Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin

It's never smart to handle hot bombs. What can be hotter than a Pop-bomb adored by so many? And what could be more removed than a rabbi from that flaming symbol known to those of us that keep up with what's in and what's out?

Jews have never been afraid to take on the establishment. So why be afraid to take on the establishment of popular culture. March on Jewish soldier!

So here goes...

My father was a strange man. While not a fanatical Jew, really - he didn't have a beard, fought in the Israeli Army, and loved to sing old Russian Partisan songs - he nevertheless was sensitive to symbols.

In the old country where he grew up, Jews were careful about the symbols they brandished or worshipped.

Somehow a cross was an un-Jewish symbol; not that he didn't get along with his non-Jewish countrymen. On the contrary, all human beings were deserving of respect.

But a symbol was something that defined an essence difficult to formulate in words.

We are proud of the flag of Israel with its Jewish star - The Shield of David. We even know that the Israel Magen David Adom Society, the Islamic Red Crescent and the Red Cross all perform the same medical functions under different symbols!

So why are we silent about adoring a goddess who adorns herself in crosses?

Judaism adores music.

King David is called the anim zmirot - The Sweet Singer of Psalms.

In the ancient Temples of Jerusalem the Levites sang and played musical Instruments to accompany the Divine Service.

Going back earlier we see that Moses and the Children of Israel gave forth song at the splitting of the Red Sea.

Miriam, the sister of Moses, gave a special song in honor of the miracle.

The Universe sings songs of praise to the Creator constantly.

Jews sing in shul, at weddings, on Sabbath, by themselves, with others, to children, all in praise of God. Shiru Lashem Shir Chadash: Sing to Hashem (G-d) a New Song.

Chasidic masters, simple laborers, Talmudic scholars, nursing mothers - all created their own unique new songs... to G-d.

But following the destruction of our Temple, teach the rabbis, song too went into exile. Jews lost control of a powerful tool. Song was held captive by those who knew not how divine, and sweet, it is.

Sorry for being so serious about so enjoyable a topic My conclusion shall be a question:

Why offer our libations of energy and emotion on the altar of a goddess who wears symbols alien to our faith? When will we begin to direct our love of song towards its true objective?...

Shiru LaShem Shir Chadash
Sing To HaShem a New Song!?
Shiru LaShem Kol Ha'aretz
Sing to HaShem, Everyone on Earth!

On this last point, taken from Psalm 96, the Artscroll prayerbook comments:

What is "new" about this song?
1) It will be sung in honor of the redemption. (Rashi)
2) It will come at the unique stage of history when all will acknowledge G-d. (Hirsch)
3) It is a song of renewal in honor of the rejuvenation of the future. (Iyun Tefillah)

So remember folks, next time you see someone doing her thing, it ain't so simple if you're into being Jewish.

To "Rock" Is human, to "Sing" is Divine!

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