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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘simcha’

The Intolerable Loudness Of Simcha Music

Friday, July 8th, 2016

I’ve received so many letters over the years about the intolerably loud music at simchas (joyous occasions). One that sticks in my mind was from a grandmother who expressed concern at the high decibel level of the music at these functions, which she felt could be injurious to people’s hearing, especially infants who are often brought along by their parents.

She also expressed annoyance that the loudness of the music prevents people from holding conversations and often forces them to go into the lobby in order to communicate with friends and family.

I am not a physician, nor am I knowledgeable about audiological problems, so I will leave comment on those areas to professionals. But I do feel it is important to comment on the lack of derech eretz  – respect for the feelings of others.

When I shared that grandmother’s letter with readers some years ago, I was deluged with letters and e-mails from people who agreed with the grandmother.

Several medical professionals wrote in to confirm the grandmother’s point about the high decibel levels.

Most often, this problem is generational. By and large it is young people who favor this cacophonous, loud music – while mature adults, the elderly, and toddlers and infants find it unbearable.

Innumerable grandparents have confided to me that they anticipate family simchas with delight so that they can get together with relatives and friends and reconnect with them, and that they are especially pleased when they are all seated at the same table. To their dismay, however, they invariably discover that the extremely loud music inhibits them from making conversation.

Not only does this type of music give them a headache, it actually forces them out of the simcha room, consigning them to an often drafty, uncomfortable hallway. On the other hand, should they choose to remain seated at their table and attempt to talk, they have to deal with yet another problem – their vocal chords can become strained by the effort it takes to talk over the music.

There is yet a third option to which wedding guests can resort, and that is to smile, nod their heads, and pretend they hear their neighbors.

Obviously, not one of these choices is an acceptable one.

Perhaps we should trace the roots of this bombastic music. Certainly our zeidies and bubbies never indulged in it. The music at their simchas was joyous and elevating but never reached the offensive decibel levels so popular in our day. This sort of music has roots in a culture that is not Jewish and does not reflect our way.  Some might of course argue that years ago they did not have the technology to amplify music as we do today, to which I would respond that you don’t need technology to make horrifically loud music.

Early Indian tribes, with a primitive culture and lifestyle, found ways to create loud music through which they believed they were able to banish “evil spirits.” Could it be that contemporary man, in trying to escape reality, resorts to this very loud music in order to shut out the real questions of life: Who are you? What do you represent? What are your goals in life?

Could it be that we, like the Indians of yesteryear, are attempting to banish the insanity in our society and have forgotten the sweet sounds of the music that was once reflective of our simchas?

I must add that this intolerable noise is not limited to weddings or bar mitzvahs but assails us everywhere. It can come from a car in a parallel lane in which the driver believes he has license to inflict his obsessions on others. Many of our young people have become so addicted to this music that they are never without the technological gadgets that saturate them with this sound.

Perhaps the time has come for parents to tell their children that at simchas they have a responsibility to consider the needs of their grandparents and other guests.  Perhaps the time has come for young people not only to be concerned by what they want, but also by what is right and comfortable for others.

In the interim, I hope and pray that the day will speedily come when we will hear the joyous music of chassan and kallah that emanates from Yerushalayim and brings gladness to all hearts.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

A Fabulous Evening For The Fashion-Minded

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

What brought together hundreds of Jewish fashionistas to attend an event with women with taste, class and an appreciation for the finer things in life and for an evening filled with laughter, joy, camaraderie, kindness?

The night was not just an amazing evening of cocktails, and fashion shows for women and children, with beautiful table settings and a delicious and creative menu, along with hundreds of raffles with the ability to win thousands of dollars in prizes, but also an evening devoted to the heartwarming ability of so many women to give, to share and to support their friends and neighbors in need in their community and elsewhere.

What brought over 450 women and 100 volunteers together for this amazing extravaganza is an organization called: Couture For A Cause.

Michal Weinstein of Woodmere and Esther Silber-Berg of Hewlett, originally conceived Couture For A Cause seven years ago; philanthropists in their own right and childhood friends. The organization was originally created to “raise awareness for important charities…with glamour and panache…Fundraising with a Flair,” said Michal Weinstein. Their motto, “Putting the fabulous into fundraising,” has been fundraising through fabulous events since 2007.

(L-R) Beverly Pomerantz, Rita Nussbaum, Mimi Thurm, Paula Weinstein Miriam Lifschutz

(L-R) Beverly Pomerantz, Rita Nussbaum, Mimi Thurm, Paula Weinstein Miriam Lifschutz

Michal Lara Weinstein, an advertising and marketing graduate of Stern College for Women and School of Visual Arts, is the creative director of mlwdesign, a full service web and graphic design firm that specializes in social media strategies, graphic design, and e-commerce. Despite her very busy schedule, juggling her successful business and family, Michal has put together creative fundraisers for various organizations, including Puah, Chai Lifeline, Ohel and, of course, Couture For A Cause.

Esther Silber-Berg is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, where she earned a degree in fashion merchandising and marketing. Esther inherited her fundraising ambitions from her father, and was influenced by her mother who ran an interior design firm before deciding to start on her own. As a young girl she also served on the board of various charities, which helped mold Esther into a business savvy woman with a love for giving back.

This year’s “Joy of Life” event benefited the Jewish Kidney Foundation, Project Renewal, and the Shirat Devorah Foundation.

At a chance meeting over a year ago, at a benefit for Project Renewal (an organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from various forms of kidney disease and to saving lives through kidney donation), Michal, who said, “I don’t believe in chances” met Sharon Langert from Lakewood, otherwise known as Fashion-isha, an event planner, and designer whose goal is to find the balance between the practical and the beautiful while upholding the high standard of fine and modest woman. Sharon, a mother of five, donated her kidney through Renewal to another Jewish mom who is thriving today.

The Shirat Devorah Foundation was started to assist a local mother of four children, struggling to get back on her feet after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home. In the midst of the frustrating fights with insurance companies and FEMA for reimbursement for the natural disaster, Devorah Schochet was diagnosed with ALS.

(L-R) Breezy Beckerman, Sharon Langert, Michal Weinstein. Esther Silber-Berg, chairs of the event.

(L-R) Breezy Beckerman, Sharon Langert, Michal Weinstein. Esther Silber-Berg, chairs of the event.

The wonderful women working for CFAC decided that an event is not just a party, but also a means to demonstrate their achdus, unity, love and support of their neighbor, Devorah.

Michal and Esther, these two dynamic and powerhouse women, were joined for this year’s event by Sharon Langert and Breezy Schwartz, and 100 volunteers who worked tirelessly for six months to make the event happen. Breezy, known for her great shop on Central Avenue in Cedarhurst, NY, became involved with CFAC as a way to “give back to a community that has been so wonderful and supportive.” The women who are involved “inspire and drive me… [T]heir creativity and passion for each cause is contagious.”

This year, Breezy ran the raffle department, working 24/7, and as head of raffles she was able through the generosity of the givers/donors to obtain donations for the raffles of over $100,000, e.g., watches, trips, jewelry, vacation and spa packages, wigs, just to name some of the various prizes. Just walking into Breezy’s, her shop, is a bit of heaven and while offering every kind of baking and kitchen supplies, gifts, housewares, etc. she also offers classes and recipes and ideas if you don’t know what to do with all these items.

Margaret E. Retter

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/queens-long-island/a-fabulous-evening-for-the-fashion-minded/2013/06/20/

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