. JaHbless.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ben Harper

Last night I went to see Ben Harper. I've waited since I've been 15 years old for the opportunity. I wasn't disappointed, the place went off. There was such a positive strong energy, I got swept away, and beyond...

But, as always, there has to be a lesson in Avodas HaShem that can be learnt from anything, even (actually especially) a Ben Harper Concert. So, what is it?

First, let me describe the venue to you. The Rod Laver Arena is a tennis court, a really big one. The stage is at the far side of the tennis court, and there are people sitting in bleachers on the three sides facing the stage (this where I was, center left, about seven rows from the front). Then there is general admission, which is a 5,000 strong mass of people, that stand on the tennis court, and are free to dance and move as they please.

Where am I going with this?

A famous musician, a big shot performer, is removed from his fans. They think about him, sing his lyrics, maybe keep a poster of him on their wall. But they hardly ever to get up close and personal with him (or her). But then, they here he is coming to town. So they get tickets to get a glimpse of what he does best.

They get to the ticket box and are left with two options:

1. Sit on a comfortable chair and watch from a distance.
2. Go into general admission, get pushed around, but have a chance to get up really close

Now the fact is, that the person sitting in the chair, doesn't risk losing the chance to enjoy the concert, they accept the fact that they won't be able to see the musician that well, but they don't really feel like pushing to get a glimpse.

But, The General admission people, they are die hard fans, they'll do anything for a chance to see their favorite musician in the flesh. They'll push, shout, scream. Anything. Sometimes even with all the pushing and screaming, they miss out, and barely get to see the band. They get stuck behind a massive six foot guy, and can't see a @*$#^ing thing!

Lets just say this is all a Moshel about our connection with G-d.
(don't get the wrong idea, I don't worship rock stars, but it still works as a G00d Moshel, so just don't accuse me of being into idols)

we have a ticket to the greatest concert in the world. We are born as Jews. Its our right, our pass to connect with the greatest most supreme being. Now we also have two options:

1. Watch from a distance
2. Dive into the moshpit

Sure, the kind of Jewish experience that doesn't demand to much from us is more comfortable, and sure you can still see and hear the same things as the people closer up.

But do we want to sit and listen, or do we want to get up and dance?

Do we want to be removed, or have a connection?

Its a struggle well worth it. An incomparable experience.

I don't know about you, but next I go to a concert, I'm going into General Admission.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

without being critical, are there not certain restrictions during the period of sefira?

9:40 AM  
Blogger subjewd said...

I'm glad someone asked that question.

I looked into the issue of music and sefirah quite deeply and found out that there is no issur at all from shulchan aruch about music during sefirah.
People have mistakenly compared sefirah to the 3 weeks (when indeed you are not supposed to listen to music), and because of this it has become a general misconception in the frum community (kind of like alot of people in melbourne who say "i don't see movies during sefirah - it makes no sense).

The idea is, sefirah, before the students of Rabbi Akivah died was the HAPPIEST 7 weeks of the year, but then it changed, so we REDUCE simcha by not having weddings and haircuts, but, other than that, there is no restrictions.

One thing to consider, which is what my rabbi told me is, that because it has become kind of mainsteam not to listen to music, some poskim consider it like a general 'neder' (vow) that the jewish people took on themselves not to listen to music.

But, like most minhagim, is up to the individual.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would be interested in hearing how your rabbi treats the sources quoted in nitei gavriel hil pesach vol 3 ch 53 including R moishe feistein, aruch hashulchan etc.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as well as the fact that once minhagim become mainstream they are no longer "up to the idividual" for example maariv....

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'next I go to a concert, I'm going into General Admission.'

just make sure not during sefira, as this is explicit in the code of jewish law.

8:09 AM  
Blogger subjewd said...

You sound like you are taking this personally and attacking me.

Is it possible in your mind that there is more than one acceptable opinion in this issue?

The kitzur shulchan aruch definately does not talk about music at all, I know because I looked it up myself.

So don't be so quick to judge.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting to note that none of the rishonim either mention any issur of listening to tapes either.

only the cynics connect this with the fact that their era preceded tape recorders.

my point is only that as you are a frum jew, with a world wide audience, you have to be careful with what you post so people will not start to take things that have been accepted to be forbidden lightly, even if you do have a heter. (just as an aside paskening from kitzur shulchan aruch can be dangerous, please speak to your rabbi).

wishing you much success.

9:49 AM  
Blogger subjewd said...

Ok Mr. Anonymous.
My blog is an open forum. That means anyone can voice their opinion, but I'm just curious, how do you get off in giving me advice on what I should be doing or writing? I don't even know who you are, why don't you write your name instead of being anonymous?

Here is what I think -->

What people do with the information I present is their own responsibility. For example, If they read my post on what happened in Amona and that leads them to getting angry with the state of Israel and then that leads them to take some dangerous action - am I responsible for that? NO WAY!

I am trying to be real and honest while sharing my expreince of life. I am not trying to change people or tell people what to do. If people get inspired by what I write, that makes me happy, but that is a bonus.

I have no interest in censoring anything that I write, ever. I take the assumption that the readers of my blog are mature enough to make their own significant meanings and decisons from my blog.

Another thing.

I didn't have a heter for going to the Ben Harper concert because I didn't need one. There is absolutly nothing wrong with listening to music in sefirah.

As a teenager, I hated Judaism becuase of people like you, who offered advice for no reason. I was persctued by charedi minded people who only saw things in one light. Instead of listening to me, they just ordered my around, telling me what to wear and how to think.

You have labeled me a frum Jew, But I don't consider myself a 'frum' jew. As far as I'm concerned 'frum' is a four letter word ( I'm sure you familiar with the term FFB - f**ked from birth).

Im trying to serve G-d and keep the Torah as best I can, but I never want to be 'frum'.

I'm not sure what you are afraid of, but if its what I write, then don't waste your time giving me advice, just don't read my blog.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, this article may help.


2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

contrary to what you think i have no wish to antagonise you.

the issue that is at the heart of our discussion is a deep and lengthy one.

to cut to the chase and put it in a few words:

is judaism a feel good religion, do mitzvot, learn torah, all for my self, ie to get on a spiritual high, feel achieved, feel good about myself and the world that surrounds me?


is judaism a religion that is based soley on the directives of the Torah?

by no means are the 2 attitued mutually exclusive and i'll be the first to say one should have a healthy amount of both attitudes, but the starting point is the latter. if one doesn't accept the torah in its entirety, what good is the high?

thats all folks!

10:13 PM  
Blogger subjewd said...

who are you?
I know you know me, so why not say your name?

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(not the same person up until now)
i just want to say it makes me very upset to read what you have written, especially that link you put at the end of your comment.
unfortunatly, i am not the right person to comment - since i do now know that much. but i just want to say that our religion is the most amazing thing in the world. we - including you - are SO lucky to be jewish. i promise you, that if you would put time and effort into learning about judaism, and what it is all about - you will not think this way. i feel sorry for you, i really do. your missin out man!

2:43 PM  
Blogger subjewd said...

sorry mate but I think you missed my whole point, I LOVE BEING JEWISH! EVERY FIBRE OF MY SOUL LOVES IT! that is why I get so upset when people try to screw around with what it means to be jewish, and try and impose Dogma on me. If you've read anything else I've written, you will realise that I am all about trying to reignite jewish passion, and show how everything in this world can be elevated. So don't feel sorry for me, just join the party (celebrate in being Jewish) like i do.

I'm actually not sure how you think I feel, but I'm pretty sure you've got me all wrong.

4:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home