Letter: Horrified

To whom this may concern,

This issue has gotten so out of hand, I feel I need to bring it up.

I was at a wedding last week, and when I walked in I literally immediately double checked my calendar to make sure I was at the right wedding.

Why? The music.

I am not lying when I tell you I thought I was at some modern orthodox or ‘frie’ wedding, when in fact it was a wedding of two yeshivish families.

The music sounded like it was straight off the goyish radio. There was not a hint of Jewishness in it. Zero.

To make it worse, in the lobby, there were young bochorim and girls shmoozing, and some were dancing to the booming music as if it were a club or something.

I was supposed to be there for the meal, as this was a close friend from the yeshiva days, but I went in, told him mazel tov and just made a b-like straight for the door.

I was horrified.

It’s time to bring back the values and the yiddish taam to weddings.

Thank you.

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44 COMMENTS

    • Don’t think it’s narishkiet, but I probably would have stayed at the wedding. I wouldn’t consider myself a “frummie,” but that’s how the non Jewish mentality slowly creeps in.

    • i work with kids who are otd and the music they listen to only speaks about drugs, guns, violence and woman in the most vile and vulgar ways. these songs and lyrics absolutely have an effect on how my boys act, think, TALK (cant stress that enough) and define themselves. it effect how they talk about woman and how they think they are gangsters and thugs.

  1. @eli – it’s pretty simple.

    Just a little intuition
    What music do you play for which mood ?
    Now when the source is no good then it will have a very negative impact on one’s neshama.
    Same concept as learning Torah written and “composed “ by a yorei shomayim vs a מין or just someone that’s not a yorei Shomayim. See sources in the Gemara where Tanoim would not learn the Torah of someone they felt was not up to par. Whether you know or not it influence your way of thinking and hisnahgus.

    A lot more to write but that’s the yesod.

  2. i once went to a wedding to say Mazel Tov. At the same time, Rabbi Gissinger z”l came in to say Mazel Tov too. (It was a few weeks before he was niftar). The music was not too Jewish sounding and he turned to me and asked “Is this a Jewish wedding?!”

  3. I’ve been to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of weddings here in Lakewood over my 30+ years of living in this great city. All types of weddings in all the halls, every type of wedding from a Rosh Yeshiva making a wedding to out of town baalei simcha making a wedding in Lakewood, family weddings and wealthy baalei simcha and everything in between and I’ve never in all thise weddings noticed bochrim and girls schmoozing in the lobby. Yes it tends to be a little of a hangout and its not always for the reasons you say but regardless most of us just cruise straight through and enter the hall. If you’d be a little open minded and perhaps also דן לכף זכות perhaps you’d see it for what it is. It could be either family siblings schmoozing outside or a baby sitter watching during the wedding a baby/child and updating the father about the baby/child and many other scenarios. So lets not be so quick to condemn other people.
    As far as the music that’s a whole different conversation.

    • Agreed. I’ve never seen random boys and girls schmoozing in the lobby even if the music was less Jewish sounding than it should be. I’m not sure what Yeshivish wedding he was at…

  4. Cause you have to have the exact same tunes that were played 25 years ago. Otherwise it’s totally goyish. But 25 years ago, the old songs were considered goyish cause 50 years ago they had even older tunes… and on and on for thousands of years. Cause music evolves. It’s a constant vicious cycle of pearl clutching.

  5. 1. Modern Orthodox cannot be compared to “Frie”. Enough said.

    2. I agree that the lobby can be a problem, but the music is the choice of the Baal Simcha. Perhaps your friend from the yeshiva days is not as yeshivish as he once was.

  6. Okay everyone chill! This dude is just overrated the whole wedding. Bro it’s nothing like a club and it was probably brothers and sisters talking! Just stop the hate! Enjoy life broooooo

  7. The Main Problem is – Too Loud! Nowadays you can’t even hear what they are playing.
    I heard when people go over to the band – they are told this is want the Ballie Simcha want.
    E/o should write on the Return Cards – if the Music is Too Loud – I’m leaving, Not just putting in Earplugs!

  8. As I get older I too am bothered by the music. But I realize that they are catering to the chassan’s friends that are a quarter my age. Music changes over the years. This doesn’t make it less Yiddish. The music of every generation composed by gedolim and mekubalim were all an influence of their music in their generation.
    The true problem in Lakewood is the number of people who live surrounded by negativity and can never see the positive in any situation. You compared the music to a club. How do you know what a club sounds like? How do you know what goyishe music on the radio sounds like? You don’t but just because you’re older and don’t recognize the music you assume is goyish. You suffer from the old time Lakewood narrow mind and are unwilling to accept that times change. You probably also criticize the fact that people are driving cars that aren’t held together by duct tape. Not everything you don’t subscribe to is goyish. And by the way, you shouldn’t be wearing a Borsalino hat, because that actually is goyish.

    • This is the comment I stand behind.

      I agree that as the times go on things progress and become less like the way it used to be. And sometimes people feel that this is a bad thing and that everything should stay exactly how they felt it was kosher. But that is not how the world works, if that was the case we would still be stuck in the late 1800s and early 19s. Where all weddings were mixed and there was no such thing as shidduch dating. I can go on and on about all the things that we do different nowadays and you would not want to go back.

      Basically that is how ultra orthodoxy works. We moderate on a per generation basis, and we do what is right for each and every generation the fact is that someone who is 30 is a completely different generation than the 24-year-olds who are getting married nowadays. Someone who is 55 is at least five or more of these generational changes away from the average person who is getting married now.

      I think the biggest mistake here is that people think that they have to stand behind everything that happens in their town. This is untrue, if you don’t like weddings with contemporary music, you are completely welcome to have only oldies playing at your wedding. You can even choose the volume at your own wedding. If it’s not your wedding you can choose not to come or to just walk in and out and say mazel tov. No one is forcing you to be part of whatever it is they would like to have at their wedding. However, it is their night and they should be able to plan it how they will enjoy it.

  9. I am a baal teshuva of some 40 years now, and grew up with the popular music of the 60s and 70s (which I admittedly still enjoy to this very day). As such, I never quite understood what “Jewish music” even means. The notes of the musical scale are aural expressions of mathematics and physics — as sound waves which vibrate at various frequencies, pitches, harmonies and the like — all of which are integral to the creation of the Borei Olam. A b-flat or f-sharp, either singly, in sequence, or in combination with other notes are neither good nor bad, right or wrong, Jewish or gentile, kosher or treif. IT’S ALL PARVE! (I’m not speaking here of lyrics of course, which is a whole different discussion).

    Problems seem to arise when human beings overlay the pure physics of music with psychological symbolisms. The notes of a Wagner symphony are intrinsically parve…but we assign negative connotations to them for historical reasons. This is human nature. But if I use the beautiful melody of, say, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence”… that’s offensive to yiddishe ears? Sorry…I don’t buy it! Call me an am ha’aretz if you like…I don’t mind. Toodles.

  10. it has to do with the chosson and kalleh and if there were boys and girls shmoozing and some what dancing then there were other issues than the music

  11. With all due respect, it is not the Chosson & Kallah’s mitzvah to be mesameach the guests, it’s our mitzvah to be mesameach them. If a guest gets the roles mixed up & feels it’s his/her right to dictate the choice of music rather than the Chosson & Kallah at their simcha that to me is purely selfish and a chutzpah. This is the work of the sotton manipulating people’s minds with these idiotic ideas just to get people to shter the simcha.

  12. Hello, I want to a wedding the other day. The kalla was 36 and never been married before. I BH was so overjoyed with the Simcha I simply couldn’t think about the style of music being played or about it’s participants.
    Thank you hashem for bringing this couple together and may they be zochr to be be binei bayis byisroel. Mazel tov!

  13. You may or may not be correct about the music, but to walk out of a chasunah of an old friend because you didn’t like the music or the crowd?!? Those are not the middos of the old Lakewood I was part of. If someone makes a Simcha, you are misameach them with a full heart and you don’t walk out on the Simcha!

  14. For those who still think “Lakewood” is what “Lakewood” was, wake up and smell the the shvits, old Lakewood died 10 years ago.

    The homes,people,drivers, the clothes we wear all part of the new Lakewood NJ. Please dont complain and put down people who spent their hard earned money to make a memorable simcha for their kids..

    The times have changed ReB Aaron Ztl
    would probably not be so delighted had he thought this through but he’s not here now and you need to grow up and move on. There are plenty of out of town communities that you can move to if the Lakewood you knew isn’t working out for you anymore.

    • sadly enough but that is 100% true. people who talk about the old lkwd all the time dont seem to understand that lkwd of today is one of the biggest Jewish cities in the world. It is the home to all types and stripes from litvish to chassidish, from breslov to Lubavitch, From Mizrachi to dati leumi, and even from EITZ to … Its the home for all bnei avrohom vyitzchok

  15. Being someone who went clubbing and listened to all types of different non Jewish music as a teenager, just watching everybody defend the music is pathetic. I do agree that today nobody is changing the music being played at weddings so quickly by any of these conversations. However truth must be told, alof of today’s music is not what is should be ( and not blaming anybody because it’s a difficult thing to fix). But to just be Dan Lkaf Zechus all the people that possibly might not be doing the right thing in the area of music, but many times seeing ppl being so easy to trash any Frum real Yeshivish or Heimish or Chasidish guy that does anything wrong whether in the way they drive, act, deal in biz, etc etc. If your going to be Dan L’Chaf Zchus do so to the driver who cut in front of you just as easily as you would defend music. And Hashkafically, wrong is wrong. Period. It doesn’t matter that were not holding up to it, but at least know and be upfront on what seems proper and what doesn’t. Otherwise how in the world are you going to change anything?? And yes we’re a million times better than alot of others out there BH! But we’re supposed to be living a higher standard. If you admit what could be better, you may actually one day stand a chance of changing it.

  16. What bothers me is the type of music we are currently into. It’s club music, electronic dance music, & music associated with the lowest people in society (1 Rebbe even put out a notice about it.) It’s sad that when we modernized our music (as will always happen) we chose the music blaring out of not from our community cars & what we hear on the street.

  17. Stop complaining and focus on all the good in Lakewood.
    I am horrified by people not having God on the table by cancer wards being populated with forum hidden by Bondi Olam having to treat so many young couples who a yearning to have families. I am horrified by the bunch of lost would who roam the streets who need our love and approval.
    So use your words carefully and try to focus on the positive rather than this judgemental sanctimonious attitude.

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