Monday, December 08, 2008

Questions About The New Lakewood Ban

Blog In Dm points us to a news article on HaMercaz about a play for women that was banned in Lakewood yesterday. There were two things about this ban that were very unusual.

Firstly, it was delivered by autodialer. A machine called up homes in Lakewood to advise people that the Roshei Yeshiva in Lakewood had banned the performance.

The second unusual factor about the ban was it was announced right before showtime. Literally.
According to the article, the phone calls were made after 8:00pm on the night of the performance. Most people had already left their homes by then.

Blog in Dm makes the valid point that there is absolutely no reason in the world why this ban should have been issued at the last minute. Much like the ban against the "Big Event" in March, the event was well-advertised ahead of time and that if one was going to ban it, it should have been banned well in advance. Banning it on the night of the performance is inexcusable and laughable.

To me, however, the whole thing just doesn't pass the "smell test." There are just too many troubling questions here. Some of the questions I have are:

1. Was this for real? Did the Roshei Yeshiva really ban the concert just hours before showtime (or at all), or is this someone's idea of a sick joke? Or was it an attempt by someone with an agenda to sabotage the event without the approval of the Roshei Yeshiva? After all, anyone with the proper equipment can set up an autodialer.

2. If the ban is real, who described the planned event to the Roshei Yeshiva and what, exactly, did they say would happen at the event. How accurately was the program depicted to the Roshei Yeshiva? The phone call didn't say why the show was banned, only giving a vauge "not in the spirit of tznius."

3. Were the organizers of the event given an opportunity to defend the show? Were they even consulted? Or did the meeting and banning happen entirely behind their backs?

4. Why weren't we told exactly why the show was banned? What, specifically, is objectionable?

5. Why was the ban issued at the last minute? Why wasn't this talked about and any possible objections brought to the fore in the weeks preceeding the event?

There are probably other questions that can be asked as well. I'm curious if anyone knows the answers to these questions.

The Wolf

Related Posts:
The Gedolim and How They Relate To The Common Person
Do The Gedolim Understand the Nature of Today's Orthodox Jewish Community?
One Final Note On the Lipa Concert

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two points:
Regarding #1 - this could just as easily have been done by an "agent provocateur" type to make Rabbanim look bad. After all, look how quick you were to assume the worst about how this was handled, if genuine.

Re #3 I can't find it now, but the original article noted that the claim was made that "numerous attempts to discuss the problems with the organizers were rebuffed" or words to that effect.

aml said...

Ug. I'm beginning to think that the more attention we give to such nonsense, the more it spirals out of control.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Im with aml

Pesky Settler said...

Anonymous, I can't find it now, but the original article noted that the claim was made that "numerous attempts to discuss the problems with the organizers were rebuffed" or words to that effect.

I don't see where it says that at all. What is does say is Although the performance met with no opposition when it took place at Boro Park and other venues in prior weeks, that was not the case in Lakewood. which I interpret to mean the phonecall.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like a prank.

Bartley Kulp said...

I think that there is a new phsyciatric illness going around that presents itself in banning enactments. Perhaps may be covered by a previous labeled syndrome.

Are there any experts who can perhaps enlighten us?

Commenter Abbi said...

Your questions assume that there is any kind of logic, yashrut, concern for the welfare of the community, etc, concern for adherence to halacha when this type of behavior occurs. That's pretty laughable. This has not about halacha, or the community, or logic. It's about simple mind control through guilt.

Of course 8 pm is the perfect time to send out these calls- pple return from the show, and the vulnerable ones who actually pay attention to these things return from the show, listen to the message and assume they did an aveirah! Perfect! Now they are that much more dependent on the rebbeim and community, feeling guilty about being over the most important halacha "on the books" (as if): daas Torah.

I have no idea if rebbeim or gedolim are behind this, but it's just one more sign of how charedism can quickly spiral from being a beautiful warm community full of chessed to a good old fashioned cult.

aaron from L.A. said...

Ban this,ban that...Here's one ban these nutcakes should consider--Ban deodorant!