Friday, December 8, 2006
Clueless Shluchim make for BT rappers
Recently we've been witness to a new phenomenon, namely Baalei Tshuvah retaining a part of their former lifestyle. Whether it's rappers or beatboxers, boxers or otherwise, they continue to supposedly use their talents and "flip it to Kedushah." That never happened in the old days. In the old days in Hadar Hatorah Reb Yisroel Jacobson made you cut your long hair off and conform to the rules of Yeshivah. Yes, you could keep your musical instrument, but you played Chabad Nigunim and joined a Chasidishe band. If you were an artist you focused all of your energies into painting the Chasidic lifestyle. Today you do what you want, all the while staying frum, of course, and giving the youth the insipid idea that the two go together, and that pop culture will have no influence on their practice of Yiddishkeit.
The examples are many, and I believe I can trace all of these back to uneducated and unlearned leadership. We can start with Matisyahu, go on to Jew da Maccabi, and on and on. If it were just plain Mekurovim who go on to become more observant, but remain within their old framework החרשנו, but this is different. Here we speak of Baalei Tshuvah who parade around as Lubavitchers, mit di shmeyne begodim, yet they remain very much connected to the outside world. They pepper their repertoire with Jewish, Chabad, and Rebbe references but the affect is the same. It opens up young impressionable kids to a world they need not know about, and that indefensible. Why must little Zalmy know about reggae and beatboxing, because Matisyahu does it,and he sports a berdel?
Why do I blame BT Shluchim? It's very simple, they lack proper Shimush, sometimes being Frum for just a couple of years, and they decide on major policy in Lubavitch. Chinuch of our children is no less important than who becomes Rov in CH or which ad goes into the New York Times. Allowing for such otherwise good people to continue with their now unacceptable lifestyle is a major policy shift. If his Mashpiah in the Village decided that it's OK for him to continue, and this carries into Lubavitch and Frum society as a whole, then we've got ourselves a big problem. Rappers and similar performers must be taught that what they did till now has to be left along with the other sacrifices they made, and if they could leave non-Kosher food behind then they could do without their rap music. Oh, and please don't tell me that the Rebbe said to utilize everything for Kedushah, I don't want to hear it.