Jerusalem – Historic: New Hecsher Approval By Rabbis On Music CDs Being Formulated


    Controversial vocalist Lipa Schmeltzer canceled a concert at New York\'s Madison Square Garden following a meeting with Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv - Photo Credit: JpostJerusalem – Musicians who use rock, rap, reggae and trance influences will not receive rabbinic approval for their CDs, nor will they be allowed to play in wedding halls under haredi kosher food supervision, according to a new, detailed list of guidelines drafted with rabbinical backing that differentiates between “kosher” and “treif” music.

    The guidelines, which are still being formulated, also ban “2-4 beats and other rock and disco beats;” the “improper” use of electric bass, guitars and saxophones; and singing words from holy sources in a disrespectful, frivolous manner.

    “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.

    “We might be able to adopt Bach or Beethoven, music with class, but not goyishe African music and beats. We haredim want to protect ourselves from what we see as negative foreign influences. We are trying to maintain our own authentic music styles. We admit that times are changing, but we are trying to stay loyal to our roots.”

    This is the first time that specific, detailed criteria, including comments on playing styles, will be used to add transparency to the delineation between acceptable or “kosher” Jewish music and forbidden or “treif” music.

    The man responsible for drafting the list is Rabbi Efraim Luft of Bnei Brak, who heads an organization called the Committee for Jewish Music. Luft works in conjunction with Bloi’s organization and with the Jerusalem-based Council for the Purity of the Camp headed by Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Safronovitch. These are the two most important and influential “modesty patrols” in the haredi community.

    Bloi and Safronovitch have managed over the years to consolidate their power by successfully courting the backing of the major halachic authorities. A large portion of the haredi community, which numbers between 500,000 and 700,000, is loyal to its rabbis.

    Calls by rabbis to boycott a business, to take to the streets to demonstrate or to vote for a particular candidate are taken seriously.

    Enforcers of modesty rules working with rabbinic support have harnessed the buying power of the haredi community to put pressure on bus companies, cellular phone operators and other firms. Egged, Dan, Superbus and other bus companies now offer haredi customers separate seating on buses for men and women; cellular telephone operators provide haredi clients with cellular telephones that have no access to Internet, SMS, “fancy” ring-tones or telephone numbers with sexual content; and companies such as El Al and Shefa Shuk, a grocery store chain, have suffered from boycotts after being accused of desecrating Shabbat.

    Similarly, enforcers of haredi norms are monitoring, supervising and censoring the haredi pop music scene, with Luft spearheading the campaign. Luft has already issued a list of “kosher” and “non-kosher” bands and musicians. He said that dozens of yeshiva heads have agreed to refuse to come to the wedding of a student who hires a non-kosher band. Halls with haredi kashrut supervision who host non-kosher bands run the risk of losing their supervision, and hence their clientele. Companies that help promote haredi concerts expose themselves to the danger of a consumer boycott.

    Luft said that music is just part of a much larger problem in haredi society.

    “We see that the same people who are involved in the treif pop scene are also the ones in the unapproved news media, in the so-called religious radio stations, in film and in advertising,” said Luft. “All of these things come together to demoralize haredi society and to lower the spiritual level of our youth.

    “This is an issue that people over 30 understand very well what I am talking about and those under 30 have more difficulty understanding,” Luft continued. “This music is pushing into our community a generation gap similar to one created by the rock music of the ’50s in the US. The whole idea is that there are types of music that have no place with respectable people. Respectable people listen to decent music and immoral people list to indecent music, and it does not make sense that a community that has high moral standards should be listening to this type of music.

    “The influence of music has a very profound effect on people in general. It has been proven that rock music has a very negative effect on people and on animals and plants, while classical music has a very positive effect.”

    Over the past several years haredi activists have enlisted almost all the major rabbinical authorities to stifle a burgeoning haredi pop music scene.

    Last year, a letter forbidding all public music concerts, even when men and women in the audience are separated, was signed by a who’s-who of Israeli rabbinical authorities.

    The signatures of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Gerrer Rebbe, Ya’acov Aryeh Alter, and even leading Sephardi halachic authority and Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef all appeared on the letter, which was published specifically to torpedo a major haredi music concert that took place in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.

    This summer, haredi activists banned a concert in Netanya that featured popular haredi singer Avraham Fried, who appeared together with secular performers. Despite the ban, there was a large turnout.

    In addition to a few hundred haredim who showed up, Fried also attracted Chabad followers and the Religious Zionist crowd who do not acquiesce to mainstream haredi opinion on these matters. A large group of secular fans also came to see the secular performers.

    Gad Elbaz, a young, upcoming haredi singer who is gaining popularity in non-haredi circles, held a concert similar to Fried’s. Like Fried’s Netanya concert, Elbaz’s concert also took place far from a haredi center, in Caesarea. Like Fried, Elbaz appeared together with secular performers and was thus able to draw from a mixed crowd. In an original move, Elbaz’s audience was split into three sections: women only, men only and mixed.

    However, performers who do not appeal to a wider, non-haredi audience have been hurt by the rabbinic ban. For instance, Yaakov Shwekey’s concert this summer in Kiryat Motzkin, near Haifa, was a failure. Instead of attracting a few thousand, Shwekey managed to draw an audience of just a few hundred.

    Menahem Toker, a popular haredi DJ who was reportedly fired from Radio Kol Chai under pressure from haredi activists because he promoted “treif” shows, said that the blanket prohibition against all shows is doing more harm than good.

    “Maybe a lot of people will listen to the rabbis and stop going to shows altogether,” said Toker. “But there will be tens of thousands of people who, deprived of a kosher option, will end up going to mixed shows. And not just to frum, wholesome performers like Fried and Elbaz, but to secular performers also. So maybe in a way the anti-pop music activists have won a victory. But they also lost because they have not offered a kosher alternative.”

    Sources in the haredi music scene who spoke off the record for fear they would hurt their relationship with the rabbinic representatives said they doubted the rabbinic establishment would succeed in their newest crusade against CDs.

    “What are they going to do listen to every single disc that is released? What about the thousands of discs that are already in the market?”

    Luft admitted that listening to all the discs on the market would be a formidable challenge.

    “The main aim is to focus on new songs before they get to the recording studio So far there have only been two cases in which discs have been banned by rabbis, said Luft.

    One by controversial haredi vocalist Lipa Schmeltzer called Bli Ayan Hara” (Without the evil eye) and a Yiddish rap CD by David Kalish.

    “There are certain types of music, such as rap and reggae, that are disgusting and have no place in our community.”

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates is here to help you manage your home without the stress. Go to for recipes, menu planners, kids' activities, and more.


    1. What’s the source for what kind of music style is “kosher” and what’s not? Who decides? As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing anywhere in the Gemara/Shulchan Aruch/Rishonim/Acharonim/etc. saying that rap or reggae are disgusting (I don’t like rap though, and is the reason that I won’t listen to it, even if it’s sung by Jews with “kosher” lyrics).

      There have been songs with non-“kosher” lyrics with rap, reggae, pop, classical, and every other kind of music, so you can’t decide based on that. There have also been songs with “kosher” lyrics to all those styles.

    2. While I too am against listening to these new styles of music, at least not until it’s considered the norm, I think they are crossing a res line. We should not bundle Hashkafa withe Kashrus. Kashrus is too important to confuse with forbidden music according to Hashkafa. It’s not like they have ladys singing.

    3. We do need to to do our part as parents and mechanchim to keep a tight, loving grip on our children’s neshamos. However, ya gotta be kidding – music hechsher? BTW my understanding is that Ger assers music in general outside of weddings or other seudas mitzva… (is this true? educate me, somebody). We want to attract people to torah and yiras shumayim, and this type of malarkey will (among other charedi narishkeiten) will not cut it. Now we’ll just have to burn stores that carry non-hechsher (feh!) music. My brothers and sisters, we’re losing sight of what it’s all about.

    4. I forgot: i am all for the music hechsher tzeddek, however. ya gotta make sure there are no underpayed workers in the jewish music industry, especially the mexicans.

    5. The part I like best is “no 2-4 beats”…ummm, that leaves maybe waltzes only?

      Another small problem…there are no authentically Jewish styles of music…if it doesn’t come from rock, disco, reggae or rap, it comes from middle eastern / arabic folk music or eastern european peasant’s folk music…I guess those have somehow become kosher.

      These folks are out of their gourds (not to mention utterly ignorant).

    6. if these are the problems theyre worried about then obviously there are no REAL problems facing chareidi society and as such i might become EX EX frummie -hey ya never know

      on second thought …………

    7. Now the rabbis know more about Jewish music then I do. I guess they have to hear it, before paskening it Kosher. Thats Funny! They have time for that…. bittel Torah. (I do not agree with goyshe sounding music.)

      Grown rabbis dont hear most cds anyways.

      Its more the youngish crowd who listen to music.

      Hope the rabbis have fun while keeping the music kosher.

    8. I find it fascinating that Elbaz is considered a chareidi singer and Lipa is questionable when Elbaz’s presence is Elvis Presley-like and performs videos and sings with very non-chareidi personages and with very beaty music.

    9. If there was a halachik mekor for their actions I would understand. As far as halacja is concerned, one may not hear music (live- according to most) except by a seudas mitzvah. Other than that, there is no halachic ramifications to music anywhere in halacha, not in nigleh and not in nistar.

      As to what is ‘jewish’ music, that is a subjective matter, and the Rabbonim have no business deciding.

      It’s time that we start boycotting Rabbonimthe way they boycott businesses. When they will lose their audience and money, only those that are sincere will remain.

      We need to form a committee that will set guidlines as to who is eligible to be a ruv. As it stands, anyone with a coat, beard, and hat considers himself a ruv. To be a ruv they should have to undergo extensive testing. This BS needs to stop.

    10. If we take them seriously, then 99% of hasidic music will be banned because its origin is clearly from ‘goyish’ influences of the 18th & 19th centuries….But something tells me, what’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander.

    11. The people who are behind this in getting rabonim involoved really need to find something better to do with their life. I am sure they are such “TZADIKIM” and care so much about klal yisroel. Where are these people when young neshomos were getting damaged by the sick molestors running around-why don’t they get involved with that. Don’t worry so much about the music, It is still better for our kids to be listening to Jewish Music as opposed to English music with their Lyrics. These people are a bunch of holier than thoughs who just want to show how frm they are. Cut the garbage and work on some real issues. Didn’t they learn from the whole Lipa incident which turned out to be a complete embarassment for daas torah….

    12. Jerusalem-based Council for the Purity of the Camp headed by Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Safronovitch. These are the two most important and influential “modesty patrols” in the haredi community.

      ***** Are these the violent woman punchers, bleach throwers, and ‘get to the back of the bus’ chevra? Do we want these people to monitor the purity of our torah society? I surely do NOT.

    13. I’m a frum musician who knows a thing or two about music as well as a thing or two about halacha. This article is beyond absurd, for more reasons than I could possibly express. Something like this would be expected from The Onion! There is NO possible way that any objective “kosher music” standards can be formulated by rabbis who are not practicing musicians. And good luck finding one who will help with this project!

    14. Fortunately, Klal Yisroel had gedolim who had their own mind and not a “herd” mentality; they were called Tanoim, Amoiruim, Geoinim, Rishonim and Achronim. None of them were driven by ASKONIM ! They said:

      KOL HAMOISIF GOIRAYA! How appropriate for this JIHAD.

      I KNOW FOR A FACT: Some Gedoilim In ISRAEL are petrified to issue a PESAK DIN on plain simple NON CONTROVERSIAL issues for fear of ASKONIM AND JIHADISTAS! And the reverse is also true. They succumb to pressure and intimidation.

    15. I would say “get a life”!!!

      We must a great people. The “gedolim” have nothing more important to worry about than this nonsense. If this is Das Torah we have a problem.

    16. I am finally reaching the point of having lost all respect for these so called “gedolim”. Lately, EVERYTHING they do has no halachic basis; its all power. They want to control us in every way, shape, and form. BH, I have a Rav whom I respect, and will continue to do so. The rest of these power hungry gentlemen could go fly a kite.

    17. No more Taliban jokes . . . with the tznius police and this it really is getting too close for comfort. The common denominator now is attacks on decent frum people and how we live our very normal lives. In one respect, this is more frightening than Mishmeres Hatznius – here our leaders are doing it to us, not merely keeping silent while thugs are at work



      LErn chsidus!!!! learn what ver your heart desires!!! listening to music is bitul zman!!!!

    19. So how is Bach any more appropriate than African music? If their goal is to keep out all influences of the non Jewish world then shouldn’t all non Jewish music be banned. Or for that matter, shouldn’t the music of any Jewish composer be allowed? The haredis could then listen to a miriad of christmas carols to their hearts content. The fact that this whole thing is ridiculous and an embarassment to Jews everywhere aside, their logic MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.

    20. anonymous 10:40 -great point -leaving aside the [obvious] implied racism of banning “african” music -how naive do you have to be………..dont these “leaders” and askonim know that other people including non jews hear their ridiculous statements? (like the time Rav Ovadia Yosef issued those statements about new orleans or whatever it was)it was mocked all over the place…………ENOUGH

    21. what a chillul Hashem. the goyim get a hold of this and we lose all credibility and are viewed as loony as the Taliban, a laughingstock. This is up there with neturei karta kissing Aminanutjob. Our “gedolim: have gone off the deep end. Time to find new gedolim who care about the important things.

    22. now when i think of “Rabbi” i automatically associate it with naive scared men doing what the askonim want .ill tell you one thing modern orthodox rabbis arent afraid to say what THEY feel as opposed to what they think people want to hear

    23. Ok. Ban music, shoes with buckles, strawberries, sheitels, water…but leave child molesters, scam artists, ganovim, money-launderers, & abusive husbands alone.

      Now I have to dig out my wife’s Burka because she’s going to Boro Park tomorrow.

    24. Anyone with a smidgen of music knowledge knows that most marches are in 2/4 time. That means that all marches are now banned? What will become of popular niggunim? Regarding music, we know that it affects the neshomah. Of course if your neshomah is already crooked, no music is going to make it better.

    25. thank goodness i dont live in haraidi israel! btw its interesting from the article that lubavitchers rabbi’s didnt ban music, maybe ill switch to lubavitch!ha! (albeit for music and l’chaim only)

    26. Musician, I agree with you that this is definitely a spoof. I also thought of the Onion when I read this. (I’m waiting to see what that ironic-looking African-American gentleman they feature in all of their man-in-the-street interviews has to say about this).

    27. Music should be rated by the composers iras SHomayim, and in that case Bach and Beethoven should be banned too.

      If they want to ban music, make sure that all songs are totally composed by Frum Yidden (and not taken from other sources), that is the true guarantee that the music won’t negatively affect people.

      Everything other than that is Shtus.

    28. We’re going back to the Europe model, where yiddishkeit caters to the elite only, and not for all people.

      Some people need an outlet, need concerts, and maybe they want music that’s more current. Granted, for some people this is bittul zman, but not for most jews.

      In Europe, 85% of jews went off the d. i know, i know, there were a few wonderful yeshivos. but only thanks to TIDE and chassidus did frum judaism survive, approaches that were great for the masses.

      we’re heading back in the europe direction; not good, not good.

    29. To those who critize our gedolim study this weeks parsha (shoftim)and respectfully follow the greater Torah knowledge that they possess. I know sometimes it is easier said then done, and sometimes I dont understand why they may institute what they do. However, after I study more Torah emess I come to understand.

      May Hagador Gedol Yosef Shalom Elyashiv live to 120


    30. see the gemorah in gittnen 7a and the shulchan aruch orach chaim chapter 560 therefore nobody could permit any music therefore the best approach to this subject in our time is silence

    31. this is how it goes…. lipa’s first song automatically gets forwarded to the second song… because its lebedig. the 2nd song starts…. lalala… but when in the middle of the song it gets a little beaty.. the cd gets fast forwarded very fast to the lalala part.. stop with the BS & “rabbonim” wake up & smell the coffee..

    32. Stop blaming the singers. Blame the composers who compose such garbage.

      Yossi Green used to be an amazing artist and most of his songs were instant hits. Today most of his stuff from the last 4 years are pure garbage, unsingable, can’t even be played at weddings . Thats how bad music has been lately.

      What shocks me is the hypocrisy. When Matisyahu got on a hasc stage where was the screaming from people that care about the direction music is going? Matisyahu music is literally worse than the goyim but all we hear about is LIPA LIPA LIPA LIPA.

    33. So some rabanim are going into the music industry now? Before they give hechsherim on music maybe they ought to get the hecsher of food business in order?

      So what will the next ban be about?

      Arnold Fine can live for another 120 years and write about the days that were normal.

    34. um — no offense to geirim, but Simchat Torah, I believe you meant Ha Gadol Ha Dor. Take a little time and brush up on your use of Yeshivish (now an official language of its very own!). Nothing gives an eager ger away quicker than his or her overuse and misuse of Yiddishe terms. Sorry, not trying to be offensive. I know, I know, it’s so fun to be a yid, what with all the charming folkways, rituals and of course, gefilte fish and chrein! But remember, to be a good Jew is NOT to be a good little worker bee and do whatever the leaders suggest. Hashem Yisborach gave us minds, hearts, creativity and individuality all for a good reason. I don’t presume to chap the Divine Mind, but I think we are allowed to have some fun while using our own powers of discernment. I agree with Aishes Chayil. Hey, she kinda sounds like this chassidishe woman I know who has a college education! How can that be?!

    35. Let’s call this ridiculous development what it is: CENSORSHIP. CENSORSHIP IS THE DANGEROUS FIRST STEP toward social collapse. Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems, families, retailers and lobbying groups – and in most cases, they violate international conventions of human rights. Censorship is the suppression of FREE SPEECH or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor (RABBONIM). The rationale for censorship is different for various types of data censored. For the purposes of our discussion, religious censorship is the means by which any material objectionable (2-4 beat music LMAO) to a certain faith is removed. This often involves a dominant body of authority attempting to force limitations on the group. Censorship is regarded among a majority of academics in the Western world as a typical feature of dictatorships and other authoritarian political systems.

      If this isn’t bitul zman and a chillul Hashem, I don’t know what is.

    36. please pardon the multiplicity of my post. Someone keeps deleting it and I believe my post contributes an important (albeit unpopular, kinda like the Jewish opinion in the general world population) perspective to this discussion. So here it is again, just in case you missed it the first 4 times: Let’s call this ridiculous development what it is: CENSORSHIP. CENSORSHIP IS THE DANGEROUS FIRST STEP toward social collapse. Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems, families, retailers and lobbying groups – and in most casesthey violate international conventions of human rights. Censorship is the suppression of FREE SPEECH or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor (RABBONIM). The rationale for censorship is different for various types of data censored. For the purposes of our discussion, religious censorship is the means by which any material objectionable (2-4 beat music LMAO) to a certain faith is removed. This often involves a dominant body of authority attempting to force limitations on the group. Censorship is regarded among a majority of academics in the Western world as a typical feature of dictatorships and other authoritarian political systems.

      If this isn’t bitul zman and a chillul Hashem, I don’t know what is.

    37. This is absurd these arent shailos (where they even exist) of halacha but of ruchnius. Since when does a talmid chochom, even a great one, decide what’s best among equally permissible inyanim? It’s impossible for this stuff to be treif/kosher. you’re not paskening tahor/tuma here.

      It’s shailo of good for the neshoma or not. Only a Rebbe can decide such things. Not a posek.

    38. So let me get this straight, they play the CD for Rav Eliyashiv and if he nods up and down it’s Ok. If he nods side to side it’s not OK. Some how, I don’t think so.

    39. What we have is a bunch of morons going into the rabbonim and telling them that hundreds of kids have gone off the derech from hearing beaty music. These Rabbonim in their holiness cannot imagine that they are being lied to. It then becomes a simple daas torah issue, that if 100’s of kids are going off, then its a bad thing.

    40. i wrote my thesis on jewish music and the conclusion is that there is no such thing anymore…real jewish music was what was played in the beit hamikdash!

      a lot of people have returned to their roots and to judaism because of easily accessible religious music with secular styles…like myself- i became a baal teshuva after i wrote my thesis! Baruch Hashem!

    41. These Rabbis have lost their minds! And None of them can play an instument and NONE CAN READ A NOTE OF MUSIC. If they put

      “Banned” labels on the music, it might sell more….The Rabbis and The Rappers are working together, and they will make MORE than 50 cents out of this. I will produce the album ROCKERS—RAPPERS—and RABBIS…Let the Bans and Bands Begin. ROCK ON!! YO Rabbi.

    42. So when the Rabonim become musicians, does that make the musician’s Rabonim?

      Who’s to decide what’s what? Isn’t Chazunes based on Opera? Isn’t Sfardic music based on Arab music?

      Luckily the Holy R’ Eizikel Calever didn’t live in our times! These Rabonim would surely have banned his “Sola Kokosh”, let alone his “Gules Gules” which – according to his own testimony – he bought from a Gypsy Shepherd.

      Bach, Beethoven? You gotta be kidding! Yochonon Kohen Godol became a Tzodoikey in his old age because he listened to “shira Yevonis” – Greek music, according to Chazal. I don’t think the Roman Grecko culture featured Rap music, Do you?!

      Oh, I hear Matisyahu bought his “King without a crown” from a Jamaican rasta Shepherd by the name of Bob Marley…

    43. Here we go again down the slippery slope of tyranny. Judaism, despite our many legitimate Lo Ta’asays, is a loving and caring religion. We are on a dangerous path to be, heaven forbid, like the crazy Taliban. I heard that if you rearrange the letters in minhag, you can spell gehenom.

      I thought music was important in some aspects of our religion. Weren’t trumpets, cymbals, drums, etc. mentioned in Tehillim about ways to praise HaShem? Didn’t Miriam gather the women in music at Kriyat YamSuf?

      In the 1980’s I remember Shlock Rock, which was entertaining. A friend of the family used it for kiruv purposes. She ran an afterschool Jewish club at one of the public high schools.

      Banning Lipa backfired. While his music is not one of my personal favorites, I enjoy watching his performances on YouTube – especially the one at a Torah dedication for Nachal Chareidi. If you don’t like his music, don’t buy it.

      Matisyahu uses reggae, not one of my favorites, but he is a walking kiddush HaShem. Again, no one forces you to buy his CDs. Why is he a kiddush HaShem? I’ve seen him on TV (Jimmy Kimmel) say he wouldn’t perform for all of the money in the world if the concert was on Shabbat.

      If you lead a proper Torah live, wahat’s wrong with using music and art to praise HaShem? After all, it is He who gave us these talents to be a light onto other nations.

      I know it’s Ellul and we must prepare ourselves for Yom HaDin. But this is ridiculous. We need to think very carefully of which ‘rabbinic’ group we fund. My wife and I have lost a lot of respect for the rabbanim. Most of it has to do with their absent or weak responses to (in no particular order) fraud, child molestation, spousal abuse, and a host of other chillul HaShems.

      So I wish you all a Shana Tova. I’m going to pop in Matisyahu CD and eat a bowl of strawberries. Later today, I think I’ll but my wife a new pair of the banned shoes so she has something nice to wear on Rosh HaShana.

    44. bach bethoven mazart were all germans who made “refined” music that hitler liked to listen to while he counted how many yidden were killed that day.if this music is kosher than we should start buying refined german cars and not american cars made in detroit by people whose ancestors came from africa

    45. The form of Traditional Jewish music used in the Second Beit Hamikdash was cantorial chanting by the Leveim, similar to Gregorian Chant style used by Monks today. Does that mean singing in the Beit Mikdash will be banned?

      This has gone far enough.

      I’m going to have a cold cup of water (unfiltered) a fresh bowl of strawberries, and listen to some Beatles music.

    46. There is a book store on King highway that has a sign on his window that he does not sell any tapes or cd’s from LIPA.

      Are stores banning his tapes or cd’s?

    47. the person who started this crusade is a baal teshuva from ny and the person behind it is Rabi…..from brooklyn. he is funding the kuntras “the torah is not hefker”. i guess he knows this music music from his past and now wants to do teshuva by banning it on klal yisrael. but his premise his wrong by stating that all rock music originates from africa. he counts on the ignorance of the general public that they dont know the difference between the rolling stones – that he quotes – and pink floyd and other musicians that produced music that can compete heads on with any classical music. you have to make a clear distinction between the music and the lyrics. there is no difference if the music was composed by a drunk goy in a bar in poland or romania 100 hundred or more years ago or by bob dylan who is a yid in a bar in manhatan.

      but this guys who want to make an issur on bob dylan or simon and garfinkel etc have a problem, because if they prohibit all goyish music, than 99% of our “yiddish” music will be of limits, so they write that refined drunk music from europe composed by goyim that killed millions of yidden is allowed and composed by barbaric americans who enable them to have their malchus shell chesed with food stamps and medicaid and section 8 is not good for your neshama. this is hypocracy at its best.

    48. Just look at the wicked people of our time -the German culture listen to classic music that we call kosher like marches and waltz the radical Muslims culture listen to a type of heartfelt rant like chazunies. music is subject to interpretation and if you have a bad soul you will interpret the music accordingly if you find your self having bad thoughts while listening to a rhythm or beat with a base line. It’s not the music its you.

    49. Come to think of it, I think Hashem is letting this happen so that we should wake up and realize that those who so many admire as the great rabbonim of our day are in fact not all that we could wish for, and that we must therefore – in line with the teaching that the leaders of a generation are given based on the worthiness of the generation – repent and ask Hashem to send us true leaders as we had in the days of yore.

    50. 1. Blue label 100% approved (no rap or modern music).

      2. Yelow label geshmacke music might have a few tunes wich are modern.


    51. After a few hundred years , so that its not “modern” anymore, rap and reggae and rock will be allowed as Jewish musuc. Reminds me of Galileo and the Church who banned him and didnt remove the ban until a few years ago. They are showing their stubborness and lack of understanding of today’s times.

    52. WOW!!! These “Godolim” really know what they are doing. They really know how to make some extra $$$, they create one new business after another. Now they just created a hechser I am sure that will be another cash cow for them. After all they care about is $$$, not that they give a rats tuchus about real Jews. They are the Jewish mafia, monpolizing everything you see, hear and do. This is the real big brother and this is very dangerous thing they are doing.

      I would hate to be these guys on Yom Hadin, when they stand before G-d who knows ones true intentions. THEY WILL HAVE TO ANSWER.

    53. According to Web Encyclopedia:

      Some nigunim originate from non-Jewish sources. Hasidic Jews, based on a practice of their founder Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, have adapted anthems and even folk songs, ascribing them with a new spiritual dimension. For example, Chabad Hasidim have adopted the French tunes of La Marseillaise and Napoleon’s March, as well as Russian or German drinking songs as a part of their liturgy. Many Hasidim believe that these songs, in their secular forms, are in spiritual exile. By adapting them to liturgical forms, they are “raising Holy Sparks” according to the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s system of kabbalah. The process continues to this day, with new nigunim emerging from time to time.

    54. It’s time the real issues we have are dealt with.

      How about setting up a committe to help with the so called Shidduch crisis. Let the Rabbonim come up with some criteria to see who is a real Masmid that could fall into the category of a REAL LEARNER. Contingency should not be full support, late model cars, house,credit cards,etc. Bein Hazmanim should not define as sitting by the SHVIGGER in the country with davening at the earliest 10:30 A.M. and smoking in the car and reading road maps as daily activity. And for some of us idiots who did do this, help with the kids and watch the shnirren go spend the money you give with their side of the family and spend 90% of their quality time with the other side on your chesbon, in the house you bought– say DAI enough and go enjoy with the ones who realize you are parents too and not just a bank!!!

      Where are the RAbbonim on this issue. There are great girls to whom some of these so called good catches don’t match up to and no SHadchan thinks of them because they don’t belong to the whose who of the society!!

    55. Thank G-D, we have serious Rabbonim who are taking the bull by the horns.

      Wild, undisciplined music, with immoral overtones has a profoundly corrupting influence, especially on young people.

      This issue is subtle, and it requires a great deal of sensitivity to discern the difference in vsrious music syles.

      MTV has corrupted an entire generation of American youth.

    56. This doesn’t surprise me at all. When the Lubavitcher Rebbe, HaRav M.M. Schneersohn, was calling upon all Rabbonim and Askonim to become active in working towards serious life and death issues in Israel such as: maintaining the Purity of Klal Yisroel and enacting a bill through the Israeli Parliament that would define a Jew only in Halachic terms, the progenitors of these same Rabbis were all up in arms against the wise council of the Rebbe. The same goes with Shleimus Haaretz. These same 2 parties have taken turns joining the governments of the secular destroyers of Judaism in Israel to endanger our land and give it away and uprooting Jews from their homes in the finest tradition of the Communists, Nazis and European Christians Yemach shemom. These foolish people have long forfeited their right to decide anything of consequence on behalf of Klal Yisroel. I wouldn’t even trust them with a bedikah cloth, certainly not with kashrus, food or otherwise.

    57. Te only winner I can see out of all this is…..

      Michael Jackson! All this publicity and he could rise from the ashes that is his career. He could start to tour again. Perhaps his first stop could be B’nei Brak…. The Kol Koreh Tour lives on.

    58. Although we are not Chabad we are strong supporters for what they have always done and stood by. They are realistic and see things the way they are and get to it and try to tackle what has to be done. On a recent flight from Eretz Yisroel after Purim, the seminary Chabad Tzfas girls were learning , yes all of them and i hate to tell you what too many of the guys were doing.

      I have more than once said that fathers of girls need not to delve into narishkietin when redding a shidduch- just observe the Bochur on a flight from Eretz Yisroel or to and watch him. Many will be in for a surprize.

      Music is something that if forbidden by Rabbonim, big deal with radio and computer anything can be downloaded.

      We as a society are focusing on the wrong issues.

      The Lipa Smeltzer issue was wronged, Rabbonim admitted to have jumped to wrong information.

      Listen to Zev Brenner’s archives on a complete interview with Lipa, who is a mentch, a great guy and does not fake what he is.

      It is easy to give and tell others EITZAS but do what one wants in the hidden.

    59. Many of the comments here seem to come from individuals who do not have a right wing hoshkofa, for lack of a better phrase. I am right wing, and from that perspective I want to make one general comment: What is happening all around us is not a valient effort to make us toe to the tradition – it is a new fangled fanaticism, and it is getting worse year by year. Just look at photos of the Gedolim’s Rebbetzins of 30 years ago – they wouldn’t pass muster with today’s so-called tznius standards. With music too – who could have imagined even 10 years ago that some of our most wonderful entertainers, people such as Avraham Fried and MBD, people who have had such a positive influence on Yiddishkeit, could have their performances deemed treif. Mind Numbing. I know we are commanded to work on ourselves first, then community and then klal. That we need to work on stemming Loshon Hora, on maintaining tznius and boundaries – but we need to pray to Hakodesh Boruchu that we don’t wind up off the deep end, so that on Tisha B’Avs of the future Yidden don’t beat their breasts over the sins we committed in the name of purity.

    60. The classical music that concentration camp guards used to listen to at the end of a hard day’s work gassing Jews is kosher, but reggae music that talks about family values without mentioning Christianity is treyf. And they have a hechsher for music now. Oh well.. A yid darf makhen a parnosso…. This all is so upsetting. I’m going to listen to “By the Rivers of Babylon” which is on the soundtrack of “The Harder They Come ” by Jimmy Cliff

    61. Some musings…

      Is it only me or does anyone else out there think this is another hoax?

      Someone mentioned all the old Yossi Green “hits.” I dont know but from what I personally refer to the “good ol days” I dont recall too many tapes/cds where I said that every song on there was a good one. I was one of the biggest MBD fans yet on each tape there were some songs that I felt were boring etc. When there are 10 or so songs on a cd not all of them will be “great.”

      To the poster who mentioned about the store on Kings Highway with the sign in the window that he doesnt sell Lipa CDs thats ok. I’ll bet he sells CDs from _______ Boys Choir where the kids are mentally tortured. I wouldnt walk into that store even if it was the last one on earth but thats my choice.

      Based on this we are no longer going to sing certain z’miros tunes such as the famous Yom Zeh M’chubod bec that was an old german bar song etc.

      The worst thing about these rumors is that the gedolim fall in people’s eyes instead of the other way around. I wish (if it was true) that a Gadol would takeh be a GADOL as well as a GRVRA RABA and stand up to these askonom – I mean akshonim.

    62. ‘The man responsible for drafting the list is Rabbi Efraim Luft of Bnei Brak, who heads an organization called the Committee for Jewish Music’…I suggest we get the Tznius Patrol to go to his house and open up his wall safe. They will probably find Joe Crocker CD from the 70’s. Then let’s talk….

    63. these stories are getting so out of hand as to be unbelievable, except I know it is true. I unfortunately am compelled by location to send my girl to a Charedi Bais Yaakov type girls school. It is doing more to turn her of to Yiddishkeit than any trayfe environment could. I am just appalled at what I see…the Chareidi culture is so dysfuntional, socially, economically, that if you scratch the surface, all the dysfuntion arises, not hidden any longer. That seems to be what Chariedi life is these days, strictly appearances…the right clothes, etc. It is soooo superficial. A shame, the spirituality has been taken out completely in favor of chevel ve reek.

    64. How dare these rabbis give hechshers for music without proper shchita!!!? And how do they themselves dare listen to it??

      What bothers me even more is the way some of these yeshiva students are sometimes seen entering regular supermarkets!!!!!

      Do their rabbis realize what horrible toomah there is in those places? And what about the hardware stores? Feh!

      Just last week (you’re not going to believe this!), I saw (yes I saw), two yeshiva bochurim looking in the store window of a men’s suit store without parental supervision!!

      You can of course already figure out that next week they will go back to those stores and buy the kind of suits that will make them look attractive to all the cashiers in the regular supermarkets!!

      And what about all those fancy shmancy eyeglass frames these terrible yeshiva boys wear??!!

      Where are their rabbis??

    65. My respect for “Ra-Bannim” is dropping lower everyday. It is scary. Are all the Leaders of Klal Yisrael dead? These new hechserims and failure to stop modesty patrols makes me keep my money in just three or four tzedakas now. FORGET VAAD HA’IR they will not get dime every time I see another ad with the RaBannim

    66. 10:40 you really need to find someone to talk to. Clearly there is something specific happening in your personal life which is slowly and steadily eatnig you alive. BTW a shvigger is allowed to say “no.”

    67. Am I the only one who had vision’s of Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam” when I read the post.

      It’s a shame what all of these so called leaders are doing to Yiddishkeit. Some may be misguided or mislead but the damage being done seems to be beyond their comprehension. Someone needs to take a stand for common sense in yiddishkeit.

    68. This is sick

      What else are we going to try to find to do with out spare time, rabbonim community activists etc.

      Why don’t we try to take care of our real issues pertaining to out future generation,

      Look at the sex drugs theft molestation etc

      Don’t think for one second that this is all Lipa’s fault or negative doing

      Interesting that “rabbonim” have been created by hashem with pity

      The ereiv rav were terrible people but some of them were kind of ok

      So hashem didn’t know what to do with them so with no other choice he made them rabbonim

      “kishmoi kein hu” ra-bonim

      Chasivah vachasimah toive leshana toive umisukah

    69. Understand there is no such thing as treif music (not words). (Rav Y. Kassin Z”l) But, I will grant you that the music the last 10-15 years is way too loud at simchos. Maybe a solution is- when we respond to a simcha- we should write- Imy”h I will be attending but please make sure that the music is not loud or otherwise I won’t be able to attend. The baal simchas will get the message if enough people do this. BTW, this has nothing to do with the band, I have spoken to a lot of musicians and they are doing what the person paying them requests. They probably wouldn’t want it themselves so loud because 20 years ago almost none of them wore ear plugs, but now all of them do.

      As far as this org. giving hechsheyrim – “You can fool some of the people all of the time and You can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” I am not fooled by them. I guess they are running out of people to beat up who don’t dress Tzinously, so they are widening the group that they can start up with.

    70. The Rabbis will not stop here, soon all smiles and greetings of warmth and kindness must end….it could lead to mingling and any happiness or joy is

      OSSER, The bottom line is the more misreble you are the more frummer you are. ONE EXCEPTION —–IF you have MONEY all is accepted.

    71. FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

      10:40 you really need to find someone to talk to. Clearly there is something specific happening in your personal life which is slowly and steadily eatnig you alive. BTW a shvigger is allowed to say “no.”

      09-03-2008 – 12:55 PM


      Yonason Says:

      FinVeeNemtMenSeichel 12:55 – Your comment is a personal attack on Relaxed (10:40 AM)

      09-03-2008 – 1:40 PM


      Yonason, I see you dont get it….

      I read the Relaxed Artical… it made no sence to this VIN story

      I do Agree with Seichel that Relaxed has Issues…

      Lock & Load…

    72. Wow, you know — this is sort of a fun little public forum, isn’t it? It’s so cuuuute how the original issue has transmogrified into…”the shadchans are meshuggeh for rejecting my perfectly fine daughter…” However, in haste allow me to point out that there is a very consistent pulse reverberating throughout Klal Yisroel, and it is the heartbeat of the INDIVIDUAL person. I fully believe that we are meant to live, learn, process the emes of Torah ha kedosha, through our own senses, experiences, intellect, and neshomahs. There is no monopoly or exclusive right on knowledge or enlightenment. Why, just the other day, I happened upon a wonderful Hindu mantra (hehe rachmana litzlan) called the Gayatri Mantra which, when translated from Sanskrit to English, means ” Let us honor the unity of Divine Spirit that pervades all realms of existence: the earth, the atmosphere, and the heavens. May that most brilliant Divine Light protect us, sustain us and illuminate ouir consciousness, that we might realize our inherent goodness, our inborn divinity, and our unity with All That Is.” This sounds very much like our Shema. I love being a Jew — because I get to ask all kinds of important questions and hopefully, I listen quietly to the inner voice Hashem Yisborach gave to me as it verifies emes all around. Hashem created EVERYTHING, including all forms of music. Human beings assign irrelevant quantifiers and value judgments to things…oh dear, I am beginning to bore myself. I’m off to eat broccoli (Bodek is too expensive, so I check it myself heheh) listen to Moisheh Rabbainie by Mona (a powerful 1-2 beat) — leibedikeh!!!

    73. Biog deal- how many people will actually listen to this crap- besides its good for us because Jewish music is horrible and always has been. Its high time for some normal music to be put out.

    74. Some asked, where in Shulchun Aruch does it say that rap and reggae are disgusting? Well, where in shulchun aruch does it say you are not allowed to take a dead cat by its tail and swing it against the Aron Kodesh when nobody is watching?! Both these halachos and many more are clearly codified/included in the first siman and first se’eef of Shulchan Aruch. Those that learned it carefully, know it well.

      Mature responsible people know the difference between kosher and treif music. But in truth, we all recognize and are affected by treif music when we hear it. We all recognize and are affected by holy inspirational music when we hear it. Even if the youngsters amongst us do not yet recognize it, they will develop this instinct when they raise their own children in a responsible way.

    75. We must all understand and appreciate that our Gedoilim and leading Rabbonim are all very great, its very sad and unfortunate that there are a few askonim who manage to wind them up and make them believe in all these lies. we are living in a generation where Kosher entertainment is very important and much needed. Our youth need it more then anything. I believe our Rabbonim and Gedoilim need to be made aware of the truth and be told what is happening now that Jewish concerts are not allowed. Its a terrible tragedy that our Jewish youth are going to Goisher places for entertainment because we are not allowed to provide it. We desperately need to approach the Gedoilim and tell them the other side of the coin. In the maentime please build up your emunah and emunas Zadikim, our leading Rabbonim are all very great and have been misled with the wrong information.May we all have a happy new year and hear the reall music in the Beis Hamikdosh Bekoruv.

    76. B”H

      I can understand that we as Jews cant listen to Goyish music since it is tumah, and leaves a mark of unholiness on our Neshomah. But this artical is already going overboard. It just so happens to be that a jew has the opposite effect when singing and yes i include all types of generes, Rock, Hip-pop, Reggae, etc. Now i have a question. Would you tell me that MBD is trief? his music doesnt sound like old time Jewish European style or Kletzmer, it sounds more like Rock. Now, lets move on to Matisyahu. What would you tell me about him. you would probally tell me that he is trief and cant listen to him. Well, i happen to think opposite. Just because Matisyahu sings the style of music he grew up with doesnt mean its not kosher. He takes his lyrics from Chassidus, and takes a Reggae vibe, and combines it to have a Chassidic Reggae. i dont mean to point fingers but how many non-religious Jews and goyim listen to MBD and get impacted by him in a good way? honestly, im not sure, but i highly doubt a large amount. How many non-religious jews and goyim listen to Matisyahu and get impacted the right way. I can answer that. More than what you would imagine. I used to listen to Non-Jewish Music with cursing, and whatever tumah was in their. One day, i hear this amazing song, King with out a crown and fell in Love with it. I can tell you that, from that day on, my life, changed for the better, and i fell in Love with his music. I still listen to his music today. He was my inspirer + thousands of others. I believe Matisyahu is doing the right thing and i think the way this article is written, shows how stubborn some people really are. People should think about what they say. Escpecially about another jew


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here