Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kosher music

I know that this is not new news, but I actually just saw this hechsher today.

It seems that the main source for his opinions is not the Talmud or Shulchan Aruch, but American Preachers. (Though I can't even find a source for his claim that the saxophone was referred to as the "Devil's Flute" in the '20s)

The best line is that "the use of 2-4 music, and other rock and disco beats is forbidden." Well, I suppose it is Waltzes all the way from now on! And no swaying to the music!

Rabbi Akiva says:
ר' עקיבא אומר המנענע קולו בשיר השירים בבית המשתה ועושה אותו כמין זמר אין לו חלק לעולם הבא (תוספתא סנהדרין יב, ה"י)

(loose translation)
Anyone who sings Shir HaShirim at a wedding and makes it into a tune has not portion in the World to Come? (Tosefta 12:10)

(I know that perhaps it doesn't mean wedding, but pub (see my previous post), and I know that some want to say it only applies to Shir HaShirim - but what other source is there for a ban if not this?)

So either everything is permitted, or everything is forbidden. Who authorised Rabbi Luft to give a hechsher to any music?

So, if we are all doomed anyway, let's go out in style:

Primus - The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Uploaded by Dan_of_the_Land. - News videos hot off the press.

(Do not listen to this if you don't like Devil's music - it has a rock beat in 4/4)

Where was everyone when they were banning alcohol?

According to the Jerusalem Post the Knesset has unanimously passed a law banning the sale of alcohol at night.

By a unanimous vote of 38- 0, MKs outlawed the sale of alcohol at stores between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Restaurants and pubs are not covered by the legislation, but kiosks, gas station convenience stores, markets and pharmacies will be subject to the prohibition, with violators facing a minimum penalty of NIS 9,000.

The law also allows police to seize alcohol being consumed in public and pour out the contents of the bottles.

A few comments:

There are 120 MKs in the Knesset. That means that 82 of them were down at the pub while the vote was taken (or were still hungover from the night before). Why don't their votes count? (My friend suggested that they counted fingers and toes, so actually it was only the Prime Minister and most of one of the Arab MKs)

But more seriously - having lived in both Scotland (where there is no closing time) and England (where there is) I can attest to the fact that there are far fewer fights in Scotland after 11 pm. This is mostly because the Scots are such nice people (and it is hard to fight in a kilt), but also because when they come out of the pub looking for a fight there is nobody else on the streets because everyone is still down the boozer!

I think that alcohol is becoming a real problem in Israel - amongst all segments of society. But I'm not convinced that this is the correct solution. Especially if 2/3 of the MKs can't even be bothered showing up for a vote on a major social issue.