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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Not Music To My Ears!


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The only people who enjoy loud music are those who are already hearing-impaired from years of exposure to too loud music. For them, the music is at a level that they can hear well. They are like those annoying people on the subway, planes or in waiting rooms with earphones coming out of their heads. Their music is so loud that people sitting many rows away from them can hear pounding vibrations. Obviously, these future hearing aid consumers need to put the music onto the highest volume level because they can no longer hear it on a lower setting!

Unless the musicians have day jobs selling hearing aids, I can’t imagine why they play music that can damage eardrums. Not to mention that they are ruining their own hearing as well – although some may have unseen earplugs stuck in their ears at each of their gigs.

Not everybody dances as soon as the music starts up. People want to continue their schmoozing, especially since simchas tend to bring together people who have lost touch or whose paths rarely cross during their day to day activities. For many, it’s a chance to catch up on each other’s lives. And they don’t want to get hoarse doing it!

Since I take care to look my best at a simcha, I am rather annoyed at having to walk around with my fingers in my ears (and my elbows up in the air.) I find myself admiring those guests who have had the foresight to bring earplugs. I have seen this at more than one gathering but I rarely remember to do so myself. (For any young entrepreneurs out there – instead of a lemonade stand, think about selling cotton balls on the sidewalk in front of the hall.)

If the host of the simcha knows that the band will likely will play loud music – which some do in spite of his request not to (or due to a different interpretation of what loud means) – a selection of ear-protectors in the middle of each table – the kind you wear at shooting ranges – may be a more appreciated option than a floral centerpiece.

The bottom line is that music can make or break a wedding. Of course, the food and its service is also a big factor in how lovely the guests will perceive the affair to be. But the ability to enjoy the simcha and participate in dancing and socializing with friends and relatives is the key to its success. Music that is too loud is like scalding soup. It hurts. And the pain takes your focus off the simcha and on your discomfort. When a guest is in distress, the simcha is no longer a simcha, it is a tircha – a hardship one must unwillingly endure – like a root canal.

When one’s shoes are too tight, they can be removed. However, the only way to relieve oneself from destructive, painful noise/music is to actually distance yourself from it by leaving the ballroom and standing in the hallway or leaving earlier than planned. Having to do so is not fair to the friends and relatives who made the effort to come and share in the family’s joy – especially if they traveled a long distance.

Nor is it fair to the baalei simcha to have their beautiful affair prematurely emptied of participants.

Ear shattering, guest-chasing “music” at my simcha? I wouldn’t hear of it!

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/not-music-to-my-ears-2/2013/05/24/

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