Op-Ed: Using A Tragedy To Advance Your Career Is Wrong

op-edSome may not like the words I’m writing, but I just had to get it out of my system. We’ve seen it time and time again after a tragedy (be it with the 9/11 attacks, the Mumbai massacre and most recently with the Leiby Kletzky tragedy) that some – especially those who have never been able to ‘make it’ in their music or ‘pruductions’ career – take the opportunity to shine in the light by putting out a ‘heartbroken’ song while nerves around the world are shot.

It is absolutely wrong.

Especially, when nobody even heard your name before and you suddenly ‘pop out’ out of nowhere so your name could be attached to this tragedy as this soulful singer who’s simply out there to express the feelings of the general public through his ‘extreme talents’.

Don’t use open wounds and people’s emotions to try and showcase your amazing talents to the world.

You want to do something because you really feel with the pain of the family? No problem. How about putting together a fund for the family the way Rabbi Eisenberger did to assist the family in this dire time? That’s called putting the tragedy to good use. (of course self introspection along with other things can’t either harm).

But to go and jump into the studio and make a music video portraying yourself as the worlds soul-singer is in my opinion completely wrong, distasteful and completely insensitive to the situation.

In my humble opinion, you’ve just made a name for yourself as a singer who uses tragedies and opportunities such as these to jump on the bandwagon to try and advance your career.

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  1. G-d bless you!

    Every word true!

    Two seconds after this little boy is sliced and diced these singers pop out of the woodwork singing songs and posting pictures of themselves staring down in supposed shock and pain and numbness.

    It is disgusting.

    If you want to do something put together a fund for him.

    You so know that will never ever happen.

    Cuz giving away money is no fun. Kavod Lishmo is fun. And singing. And frowning.


  2. Why don’t you say the same thing about all the orginazations for helping and having there names all over the news – do you consider that taking advantage!!! NO – they are doing what they do and through that they help the situation – he is doing what he does and contributing to the situation the way he can – through what he does. The food vendors – gave food, the organizers – organized, the Rabonim – gave chizuk (or opened funds to help), the singers – sang..
    Why are you saying that it’s all about money.

  3. I beg to differ. From a dan lichaf zichus perspective, these singers posess a talent where they can bring out peoples emotion regarding tragic incidents in the form of song and I think its a beutiful thing. For me and them alike,Song helps express emotion like nothing else . perhaps this is not true for you as no two people are alike

  4. I honestly believe that these singers mean well; it’s their way of reacting to a terrible situation, and they want to inspire the rest of us.
    However, there’s a time and place for everything, and at a time when the community is reeling from a terrible tragedy, their videos are inappropriate.
    They would do well to realize the way their efforts are viewed: as self-promoting, money-making ventures that take advantage of the worst tragedies.

  5. it’s the timing. the first reaction should be to do things for the family and for Leiby’s neshama. after that is taken care of, they could sell their singles and again donate the money to the family or tzedakah.

  6. These singers are in a no win situation.
    Even if they try to use the g-d given talents, there are those who look negatively upon them. Just like each organization has their specialty, or niche, so do these singers. It’s easy for the writer to quarterback and tell the singers to start a fund, while he’s sitting behind a screen just criticizing. If your a fundraiser, use your talents, and start a fund! If your a web designer go make a nice memorable web page! At least they are using their talents in a positive way.

  7. How about that. Make a song. sell the album.. and give the money to the family. they will prbably need ot fo a logn time to help them get thrugh therapy and who knows what else kind of help they may need. and anyone who can should do what they can from their positoin to help them.

  8. i agree 100% with this Op-ed but he left out a group of people that belonged in his article.The same goes for all the Phd’s that i never heard of, who are giving me their opinions on how I (who they never met before) should talk to my child (who they also never met) about the tragedy.

    They are also just using a tragedy to further their careers.

  9. the negativity has to stop everyone likes to sound smart by putting everyone else down. enough im sick of this already……if its not something dangerous or detrimental keep your comments/feelings to yourself please.

  10. I am not referring to someone like Lipa who is already an established ‘pop-star’ and does not need a video to advance his career. I’m referring to new singers who need the lime light and can’t find it unless they (ab)use tragic opportunities to do so.

  11. To the author of this article: Very well thought out and you make a number of strong points. On the flip side, though, you must realize that collectively we are all still grieving over this incident, as well as other incidents. People make themselves feel better when they use their “talents,” be it in writing or music, to say something shmaltzy after a tradegdy. While I understand the need for people to do these things, I will not waste my time reading or listening to these things.

    Therefore, I cannot totally agree with what your wrote. Though it is wrong to use a tradegdy as a vehicle to promote your perceived talent, some of these people are just trying to deal with their grief through song etc. For those people who use this as a vehicle to promote themselves, your article is right on.

  12. People do good things and you find the need to question them on a public blog? Someone is trying to help you overcome this tragedy by giving advice…….U CRITICIZE!

    Someone makes a nice song……..U CRITICIZE!

  13. sorry folks. I agree. I think it is acting like a vulture to jump on other people’s tradgeties. i also take note that all of the sudden we have to list 1001 experts with their spin on how to talk to your kids about this and that. For crying out loud don’t these people have a Rav? Are all parents a bunch of helpless babies that they can’t talk to their kids?. Is this tradgedy and different than the zunder commandos of auschwittz? i am the child of a holocaust survivor and i don’t need anyone telling me how I should talk to my kids about the Holocaust. I talk to them as my father ZL talked to me about it. I talk streight and to the point with no candy coating. Stop making Klal Yisroel into a bunch of little wimps. Should we obstain from telling the story of Tisha Ba’av because it doesn’t sound nice????

  14. To be honest with you…
    If I were the family G-d forbid…I’d probably just want everyone to go away…
    Stop singing..analyzing..advising..memorializing…just go away…everyone…

  15. Smart1. You make a very valid point. We see this all the time people giving advise in a situation that needs to be on a more personal level. What’s good for one parent or for one child is not good for another. Yet time and time again we have these “professionals” giving blanket advise about this and many Chinuch topics.

    It doesn’t make any sense. Unless your just trying to sound like the worlds genius and further your career!

  16. @ Heartbroken: It is unrealistic to expect advice from a professional psychologist on a personal level for everyone. Better blanket advice for those who choose to use it than no professional advice at all!

  17. All these people out there giving advice, writing letters and theories to blogs have what is known as “The Meshichist Syndrome.” All of a sudden they are going to “save the world.”
    What we need to do is look to our Gedolim to see how they “teitch-up” the situation. (and of course do some personal introspection and do personal tesuvah).

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