Last week, Yossi Elituv voiced his deep pain upon witnessing many religious Jews participating in a concert performed by Avraham Fried in front of a mixed crowd, and regarding the picture of the Rebbe which was used as a background, to give a “Hechsher” to the event:
“It hurts me when I see, that the Shulchan Aruch, which was written hundreds of years ago, and still serves as our guide, is being trampled on. As great as the “Chassidic” performer is, his actions, in which he performed for a mixed crowd of men and women, dancing together, including many of Anash, is an absolute desecration of Halacha.
It hurts more, when it is done at a location near the site of the Beis HaMikdash, in a city which just commemorated close to 2000 years of Golus.
But as much as that hurts me, and every religious Jew, there is an additional point, which hurts much more, and that is the actions of said performer, who deceitfully and wrongfully uses the Rebbe for his own benefit, using His holy name for his abominable actions, creating the impression that the Rebbe, the great fighter for Torah observance, is the one who (Heaven Forbid) permitted these performances.”
At the onset I would like to clarify, that in no way, shape or form am I condoning mixed concerts. There is no doubt in my mind that these events are completely against Halacha and against the Rebbe. There is no justification for a religious Jew to perform or participate in such events, and I am still waiting to see a Lubavitcher Rov approve of this behavior.
Additionally, the new phenomenon of Israeli folk music becoming “Chabad Nigunim” is problematic. Instead of conquering Gaza, we let Gaza conquer us. Whilst in the past a Nigun was considered “Chabad” only if it was sung in front of the Rebbe, today “Aleh Katan” and “Rak Tefillah” are on the same level as “Stav Ya Pitu”…
Truth be told, I would not have responded to said article if not for the glaring omission in said article, namely, the reason for these performances.
The last time I participated in an Avraham Fried concert was many years ago, in Saqer Gardens in Jerusalem, titled “Yerushalayim Oro Shel Olam.”
I remember those performances with a Kosher Mechitza, with the Chitas and Tzedaka Pushka, with stories of the Rebbe, and the Eidele Yungerman who took his God-given talent and used it for Hafotzas HaMa’ayanos. For me, Avraham Fried was the Rebbe’s Shliach-on-stage.
However, times have changed. Certain Anti-Chassidic Jews decided that they are the new “Mashgichim” of the Jewish nation; they decided that concerts are “not fit for Hareidi consumption” and they got many Rabbis to blindly sign the prohibition, launching a new “Holy War,” Islamic style.
This might have been acceptable if not for a disgusting caveat which was added to the prohibition. They permitted Hareidi performers to perform for the Religious-Zionist crowds, insinuating that although performances are prohibited against Halacha, the Religious-Zionists are allowed to break Halacha, adding a condition that the performance must not look “Hareidi” rather it should have a Zionistic tone; namely, sing a few Israeli songs, hang an Israeli flag, and make sure there is no separation between the genders. Such concerts are “permitted” by those self-appointed “Mashgichim.”
This, in short, is the difference between Torah-true Judaism and the self-appointed “Holy” warriors.
And what did they achieve? That the religious Jews still come to Avraham Fried concerts, but instead of having a pure Chassidic concert, they have to participate in an event which indeed is against Halacha.
Smells like Chelm to me…
I would like to conclude with a request: If anyone meets Avraham Fried, please tell him that we are all waiting for him to return to his roots, be proud of his Shlichus, and perform in a way that befits a Shliach of the Rebbe, with the Chitas, Tzedaka and Rebbe stories. It’s about time he ignores the hating self-appointed warmongers.