Sunday, December 11, 2005

How the Moshav Band changed My Life.

One of the sad things about the frum world is that certain types of music are looked down upon.

Anything that doesn’t involve an Oy or a Vey or a combined Oy Yoi Yoy Vey is considered “goyish music” Let’s give this a try and you play along at home ok?

"Oy ... Yoy ...La La, Lah, Ai Yai Yoy … Vey Vai Dee Dum Dum …"
Jewish Music or Goyish Music?

If you answered Jewish Music YOU are CORRECT!

Ok, next round ....

“Return Again, Return Again, Return to the land of your soul. Return to who you are, return to what you are, return to where you are, born and reborn again.”

Are those English words? Is this Israeli?Are these boys religious? No Piano or Horn section? And that’s a guitar they are sturmming in the background? What doe they mean by "reborn?"


Wanna play one more time? Yes you do! … Come on, you know it. Ready?

Alright, Jewish or Goyish …

"Rachaim .. Oy Yoy Vey … Rachaim … Kvetch, Cry, Kvelt … Rachaim .. Vey Oy Vay …"

JEWISH! … Ding Ding … Correct!

Next …One last round ...

"Hot, sun is going down, my wheels are off the ground, the clouds up in the sky are in my face, until I come back … whoh, L-rd, the things you can’t afford. But I will find that road, I will find my way back home again.”
What part of Tehilim is this from?? Which “L-rd” is he talking about, why didn’t he just say Hashem? Thing you can’t afford? What is is this what cant he afford? What road are talking about here? Is that a guitar again? And still no Piano or Horn section? GOYISH.

Seeing a trend?

Growing up in a very religious household, and later going through school and yeshiva, there was only one selected music called “jewish music” anything that strayed from the basic Oy and Yoy’s were termed Goyish. Even if it was soulful and had thoughtful English lyrics.

During the time I’ve referred to in past posts here as my “religious crisis of faith” I was very heavy into grunge and rock. There was something very calming about it. My family was going through a lot of personal stuff and me being away, couldn’t do anything to help. I often felt helpless and somehow this type of sound was very settling.

As things got better, I still hung on to the music that got me through it. Even today, when I pop in a CD I like to hear loud, noisy, rock music. Maybe it reminds me that things could be worse. They have been worse, and that life is what you make of it. I can’t begin to explain the effect music has on a person. We can all atest to that on our own.

During the same time I was hanging around Chabad house a lot I started dating this girl. She was also very into the same types of music I was into. One year on my birthday she bought me this CD as a present. I had no idea what it was, and had never heard of it before. The cover did not look impressive, and I had a hard time believing it was going to be any good. she said "trust me, you'll love it."

A couple days later while making a long drive I checked it out. Wow, I really loved this music. It was like... good Jewish music. Could that be? I knew that in Yeshiva this CD would never be allowed. Most Jewish CD’s have one English song, and the lyrics are so cheesy as not to offend anyone. All Hebrew words are left Hebrew, nothing is translated, and the usually contain words like, Yearn, Soul, Hashem, Western Wall and Moshiach.

Not only that, but the songs in this CD don’t all come directly from Tehilim, or some cutesy Gemara piece. They are soulful, real lyrics, with a point, a story, a message and they rock too.

Believe it or not, and I’m sure this was not the only reason, but when I was listening to this band, the spark of which I always talk about, seem to have been ignited. I was enjoying something Jewish. I felt like this band was my little secret. A good Jewish CD. Jewish folks, singing Jewish songs, and they rocked. Imagine that.

A month later I bought the rest of their CD’s and since then have purchased anything they produced.

If you know anyone that wants to hear something Jewish, but thinks all Jewish music stinks. If they prefer Nirvana to Shloime Dachs, offer them this CD. Who knows, it may really return them home.


AS said...

I understand exactly where you are coming from. I do however have to say this is a bit over the top. There are plenty of songs without Oy ... Yoy ...La La, Lah, Ai Yai Yoy … Vey Vai Dee Dum Dum. It's not considered goyish because there is no kvetching. They may consider it goyish becasue they feel the style and tone is overly "rock and role" or "hip hop". I'm not sating I agree ..just an observation.

Chaim said...

Shloime, that's all you took from that post?

Trust me, I would have got in trouble in my Yeshiva if they found a Moshav Band CD in my room.

My point is that "they" are too quick to judge certain music, and that "they" don't know the power it could have on someone (like it did for me)

Just remember, once again, that the styles of music typical ai yai yoy depicts today, sound exactly like general music sounded 35-30 years ago.

Anyway, this wasnt meant as a Jewish Music post, just that something that "they" would have deemed traif when I was in school or home, was a major catalyst in returning ME back to frumkeit.

AS said...

That's a good point. Actually reminds me of a story from Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld ztl. There were a couple of students who had attended a concert ( maybe it was the rolling stomes not sure)and he brought in each student individually and spoke to them. To a couple he said "how was it", did you have a good time? Then to another he yelled at him...he understood the levels of his talmidim and how to deal with them appropriately.

Stacey said...

This was so interesting, Life-of-Rubin. How awesome that their music ignited a spark in you.

I have never heard of them, but I will get my hands on one of their CDs. I am curious now.

Unknown said...

I was sooo laughing at the lyrics. How about Ofra Haza. I love love love her and Divahn.. YOu'd like them. Try those ladies out, they rock as well. There are a few more and as soon as I remember who they are I will send the names to you

Great post


PsychoToddler said...

You're preaching to the choir here, Chaim. OOPS! GOYISH!

-Moshe Skier

Banned in Yeshivos for 20 years and going strong

Chaim said...

.. very funny PT, that's quite a record, very inspiring. I only hope Blue Fringe and Matisyahu can hold a candle to that number. BTW which choir from Miami or Harlem? lol

Pragmatician said...

You remind me of me talking to my sisters. They listen to the oy vai voy crap the whole day. I told them that a song where the same lines (max 5 words) is repeated over and over for 3 minutes just isn't music!
Guess what.
“At least it's not like your goyische music”! The other day I think I caught one of them humming "have you never been mellow"...

B2 said...

Another fan of Matisyahu chiming in -- you can have good music that is Hamish without being treacly so.

Chana said...

I'm going to go a bit further...let's suppose it was non-Jewish music. Then you would definitely be in trouble with your Yeshiva.

But suppose the music is not only beautiful but actually touches you in some way? This doesn't only need to be traditionally classical music, 'Romance of the Violin,' and such things. But what about 'The Carpenters?' Or even Josh Groban?

You can learn from everything, and you can find the values of a Jew in almost everything as well.

To censor any type of music is, to me, a crime. Because it depends on the person.

And even the teenager listening to B96 or Kiss FM, who hangs upon Eminem's every song or Madonna's 'Confessions' does feel some kind of connection to the lyrics- whether it is because they express his/ her feelings at the time, something they've gone through, or simply allows them an outlet for Halakhically "unacceptable" emotions and feelings (sexuality, for example).

Everything has its purpose.

People grow out of music, find new favorites, learn new things. It depends on you...

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Yours Truly said...

Agreed my friend. I love the song Come Back. I'm making Aliyah in August and this is my Aliyah Anthem. It motivates me, occasionally to tears, and makes me crave for Israel. Good music does that. It stirs the soul. Those in the religious elite need to understand that there are good things, G-dly things in this world outside of borough park, or some other haredic equal. G-d stimulates so many souls in so many ways. Why deny him because his method of communication is outside the comfort zone.

Good luck and good health.

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Anonymous said...

This is because you come from an Ashkenazi background. If you were Sephardic, you wouldn't have been told this music is Jewish and that music is Goyish...

For me, all that Ashkenazi junk music is Goyish! Where do you think they learned it?? From the goyim of Poland and Germany.

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