Mar 11, 2010

Jewish Music Videos - Who are we?

I spent some time watching Jewish music videos of Jewish choirs.  I may like the song and think the video is well-done but at the same time, I find them disturbing.  This isn't something new.  It was true 15 years ago when I watched a video of a popular choir and found their moves and manner of singing goyish.

Much has been said about contemporary Jewish music and what makes it Jewish aside from the choice of words and I'm not getting into that in this post. I'm focusing on the children who perform and listen to this music.

After watching these music videos the other day, I analyzed what it is that bothers me about them.  For one thing, I wonder whether these children have any appreciation for genuine Chassidishe music like that of  Modzitz and Skulen.  Would they listen to Avrohom Fried's Yom Tov Ehrlich recordings for their enjoyment? I suspect not.

For another thing, as I watch the kids in the videos I think about the numerous articles I've read about chinuch and kids going off the derech because it seems to me (and I know this is a generalization) that Yiddishkeit is an add-on in their lives. 

What do I mean by that? I wrote about this in the post called "Yiddishkeit - Doing It All the Way", Feb. 14.  It seems to me that for very many frum people, Yiddishkeit is an add-on to their "regular" lives.  Sometimes I see a frum person who resembles a non-Jew with a kippa or if it's a woman, she looks like her non-Jewish counterpart with longer sleeves.  Yiddishkeit doesn't seem to be something that goes "through-and-through." 

- more in my next post about identity and who are we really

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