Jerusalem – An Israeli bride who decided to surprise her new husband by playing a 15 minute drum set at the end of their wedding found herself the subject of controversy after rabbis in Bnei Brak deemed her short stint on the bandstand an unacceptable violation of the laws of modesty.
Ynet (https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5470813,00.html) reported that 19 year old Shifra Hershkowitz and Itzik Rusk got married approximately two weeks ago at Achuzat Wagshal, a recently renovated wedding hall located in the heart of Bnei Brak on Rechov HaRav Meltzer.
The hall itself is under the strict supervision of a highly respected name in Israeli kashrus, Badatz Eidah Chareidis, which demands strict separations between men and women at all times during events at the hall.
As Hershkowitz took her turn on the drums, much to the apparent delight of her new husband and others, she was accompanied by the Yoely Dickman band, with pictures and videos of the bride’s bandstand performance making the rounds on social media. Dickman, a popular musical choice at Charedi events, was advised by the Eidah Chareidis to issue an apology for allowing Hershkowitz to play, and in a letter printed two days ago on the Badatz letterhead, Dickman described the happenings and his regrets.
“We are deeply disturbed by what happened last week at the Wagshal hall in Bnei Brak, something that never should have happened and a terrible affront to the laws of modesty,” wrote Dickman. “We are taking responsibility to make sure that this never happens again and we will strengthen ourselves even further to keep safeguards in place to ensure that modesty is respected. We also take it upon ourselves that if G-d forbid, something like this ever happens again we agree that a public ban will be enacted that will prevent us from ever performing at any future celebrations.”
Hershkowitz has been playing piano for years, taking up drums only recently at a music school in Tel Aviv, reported Ynet (https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5464998,00.html). She told Dickman weeks ago that she was considering playing at her own wedding, something he felt was an excellent idea. The two decided to make a final decision on surprising Rusk at the wedding, and when Dickman suggested that Hershkowitz take the drumsticks at the affair, she agreed.
Rusk, a 27 year old photographer, was thrilled by the surprise, joining his new wife on the bandstand, said Dickman.
“The joy when she got up there and starting playing was off the charts,” said Dickman.
Hershkowitz admitted that no one in her family knew that she had been considering playing at the wedding, her performance catching everyone off guard.
“Everyone loved it,” said Rusk. “Because both of us come from the world of photography, many of our guests were photographers and we got very warm feedback. People told us that they enjoyed it immensely and that they have never seen anything like it before.”