The following letters were written to Zev Brenner, of Talkline Communications, Lipa and Shia regarding tonights radio program featuring Shia Mendlowitz and Lipa Schmelzer.
Last year before Purim if you recall, they had advertised a concert called the "BigEvent" produced by Shia Mendlowitz and starring Lipa Shmeltzer. Soon after, signs were put up all over Boro Park and Flatbush banning this concert because it violated "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" the Biblical commandment to have a holy camp. This ban had the endorsements of 33 very prestigious Rabbanim. On tonights radio program with Zev Brenner, Shia and Lipa said that they personally went to the Rabbanim who had their names on the ban in order to ask how come. Apparently at least 5 said that they were misled and were now encouraging Lipa to continue performing and would not come out against another concert and some actually encouraged him to perform .
However, when listeners asked who these Rabbanim were that actually changed their tune (no pun intended), Shia and Lipa refused to disclose this information. The reason they gave was because they didn't want it to be another source of Machlokes, friction, and Lipa said he didn't want the Rabbanim to be bothered all day long with calls of stupidities of such nature because of him.
Dear Zev, amv"sh
This is not a funny manner but a question that should be addressed to the Rabbanim.
Why were so many Rabbanim willing to put their name, even if misled, on a ban that is shtuyot, narishkeit, instead of really addressing the Biblical Commandment "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" in a Pshuto shel Mikreh, literal reading of the Torah. If Lipa would ask this question from the Rabbanim it is not a waste of their time or his time but rather is the burning issue of our day.
This Mitzvah "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" is a reference to a military camp in a Milchemet Mitzvah, an obligatory war that is a Mitzvah in Eretz Yisroel.
There has been no acknowledgment on the part of these Rabbanim as per our entitlement to Eretz Yisroel or our obligation to fight a Milchemet Mitzvah when attacked by our enemies. It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are fighting an enemy clearly out to destroy the Nation of Israel. Why has this Mitzvah instead taken on a perverted meaning in banning a separate seating concert.
Sincerely, Robin Ticker
From: Robin Ticker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 1:51 AM
Subject: Lipa - Mitvah of Vehaya Machenecha Kadosh - distorted
Dear Lipa and Shia, amv"sh
The Rabbanim banned your separate seating concert last time because of "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh", "Thou shall have a H-ly camp". Isn't that a reference to a Milchemet Mitzva, an obligatory war that is a Mitzvah, where the soldiers of Israel must act in the proper holy way when they are in the midst of battle? In fact it would be the right topic to discuss right now when Israel is in a state of war with Hamas in Gaza and the Rabbanim would speak about the obligation to go to war under such conditions and the Halacha, the Rabbinic law that is relevant to the Chayalim, the Israeli soldiers while fighting this war.
I can't understand how the Mitzvah of "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" is violated with a separate seating concert? What prohibition can possibly happen under such conditions?
And if a boy would meet a girl on their way to walking to the concert and eventually decide to build a Bayit Neeman Beyisroel, a faithful Jewish home, wouldn't that be the greatest Mitzvah? And if there is a concert on Sukkot or Pesach then isn't there an added Mitzveh of "Vesamachta Bechagecha" to be happy on our holidays. All this is in addition to the Mitzvah of "Mitzvah Gedolah Lihiyos BeSimcha Tamid" as the Breslov Chasidim sing, "it is a big Mitzvah to be happy all the time". Almost all would agree that a Shia Mendlowitz production starring Lipa Schmelzer is a source of great Simcha, happiness.
Why are the Rabbanim so quick to assume that Hamonei Am, the general religious population would have inappropriate thoughts when they go to your concert? Have they ever attended your concert? Isn't that a violation of Motzei Shem Ra, spreading a false report and Lashon Hara and isn't that a violation of "Judging your fellow Jew in a favorable light?".
Didn't this ban a year ago, cause tremendous monetary loss to many people and Tzedakah organizations. not to mention the terrible agmas nefesh, aggravation to so many people.
Isn't this ban based on "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" an example of adding to the Torah thereby bringing forth the situation of detracting from the Torah.
Doesn't it say "Lo Yeh-iy-eh Lachem Elokim Acheirim Al Panei", You shall not have any other G-ds.
Judging by some of your callers and their judgement call of what is considered worthy of a ban, I believe that it's important that they know that it is no Mitzvah of Emunas Chachamim, believing our Rabbis, to follow blindly a Psak, a Rabbinic ruling, even when there is no basis in the Torah for such a Psak. Of course we are obligated to follow a Psak if the Psak is "Al Pi Hatorah" according to the written Torah. But if the only Mitzvah the Rabbanim base this ban on is "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" then aren't the Rabbanim disregarding the literal meaning of this Mitzvah in the Torah and in fact distorting its context?
I believe that the Rabbanim that now wish to give their approval for your concert should do so openly and not be afraid. In fact a discussion of the Mitzvah of "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" and how it relates to the war iin Gaza is definitely in order. These Rabbanim should be willing to stand up for what is Torah and what they believe and know to be Torah, apologize for misleading the public in their participation of the ban and stand up against all the peer pressure of others that might actually be the voice of the Sitre Acheir, the other side or of the Eirev Rav, the mixed multitudes.
This will be posted on shemittahrediscovered.blogspot.com