" Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the L-rd of Hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast humiliated..." (I Samuel, 17:45-47)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baptists In The Synagogue

Martin Luther King Day at the Hebrew Institute- January 2010

Those Jews with their heads screwed on right will instantly recognize this for what it is. A pagan ceremony. An astounding chillul Hashem. How else to describe a Baptist reverend and his church choir performing in the Beit Knesset of a supposedly "orthodox" synagogue? (Albeit, one that now has a female "Rabba", and that has at least on one occasion featured a female cantor leading the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Personally, I don't consider them orthodox, nor have I for some time now.) My understanding is that the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale has been hosting this interfaith-concert for years. As seen in the screen capture below, they continued the tradition this year. I couldn't find this year's concert on the internet, but I'm quite certain that it will make its way there eventually. Thanks to technology, every outrage can now be shared with millions across the world.

Now why, you may ask, is it necessary for an orthodox synagogue to hold this function? Isn't it enough to recognize the legacy of Dr. King, and treat all people with dignity and equality? You my unenlightened friend obviously don't understand "open-minded, modern-orthodoxy." The liberal, modern-orthodox, Jew feels a burning need to atone for the sin of x-tian slavery. And what better way to engage in this "tikkun" than to host an annual church choir in the synagogue? They even had Neshama Carlebach singing niggunim.
Can you feel the holiness? I can't. 
For some time now, Avi Weiss has trampled upon his Rebbe's p'sak Halachah regarding interfaith-dialogue. Rav Soloveitchik (of blessed memory) prohibited Jews from participating in any form of interfaith-ceremony, religious discussion, debate, or dialogue with members of other faith communities. His classic essay "Confrontation" is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Rav's definitive position on the matter. (Many of the Rav's misguided detractors falsely portrayed his stance as a radical one. The Rav's position was deeply rooted in the normative Jewish approach to interfaith matters. He differed with Rav Moshe Feinstein (of blessed memory) and the other gedolim on the question of whether it was permissible to engage in dialogue with members of other faith communities, on non-religious issues, that affect society as a whole.)  Avi Weiss's actions are merely the next logical step of one who doesn't really believe in any separation from the goyim. If your Judaism is so influenced by goyish values that you extol the benefit of interacting with priests and "moderate" imams, the next step is to take down the barrier. Enter the Baptist choir into the synagogue. 

The x-tian faith is a rejection of the Noachide covenant. Maimonides maintained that they are idolaters. (No posek denies that for a Jew it constitutes idolatry.) If Weiss wants to sanctify The Almighty's name, he should introduce his  friends to the 7 Noachide Laws. This is the real meaning of Tikkun Olam. To bring the knowledge of The Almighty to Jews and non-Jews. Not to host interfaith concerts that not only involve serious Halachic and Hashkafic violations, but also come across as patronizing carnivals of liberal Jewish guilt.

Racism is repugnant to Judaism, and Dr. King deserves to be remembered for his struggle to end legislated discrimination. But not with interfaith-concerts in a synagogue, where a preacher calls upon his Jewish brothers and sisters to "clap their hands together and let him hear it", to the rhythm of a church choir. I'm sure many of the deluded Jews and gentiles in the audience truly believed that they felt something "spiritual" that night. So do the animists who pound on drums and wear death masks. The pagan drive is strong. Music is a powerful but dangerous medium. (Unfortunately, many talented, religious Jewish musicians allow their emotions to shape their deot, and not the opposite.) 

No religious Jew should ever attend an interfaith concert. Not in a synagogue, or on the beach, or in a night-club. Even if it means missing a rare opportunity to hear a Baptist preacher sing, "L-rd, Get Me High" with Neshama Carlebach. (And what about the kol isha prohibition?)  Ironically, the song was written to bring Jews back to the fold. Considering the setting and the participants, renditions such as this latest one, will surely send many Jews away. And Heaven forbid, they may never come back.

The only way to truly get "high", is to elevate the soul with the intellect, by studying the Torah. The Rambam speaks about a supremely elevated state whereby a perfected man becomes almost "lovesick" (so to speak) for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. This should be the model for the authentic "spiritual experience", unattainable as it probably is, for most of us. An elevated level where one is totally immersed in the knowledge of Hakadosh Baruch HuNot some "mystical" experience of goyish paganism. Shabbat Shalom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? I'm interested in your comments.