Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh! Banning the Lipa Shmeltzer Concert in Madison Square.

This past week posters were plastered around Boro Park and Flatbush banning a concert that was to take place March 9th in Madison Square Garden to benefit needy couples that were to be wed in Eretz Yisroel.  I understand an ad was placed in Hamodia as well, banning this concert.  The ban also included any media advertising this concert .
Why then was this concert targeted rather than the Hasc Concert or others?  I understand that the fear was that Lipa adapts his music from Goyish Music and this might affect adversely on his fans, many from the insulated and sheltered chareidi community and will give them a taste for Goyish music.  However, these Rabbanim did not simply advise their people not to attend,  they publicly declared this concert  against Daas Torah and it seems from the text of the ban that all such concerts are not allowed following the rulings in Eretz Yisroel by Gedoilim (which banned Simchat Beit Hashoeva concerts).
Now, Is this really Daas Torah? 
What we have to ask is how come all these Rabbanim are publicly blasting a separate seating concert where it is hard to find which Mitzvah DOrayta is being violated. They quote the Mitzveh "Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh" whose source is Devarim 23:14-15  The Torah is referring to a military camp.  "You shall have a shovel in addition to your weapons, and it will be that when you sit outside, you shall dig with it; you shall go back and cover your excrement.  For Hashem, your G-d, walks in the midst of your camp to rescue you and to deliver your enemies before you, so your camp shall be holy, so that He will not see a shameful thing among you and turn away from behind you." (Stone Edition translation).
This verse is specifically referring to a military camp that needs to be free of sin in a time of war so that Hashem will find us worthy to rescue us from our enemies. I wonder seriously if it was referring to  going to a separate seating concert with only Jewish music to raise up our spirits.  And if you say it is forbidden to dress up Goyish music and turn it into Jewish music, then why is the Levush of these same communities adapted from 1800 Polish Nobility?  And would it be so terrible if on the way to the concert, perhaps on the subway, a boy met a girl and eventually actually became engaged and went on to build a Bayit Neeman Beyisroel filled with Kedusha.  But Tzepast Nisht.  I suppose the way Yaakov Avinu met Ruchel Imeinu and the way Moshe Rabbeinu met Tsipporah was Tsepast Nisht as well. Maybe it's because that was before Matan Torah.  Now we know better.
So why are the Rabbanim focusing on the Mitzva of " Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh?"  Perhaps this Mitzva is precisely the one they should be focusing on.  Our enemies are surrounding us.  There is an arsenal of weapons that is being smuggled and now openly being brought to Gaza and Lebanon.  The military will attest to this.  The Hizbollah has restocked in the north and Al Keida and Hamas have stocked up in Gaza.  Sederot is daily being attacked and  within close rocket range after the expulsion of Gush Katif and anti missiles are ineffective at such close range.  The Rambam states that a Milchemet Mitzvah is one which we are obligated to fight when we are attacked.  So perhaps the Rabbanim should be focusing on seeing to it that the Machana, the military camp, remains Kadosh.  Nachal Chareidi does  that.   Women should not be allowed in combat or in positions that would compromise on Tzniyut, distracting the soldier from doing his job.   The Mitzvoth of covering excrement, etc. It is the job of the Rabbanim to advise us on the many Halachoth regarding these  matters. 
How come the Rabbanim have united to come out with a Public Statement regarding a Jewish, all separate seating concert, yet these Rabbanim were silent when the property of 10,000 people, were stolen, destroyed, for no reason in Gush Katif?  Dead bodies were interred to other places.  Shuls and communities destroyed.  Families torn apart. Parnassa lost with no easy way to reestablish and retrain in another profession. Kids uprooted from their homes, the family structure undermined.  Once stable successful teenagers now suicidal, depressed and/or on drugs.  How come these Rabbanim are not focusing on Pikuach Nefesh and Al Taamod Al Dam Reiacha and the shameful abandonment of the government of Israel to the people in Sederot ordering the army not to fight back effectively. Let us not forget that this situation is a direct result of the Government's policies to uproot the settlements from Gush Katif.  Not learning a lesson, the government is still pursuing the evasive dream of "peace" with their desire to establish a State of Palestine and slice away Yerushalayim like one slices a salami leaving the rest of Israel, including Chareidi population centers, to become like the next Sederot.
Are these Rabbanim uniting to pressure Shas to leave the gov't?  Are they working to unite with parties that are against territorial concessions to the Arabs and in fact promote a government based on our Torah Heritage and Torah values and  Torah based Judicial system?
Speaking out against the present Israeli Government, the American Foreign Policy and Bush's Roadmap and the 2 State Solution in a United Torah Roadmap Campaign signed by these same 33 Gedoilim seems to be more like Daas Torah to me. In fact "VeHaya Machanecha Kadosh" is the perfect theme.  

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