A Night at the Opera

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21 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    I kept fretting about what the neighbors would think if they learned that I was at the Bowl.
    ====================================================

    That human beings are not angels and have a need for down-time? That HKB””H created the beauty of music to be appreciated by his creation?

    That you were trying to increase your achievement level- As I once heard a shiur which quoted the Pat Hashulchan(a student of the Gra[Vilna Gaon}) and the Gra as saying ” ki rov taamei hatora vsodot shirei halivim vsodot tikunei zohar e efshar lyada biladah. val yada yicholim bnai adam lamut bkolot nafsham bniumuta v’yicholim lhachayot meitim bsodota hagnuzim btora” (music is a very powerful tool in understanding how the world really operates)

    Given our seeming lack of a mesora (tradition) of music from the Bet Mikdash, Perhaps any music that motivates in the right direction works. I once attended a wedding in Boro Park where the band played Eric Clapton’s “My darling you look wonderful tonight” (instrumental version) as the dinner music. To the best of my knowledge no one else recognized it or was offended by the musical quality then again I think many know the origin of MBD’s Yidden music.
    KT

  2. isidore says:

    The article ignores a sophisticated Eastern culture and spirituality which was not based on Jewish(Shem)or Hellenic(Yefes) antecedents.Consquently to say that this article is correct in maintaining a Jewish or Grecian cause for all of the world’s developement (“teachers of humanity”) is questionable.Futhermore in accordance with the article’s logic, shouldn’t we admire Christianity for synthesizing Jewish and Greek thougt and spreading it to Europe and around the world?

  3. MuMU says:

    Whats the big deal ? Its about time you went to a concert. Everyone has been going for years, from Rabbonim to children. I dont know what yuor big chidush is.

  4. dilbert says:

    1. Hmmmmm. I have been told on good authority that RYBS did go to the opera. And I recall that another Rosh Yeshiva(? Rav Hutner) also enjoyed opera, although via recordings

    2. The masses in the United States that enjoy classical music have definite tastes, and those tastes run from baroque to early modern. If you look at the standard playlist of American orchestras, music composed after Shostakovich is pretty uncommon, although there are always dedicated attempts to sneak in some every now and then

  5. A Simple Jew says:

    If you can enjoy opera, perhaps I could enjoy heavy metal….

    See here.

  6. Bob Miller says:

    Dilbert said, ” If you look at the standard playlist of American orchestras, music composed after Shostakovich is pretty uncommon, although there are always dedicated attempts to sneak in some every now and then”

    Is this to imply that Yefes’ musical inspiration has now run out? There may be reason to say so, and not only for classical music.

  7. mb says:

    A Rabbi goes to the Hollywood Bowl?
    Nobody I know would do such a thing.

    BTW, I was there the previous Thursday. Amongs other things on that beautiful evening was the LA Philarmonic playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, alternating with a Salsa Band! The violin lead was substituted by a trombone. Imagine that!

  8. Neil Harris says:

    I’ve heard from two different older talmidim of Rav Hutner, that he did enjoy opera.

  9. yitz says:

    I’ve also heard that Rav Hutner ‘sang opera in the shower’, although this fact was excised by the powers that be from a book about him.
    ASJ: As to Heavy Metal, like I said on your blog, for someone who listens to it only 1% of the time, you sure are hung up about it! And Rav Adlerstein did NOT go to the opera, as he mentions in the opening sentence.
    As to Bob’s query, “Is this to imply that Yefes’ musical inspiration has now run out? There may be reason to say so, and not only for classical music.”
    Rest assured, real Negina is alive and well in the Chassidic world. The new Modzitzer Rebbe Shlita has already composed some niggunim for the Yamim Noraim! [And we don’t need Yefes to do it…]

  10. Joel Rich says:

    Rest assured, real Negina is alive and well in the Chassidic world. ===================================================

    Interesting comment. Since the Chassidic movement doesn’t date itself back to bayit sheni, where did their original niggunim come from? Has anyone ever studied whether there is any correlation between local music modes and those of chasidim at the inception of the movement?

    KT

  11. Bob Miller says:

    Yitz, my question in comment #6 above was specifically regarding the music of Yefes, but not only classical.

  12. Yeshaya Yitzchak says:

    It was wonderful to read Rabbi Adlerstein’s column, even more so because he quotes Rabbiner Hirsch. For those interested, there is a new, updated translation of the Hirsch Chumash by Rabbi Daniel Haberman available through the Kehilla in Washington Heights. So far, only Braishis through Vayikra have been published, but Bamidbar will be out soon. The translation is more precise and much easier to read. One example of a quote used by Rabbi Adlerstein would be as follows:

    Old Translation : When we look around in historical facts we can say: the stem of Yefes reached its fullest blossoming in Yavan, the Greeks: that of Shem in Ever, the Hebrews, Israel, who bore and bear the Shem Hashem as their God through the world of nations.

    New Translation: Considering the historical reality we may say that the fullest flowering of Yefes was Yavan, ancient Greece.The fullest flowering of Shem is Aver,the Hebrews, the people of Israel which proclaims B’Shem Hashem amomgst the nations of the world.

    Compare “When we look around in historical facts” which is really not English to “Considering the historical reality”, which is.

  13. Bob Miller says:

    Yeshaya Yitzchak,
    What would be the contact info (phone or email) for someone outside the NYC area to find out more about obtaining the new translation by Rabbi Haberman? Thanks!

  14. Yeshaya Yitzchak says:

    K’Hal Adath Jeshurun
    E-mail [email protected]
    phone 212-923-3582

  15. Phil S. says:

    Maybe we should make a new rule. (I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek.) In order to attend one of these cultural events, you must promise to write an excellent essay about it, such as R’ Adlerstein’s — or, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman’s: http://www.tfdixie.com/special/feldman1.htm

  16. Leibel Black says:

    Our knowledge of authentic Jewish music is severly lacking. The scholarship exists in the published writings of Macy Nulman, former Director of YU’s cantorial school.

  17. LAWRENCE KAPLAN says:

    R’ Yitzhok: Why in the world should you feel guilty for going to a concert to listen to Brahms and Prokofiev? What was the hava amina?

  18. yitz says:

    Joel Rich – “As with most Chassidic music born in Europe, many of these melodic motifs were influenced by the music of the surrounding culture. The Rabbis of Modzitz, however, were able to weave a distinctive musical and Judaic fabric into their compositions of dances, marches, waltzes and extended niggunim… these equisite melodies [were] written by Rabbis who were instinctively first-rate musical creators…[Velvel Pasternak, “Melodies of Modzitz”, Foreword].
    Bob Miller – thank you for your clarification.
    Leibel Black – Macy Nulman’s books on music are from 1975 and 1985, and appear [from an internet search] to be out-of-print. Can you provide us with any insight about them?

  19. eliXelx says:

    How can we read the psalms and deny Dylan?
    How can we talk about the sweet singer of Israel and not enjoy Joni Mitchell?
    How can we believe that King David danced infront of the Ark and refuse to listen to Bob Marley!
    Good instrumental music is uplifting; but when the words and music are one that’s Divine!

  20. Bob Miller says:

    Our values are not only esthetic. The lyrics have to be true.

  21. Jewish Observer says:

    “Why in the world should you feel guilty for going to a concert to listen to Brahms and Prokofiev? What was the hava amina?”

    – it could shtehr a shidduch

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