Op-ed: Trapped In A Cage Called Golus: A Yeshiva Boy Has No Beard To Shave Off

By Shalom Schor. Yes, it is sadly true. Eventually some can be unmasked, and one’s true features can be presented to the world. It is however a misguided mature choice to shave a beard. Yet granted it is an adult choice. Whatever can be said on behalf of those molded from their beginning in the form of complete spiritual corruption and distortion; with seemingly public approval and even support. Will there ever be a way for those cast in muck to have an opportunity to properly present themselves – without a conscious realization that they were so terribly disfigured from early youth? Perhaps the Payos will yet go…. and so sadly- they will never be given a fair chance….. I pray that I am wrong.

This, to accurately convey to you and ascribe at least this Jewish author’s Jewish gut reaction. A reaction that is far more then warranted. CHILUL HASHEM! CHILUL HASHEM. Oyish. Hashem Yerachaim on those young souls lost this morning on a CBS stage- or should I say cage. Ensnared by Golus.

How dare I remain silent. How dare you remain silent. A public outcry is warranted- is demanded. It is required, lest we all be held culpable.

Yeshiva and Boys* are a catchy name for any group within Klal Yisroel. The Holy name represents, at least to us of an ancient and seemingly previous generation, an initial second of reaction to something connected to the source and wellspring of authentic continuation of Orthodox God Fearing Jewry. The Yalmuka, pure eyes and voices, all so ever convincing, and yes real and live; our Holy Tzoin Kodshim; Klal Yisroel’s guarantee to our creator that Torah will remain unfretted, uncompromised in Klal Yisroel. Our precious children. הנרות הללו קודש הם: ואין להם רשות להשתמש בהם.

While any independent group, utilizing the freedom the United States offers, can take up this title, or any convincing title for that matter, and in fact convey any idea or thought that American Law allows, the name of Yeshiva connotes for many, an affiliation, or at least a trace to something of a traditional authentic Jewsih nature.

Yet to call yourself a name, and in this case with the gall to preface it with the words “Yeshiva and Boys” and then submit that same group to present and enact a polar opposite of what that Holy name has represented throughout the history of time, defies sensible words, and the action can best be summarized by calling it perverted and immoral.

How dare Tzion Kodshim, young innocent souls be subjected to ‘freely’ choose to perform on the stage of Orailim, to entertain millions of those who still deride us; Eisov Soneh L’Yaakov; all the while still seeking for a world free of Yeshivos and Chanukah. How dare children who represent the title of those who are not even interrupted to rebuild the Bais Hamikdosh be paraded and bandied about before those who were טמאו כל השמנים – and, with the appreciation of their very own Shepard be representative and a living embodiment of פרצו חומות מגדלי.

The tragedy of this morning’s public circus is of a magnitude equal if not greater to the murder and dismemberment of one of ours- by one of ours. I write this not for reaction – nor to drive the point home. But rather- because this is a completely accurate ascription of what took place, and all too true in the spiritual sense. This is a public spiritual abuse of not one child, but a large group of children, and all those that follow in their footsteps, the abuse of their religious flame and future; all for nothing more than the obvious publicity and financial gain. Evil exploitation to say the least.

הנרות הללו קודש הם: ואין להם רשות להשתמש בהם.

Where is the hue and cry of all those counselors and professionals of how tragic this event is, how traumatic to the development of not just those performers, but all those who so seek to emulate them. Where are the public activists who seek to protect our youngsters from all evil? Where is the convention roundtable of how to confront this very public abuse of children’s Neshomos and the squelching of our Yidishe National Treasure of Biyshonis. – Where are the hotline numbers for those of us who are beyond pained and traumatized…

Sadly, where are the callers for that hotline number?

The images of Frum, Yeshiva children who look, and yes, even sound just like your precious ones, grotesquely swinging and swimming all sorts of gyrations across a stage before all the world to applaud; all the while with pure voices rising up in a macabre quasi comical oxymoron of just who they are named to be; singing about the Holiday which is the very antithesis of what they are actually doing.

These poor children, spiritually disfigured for ever more, exploited. Worst of all, seemingly tolerated, by a generation that has slowly become diluted to what the Light of Chanuka truly represents. הנרות הללו קודש הם

It is not just the Yeshiva nor the boys who are trapped in this cage called Golus…..

It is the earnest prayer of this author that the Holy Prayer that many offer up prior to lighting those Holy Chanukah Licht of: ולא ימוש התורה מפינו, ומפי זרענו, ומפי זרע זרענו מעתה ועד עולם, ונזכה לבנים תלמידי חכמים, אמן כן יהי רצון be an added protection for these innocent children; that they be freed from their solitude of performing to perfection of just what Golus is; along with the rest of Amcha Bais Yisroel from this cage called Golus. יהי רצון מלפני אבינו שבשמים שהתפילה שאנו מתפללים יהיו מרוצה ומקובל לפניך.

Wishing one and all a Freilich Chanuka. Hopefully, we will all be Zoche to the true light of Holiness.

* While it is painfully obvious to who and what this article is referring – I will not use their full publicly recognized name – and not because of Halacha, as that is not applicable in so obvious and Public Chilul Hashem.

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  1. Is this really what you are focusing your time effort and energy on? There are much more important things to worry about.

    “The tragedy of this morning’s public circus is of a magnitude equal if not greater to the murder and dismemberment of one of ours- by one of ours.”

    So I guess if the YBC was disbanded and all of it’s children started murdering instead of singing – that would make you happier????

    The only explanation that I can think of for this letter is that you got mixed up and think Purim is this week. Or else you are just seriously confused!!!

  2. In this world we live in we are subject to a terrible thing called “desensitization”. We are desensitized to what is correct and okay because the more you see something the more acceptable it becomes in your eyes. When a person gets used to hearing Jewish songs that are based on tunes with questionable origins, such a tunes that were created from a person with unclean thoughts…then it starts to become acceptable to hear these tunes. We are taught that the person who creates a song imparts some of their hashkofos and kochos into the song…that is the inital problem with listening to non jewish music in the first place. Its metama the neshama. The jewish music scene is a very fine line between halacha and hashkafa. I think the main point of your article is that its terrible that people have lost their notice, their sensitivity, their understanding, to what is kodosh and what is not. Its a very personal yet global issue. Anyone who publicly says “who cares, and whats your point,” is a victim to this epidemic called desensitization. Like a gps, we need to “recalculate” and try to take stock of what is truly the emes. Your article is well written, and extremely poignant in these times of “everything goes”. Thank you.

  3. Whilst in my opinion it may not be appropriate to perform for TV,
    I don’t think there was any chillul Hashem – aderabah! let all the goyim see how wholesome & talented our children are, truly a breath of fresh air in a corrupted world – we can be a light unto the nations showing that they can also strive to make a better more moral world for their children even in the 21st century.

  4. A חילול השם would be an action that provokes someone to say, אוי למי שלמד בנו תורה. That does not apply in this case.

    If you choose, as I do, not to watch television, that’s perfectly fine. And if you choose, as I do, not to listen to the Screaming Boys Choir, that’s perfectly fine as well.

  5. wat are u trying to say? here is some quotes from eli gerstner: “I told him, during the month of December, all you hear on the radio are holiday – Xmas songs,” he told COLlive.com. “The Jewish population may be a small percentage of the population – but shouldn’t we be represented and have holiday songs of our own?” “This deal for us is not about the money,” he added. “We would have to sell thousands of CD’s to make a penny back from the money we invested. For us it’s about reaching unaffiliated Jews who are searching for something Jewish.”
    so there thats why they did it

  6. How sad. Here we have an anonymous Op-Ed piece trashing what amounts to a kidush hashem. The poster should be brave enough to have his/her name included – given the harsh accusation, and public shaming of a group of people by doing so.

    Clearly the OP uses the Internet and pays attention to TV, and is therefor throwing stones in a glass house.

    I would prefer that this web site not dignify this kind of destructive posting. It’s pure ugliness. The choir and its leaders should be proud of showing a beautiful face of frumkeit (and this complement comes from someone who actually dislikes the music and the specific song).

  7. i hate people that respond with the “a whole school of kids blew up today and this is what you care about” rant. its such a stupid and weak response. we all b”h are very saddened about the tragic events that go on but we also have views and opinions. this letter is written very well and a little to fancy for the average scooper but its all about the money so dont swing the kidush hashem card we all know its about the publicity which drives up sales. eli gerstner is a great guy but a business guy non the less. people like music but everyone loves money.

  8. I agree with every word.

    Poster # 13 “The Rat.”
    Clearly your english comprehension not the best.

    The writer of this letter did post his name.

    His point- if you should look for it is that Jewsih kids are exploited in unjewish ways by jews…. singing and acting to songs they sing in a venue that is opposit for what they sing and stand for.

    Read it again. And again. If you need to.

  9. Exploited?….grotesque gyrating? … disfigured? …..murdered?…..evil?
    I fear for the mind of the individual who wrote this letter….what evil this person must have in his own soul. Any person who can use adjectives like these to describe a group of boys singing has major issues and should seek counseling immediately

  10. the writer’s name is included – its the first 3 words of the op ed – did you even bother reading the whole op ed piece?? Although I’m not in agreement with everything that he wrote I don’t believe that any real Kiddush HaShem was made here and there was really no point in bringing the children to the television studio.

  11. The writer expresses very strongly the idea that Jewish children who are a focal point of attention for other Jewsih children should be held to strict standards. The writer of this did a good and strong job. Thank you.

    To # 12 doesn’t get it says:
    One may never serve non kosher to another jew regardless of his affiliation. It may be true that ‘kiruv’ is in gertsners mind, but serving trief to attract unaffiliated is not the way to go. Certainly not having Jewish children prepare and serve it.

    # 16 Anon-
    I’m surprised with your comment as you are usually on the mark.
    You goofed here.
    The op used strong words- but not one of them was directed at the children. he described what they were doing, but consistently took aim at the ones promoting their behavior and the entire aura of what was done.

    The op obviously understands jewish ways better than you do. So being he is able to properly portray the distance from the threshold of expected Jewish themes expected from Yeshiva boys.

    Anon- face it, this was tragic.

  12. To #18

    Tragic?? I still don’t get what is tragic about the boys singing?

    Tragic to me is ….the fighting in EY over segregated bussing (and other things) and have it hit public airways…. tragic is the open anti semitism, and yidden wanting to stick their heads in the sand… tragic is children sitting at home pleading with their parents to let them go to school, when no school has accepted them… tragtic is all the children off the derech,..tragic is girls and boys in their 30-40-50’s still not married.

    All I saw when the boys were singing was good P.R.for the jewish people, and a slight chance for a secular jews to be proud of being jewish.

    I may be off the mark this time, but you must admit that the writer was way too angry to take this letter at face value. There has to be some underlying cause for this much anger. I did not mean to sound insensitive when suggesting counseling, however his letter disturbed me greatly.

  13. I see we are back to not posting commnets that disagre with those who write here WHY? again nothing derogitory or disrespectful just a differance of oppinion so I guess freedom of expression is not allowed here SAD !!!

  14. #1
    I’m sick and tired of this faulty argument.
    Without getting involved in this issue at all I will tell you that anyone that hides behind this argument is clearly feeling insecure about the issue at hand.

    Are we to stop talking about all issues except murder and molestation?

  15. I stand corrected – I missed the byline – thanks anonymous #17.

    Chaim – indeed my English comprehension is quite good. I completely disagree with the tone of the OP and the rambling condemnation.

    TV is not evil – how you use it can be. Music is not evil – what you sing can be. One can raise holiness or lower it. Here we are having a conversation about frumkeit on the Internet (not evil).

    No souls were lost by putting the kids on TV – in fact souls may have been gained. So yes – a Kiddush Hashem.

  16. The tragic thing that happened was that of all Jewish Music to be publicized like this, it had to be this song. It’s a horrible piece and the lyrics make no sense! Couldn’t they have thought of lyrics that wouldn’t make people cringe as they tried to make sense of them?

  17. A basic learning of nes chanuka will allow one to realize that what the Yivonim wanted at that time was not the complete abandonment of the Torah, rather that one should look upon the Torah as any other “subject” one could learn Torah just as one could learn math, and the study of Torah did not inherently “uplift” a person more then the study of math or other secular subjects.
    That was the nisoyon of Chanuka and it was against that, that the Maccabes were moser nefesh to go to battle and win.
    The op-ed writer is pointing out quite eloquently that what was done today was an attempt to show that Yeshiva is the same as any other school and Yeshiva Bochrim are the same as any others, it is precisley against that concept that the war of Chanuka was waged.
    The op-ed writer may call it a Chillul Hashem but I see it more as a tragedy, a tragedy that so many people from our “macheneh” fail to understand the basics of what the Menorah stands for.
    The Medrash states that Klal Yisroel is compared to shemen just as Shemen does not mix with other mashkeh so to Klal Yisroel cannot mix with other Umos.

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