Friday, June 29, 2007

Frummer (more religious) than the Torah

When I was in 11th grade, I had a Rebbe (teacher) who used to say "you can't be frummer, or more religious, than the Torah. The implication was that the Torah has a set of requirements, and the custom of going above and beyond was unnecessary. And while you might disagree, his prime example was the custom of 10 and 11 year olds fasting. There is precedent in the literature for young kids doing this, but his contention was that "when you reach bar/bat mitzvah age, you have to fast." You can practice if you want, but it is not necessary.
All this leads me to the news stories yesterday regarding Eliyahu Chaim Fayzakov, a religious 20 year old talented singer, who happens to have a voice that sounds like a woman. (Listen to the link here) Here is a nice young man, with a large black yarmulke whose recorded music which is played on radio stations has been banned by charedi stations for fear that the listeners would feel that the station was (g-d forbid) playing recordings of women singing. Now I won't enter into the debate over what they call "kol isha" the prohibition against listening to a woman's voice. (read this link for a DETAILED explanation) But the overriding thought that kept coming to my mind was Rabbi Hochberg, in 11th grade saying, "you can't be frummer than the Torah." I mean, here you have a guy, for crying out loud, and they are unwilling to play his music because someone might THINK it is a woman singing? Cut me a break. I have often argued for the rights of those to the right of me to be left alone to do what is best for them, but this time, even I can't defend it. In the meantime, enjoy listening to Eliyahu's music. I have to admit, he does sound like a woman, but he also sounds pretty good!


endtheignorance said...

I very quickly skimmed your blog. something about one rabbi saying that one can not be "frummer than the torah". when in fact some of the leaders of the chareidi community who preach according to the principles of judaism like "frummer than the torah" do things to contradict that principle like asur listening to a male with a female like voice(makes me think of a certain biblical referance) it pisses me off when rabbanim do that how they don't mimic their words. what also bothers me is that diversity is not encouraged. If they want to be "frummer than the torah" and not listen to someone who is a male singer then fine they can. but don't get into other people's ways who are abiding by halachah. In this case who is frummer the rabbi or the congregant. well if frum is defined as observing the principles of judaism then in this case the ones who do listen to this male singer are frummer than the rabbi.

Tepi said...

have you all became crazy??