web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Soothing the Savage Breast

In a million years I would have never dreamed that people who look and dress the same way and very likely share the same religious values could be so radically different.
Singing Chasidic duo from Jerusalem, Aryeh and Gil Gat.

Singing Chasidic duo from Jerusalem, Aryeh and Gil Gat.

Late 17th century English poet and playwright William Congreve coined a phrase that in my view has never been truer: Music has charms to soothe the savage breast.

In the video below, one will see two Chasidic brothers from Jerusalem, Aryeh and Gil Gat, singing the Simon and Garfunkel classic ‘The Sound of Silence’. It was on an Israeli television show featuring new talent called ‘Rising Star’ which I assume is the Israeli version of ‘America’s Got Talent’.



As I watched this video I thought of similarly dressed people who can indeed be characterized as savage. Unfortunately there are far too many of them in places like Meah Shearim and Ramat Bet Shemesh B. In one of the more memorable videos – people who looked like this can be seen chanting and shouting disgusting insults at an 8 year old girl on her way to a Religious Zionist school.

I thought to myself, ‘What a contrast!’ In a million years I would have never dreamed that people who look and dress the same way and very likely share the same religious values could be so radically different.

Now I don’t know if these two singers have another side that would motivate them to yell at little 8 year old girls on other occasions. But my heart tells me that they would never do anything like that.

I will admit that these two singing Chasidim are not typical at all. Not only does their community not sing Simon and Garfunkel, they probably never heard of them… And if they did – many of them would probably condemn them as secular Jews with secular values and not worthy of our attention.

But not all of them. In my view neither these two gentlemen nor the extremists who constantly cause a Chilul HaShem are typical of this community. Most of them fall between these two extremes. That said I believe there is a lot more tolerance for the extremists whose values they support if not their actions – than there is for two singers who sing secular songs on TV. At the same time I can’t help thinking that if the reverse was true, it would curtail the kind of Chilul HaShem one sees so often.

It is interesting to read some of the comments at the site of that YouTube video. Of those I read the reviews were very positive – some of them even moving. And most of the reviewers did not have Jewish sounding names. It is also interesting to note that they got a standing ovation from at least one of the judges – who was obviously secular because of the way she dressed.

Which to me once again shows that there are no inherent prejudices against Chasidim or anyone else because of the way they look. The only time they are judged unfavorably is when they do things like emotionally abuse an 8 year old girl or similarly disgusting acts.

Music is a very difficult phenomenon to explain. It can calm one down or incite hyper-activity. It can raise emotions of joy and emotions of sorrow. It can sooth and it can irritate. I happen to love music of virtually all genres. Some more than others… but all. I especially love the kind of ballads sung by these two gentlemen. Whether it’s Carlebach, Fried, Shwecky, McCartney, John, or Joel… when I hear one of their ballads, I tend to stop what I’m doing for a few moments and just listen. It is soothing.

If only the savage breasts of Meah Shearim would allow themselves to be soothed that way. Who knows where that would lead.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Soothing the Savage Breast”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.

Bibi speaks resolutely in forums like the UN but we don’t see that strength on the ground here.

Jewish archaeological finds

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but no, I haven’t lost my mind and no, I am not kidding.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Discover the motivations and the emotions that may affect investing.

This piece partner- no it was not a spelling mistake- they desire piece after piece of our Land.

President Obama showed courageous leadership with his decision to attack “Islamic State” despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The solution to the friction with Hareidim on El Al flights is so simple and obvious, it amazes me that it hasn’t been implemented yet.

Global resources flow to young and capable descendants of Arabs who left Palestine over 60 years ago

There was a problem: A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27

Obama’s speech was the epitome of chutzpah and hypocrisy.

After Israeli-Arab and Zionist Mohammed Zoabi expressed his support for Israel, he was forced to go into hiding for his safety…

Here is your chance to show your appreciation to the IDF!

This video of IDF soldiers singing one of the most powerful prayers Jews say on the holiest day of the year is simply amazing!

When I think back to one year ago it actually feels like a lifetime ago; I was truly another person.

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Brit Milah

Though the Talmud doesn’t give instructions, Metzitza has always been done B’Peh – by oral suction.

ethics

If not scared by God be scared by man; Hopefully ethics will integrate into lives for proper reasons

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

Rabbi Fink: “There are many ‘true believers who can’t even be in the presence of Orthodox Judaism.”

“The Obama administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends.”

1st thing that must be done: tear down that wall; 2nd thing: allocate empty classrooms to Charedim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/soothing-the-savage-breast/2013/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: