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Friday, February 29, 2008

Banning Simcha

My wife was watching Fiddler on the Roof last night when I got home, and I watched a bit with her over dinner.

I'm pretty sure these Great Men who have been Talibanning Jewish Music concerts would never watch Fiddler, simply because there are women singing. And I think it's a great shame. Because they could learn a thing or two from the good people of Anatevka, who seemed to remember that Jews can live through the worst of times and still manage to sing and dance and serve their Creator with simcha, joy.


It's too bad our so-called leaders are so much more eager to emulate the former leaders of Afghanistan than Tevyeh the Milkman.

17 comments:

Ralphie said...

Not to agree with the ban, but...

a.) Didn't Tevye's daughters run off with Cossacks or something?

b.) Isn't Tevye fictional?

PsychoToddler said...

Nobody's perfect.

therapydoc said...

You're so right.

Dovid said...

Of course, Fiddler on the Roof was intended to be an anti-religious statement by its original author.

Anonymous said...

Disagreeing with the ban is one thing. I agree that it's wrong. However, to compare Gedolei Yisroel with the Taliban or any other terrorist group or activity is completely off base. We have only survived as a nation because of their leadership and adherence to Halacha. Being able to live in America as freely and openly Jewish as we can today is due in large part to their involvement.

Doctor Bean said...

anonymous: "Being able to live in America as freely and openly Jewish as we can today is due in large part to their involvement."

That is entirely false. We are able to live in America freely and openly Jewish because a bunch of Christians (thank G#d) founded this nation with religious freedom as its cornersone. The rabbis had nothing to do with it.

Doctor Bean said...

PS: Fiddler is a great movie, but definitely written from a very modernist anti-religious point of view. Favorite line:

"When a poor man eats a chicken, one of them is sick."

So psychotoddler, what's your plan? Open rebellion? Maybe have a Fiddler showing at your house with prominent shul members invited? Afterwards, perhaps shake hands with one of the women just to assure your excommunication.

Tradition!

Miriam L said...

I'm in favor of singing and dancing, but then you know which side of the fence I'm on. (The side of the fence without a fence, so to speak.)

SuperRaizy said...

The beauty of Fiddler on the Roof lies in its honesty. Jews, even very very frum Jews, are not perfect (shocker!) and sometimes experience spiritual doubt and confusion (see Tevye's ambivalence about Tzeitel and Hodel breaking with tradition: "on one hand... on the other hand...")But in the end, emunah wins out: "We will just have to wait for him (Moshiach) someplace else". (As you can see, I'm a major Fiddler geek.) Now, if only the "Gedolim" could have a little more faith that today's Tevyes and Goldas will do the right thing on their own...

Anonymous said...

Tuesdaywishes said:

Fiddler is based on a longer book called Tevye the Dairyman. In many ways it is a darker story, Tevye as a Job of 1900, as he loses his daughters, then his wife, then his home. I don't think it is an antireligious book, or even an antitraditionalist one. Tevye carries on the great Jewish tradition of arguing with G-d, as did Avraham, Moshe, Job, the Rambam, and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

As for the ban, there are so few outlets for religious people to have any kind of kosher fun. I don't understand limiting them even further. Personally, I would rather discourage the form of gambling known as "Chinese Auctions" which promulgate the idea that it's good to get something for (almost) nothing.In my opinion, this is part of a slippery slope that slides towards cheating on taxes, and finally stealing from other people. I even recently saw one of the events, and this was a very frum one with seperate men's and women's hours for veiwing and bidding, that had a special "Children's Chinese Auction" on a Sunday afternoon. Who would go to that, to teach their kids to gamble and eventually to steal?

Jack said...

However, to compare Gedolei Yisroel with the Taliban or any other terrorist group or activity is completely off base.

When the shoe fits. We never should be a nation of lemmings who turn off our brains and accept spoon fed narishkeit.

Sometimes it pays to think.

Doctor Bean said...

What about gay porn?

Y-Love said...

Actually, dissecting the above post (medayek sein in der lashon in Yeshivish), "Taliban" was used as a verb, and was, IMO, only going on the actions of the Gedolim, and not on the Gedolim themselves.

And I agree with that. Torah is not physics, it changes a person and makes them more spiritual/G-dly and that must be respected.

However -- the human rachmanus/compassion is still there (and we see, the humanity of emotions is inescapable, q.v. why the angels didn't sing at the Sea), and if two askanim/activists come up screaming to high Heaven about how a show is going to ruin the entire Jewish nation, and are told (in error? truthfully?) that all the gedolim of Israel are backing it 100% -- should they stand stone-faced?

IMO some people want to manipulate the gedolim into banning everything short of oxygen and I'm scared for frum klal Yisra'el future if this keeps up.

Because drastic actions can get taken.

PsychoToddler said...

Y-Love: G-d Forbid that I would call the Gedolim "Taliban". Are the Gedolim telling people to beat up women for sitting next to men on a public bus? Are the Gedolim advocating the use of burqas for Jewish Women? Are they implying threats of violence for non-compliance with their decrees? Of course not.

However, I am concerned about this phenomenon that I call Taliban Judaism, which is promoting this dry, ascetic view of the religion that sucks all joy and happiness and individuality and creativeness out of it and has much more in common with a certain 7th century religion than with the one that was mekarev me.

Perel said...

in honor of this post, i am officially skipping my disturbing class for today to celebrate values more in line with my own brand of religiosity, such as ben & jerry's free cone day.

PsychoToddler said...

Coming up next: The Halachic implications of The Frisco Kid

Ralphie said...

Anti-ban (well, at least not pro-ban) article from haredi source.