Friday, February 06, 2009

The Charge of Avoda Zara and Lipa

I'm sure by now you've heard about the incident this past week in Brooklyn where Rabbi Schorr attempted to disrupt a wedding at which Lipa was singing. You can read the full version of what happened at Life of Rubin. The summary version (based on LOR) is as follows:

Both Lipa and Rabbi Schorr were invited guests at a wedding. At some point during the wedding, one of the Ba'alei Simcha asked Lipa to sing. He went to the stage where the hired singer graciously gave over the microphone. Lipa began singing the "Hentalach" song. At some point, Rabbi Schorr stormed the stage and grabbed the microphone away from Lipa and demanded that he descend from the stage. At one point he even began yelling "Avoda Zara! Avoda Zara!"

I know that there is some history between Rabbi Schorr and Lipa. From many accounts, it seems that Rabbi Schorr was involved in the edicts which led to the banning of last year's "Big Event." I don't know Rabbi Schorr or his agenda -- I don't know if it's simply anti-Lipa or anti-music in general. But I can state that it seems, from all accounts, that Lipa was doing nothing wrong -- on the contrary, he was being m'sameiach (making happy) the bride and groom.

I'm going to overlook for the moment the fact that Rabbi Schorr chose to make this stand in the middle of someone's wedding, which is bad enough. I'm also going to overlook the fact that he chose to publicly embarrass Lipa, which is all bad enough. What I don't want to overlook is the fact that he publically accused another Jew of avoda zara -- idol worship. If you think about it for a minute, the accusation of avoda zara is probably the ultimate accusation that you could throw at someone -- worse than saying that he's a thief, worse than saying that he's a lowlife, worse even than saying that he's an apikores -- a heretic. Saying that someone is an idolater is the ultimate accusation that you can level against a person -- in some respects, the idolater is treated in halacha as a non-Jew. I don't think there is a single accusation that you can throw at someone than the accusation that they are an idol worshiper.

And yet, that's what Rabbi Schorr decided to yell. He didn't yell that the music is treif. He didn't say that Lipa's dancing was not b'kavod for a yid. He didn't say any of that -- he out and out accused Lipa of (or what he was doing) idolatry.

Now, I'll admit that I'm not a rav and not a posek. Perhaps I'm missing something about the hantelach song that invovles idolatry - but I don't think so. I'm fairly confident that whatever you think of Lipa and his music, there was no idolatry involved. Of course, if someone can point out to me where I'm wrong, I'll be more than happy to retract, but, as it stands, I just don't see it.

So, why did Rabbi Schorr do this? I don't know. But what I do know is that unless there is some serious justification for his charge of avoda zara, he needs to be held accountable for his actions and accusations. He needs to publicly explain why he felt the need to level this charge at Lipa in the middle of a wedding, or else to publicly apologize and ask mechila (forgiveness) of Lipa and the ba'alei simcha.

The Wolf

17 comments:

Garnel Ironheart said...

>I'm going to overlook for the moment the fact that Rabbi Schorr chose to make this stand in the middle of someone's wedding,

But you can't because that's a big enough aveirah right there.

> I'm also going to overlook the fact that he chose to publicly embarrass Lipa, which is all bad enough

But you can't because there are enough gemaras out there that note that publicly embarrassing someone is worse than murder.

> What I don't want to overlook is the fact that he publically accused another Jew of avoda zara -- idol worship.

I don't know who this Rav Schorr is, and frankly I don't care. What I would like to know is the response of the crowd. Was it: "Oh, well Rav Schorr is a big rabbi so what he did is okay?" or was there outrage? Did someone stand up and shout out "How dare you commit three major aveiros in public like this? How dare you call yourself a rav?"

Abe said...

"Of course, if someone can point out to me where I'm wrong, I'll be more than happy to retract, but, as it stands, I just don't see it."

That's because you're right. This is one of the more disgusting stories I've heard in a while, and they keep getting more and more so. And, it's further evidence of modern chareidism as a sociological movement, not a religious one--yes, in Jewish law it's clearly forbidden to do tochecha in a public/embarassing way. When discussing tochecha, Rambam even cites Chazal that one who does so loses his chelek in olam haba. I'll leave it at that (not even getting into the boorishness of causing a fight at a wedding) --but plainly, you won't see me stand up for this person if he walks in a room.

Ezzie said...

Maybe he needed avoda zara to top his own embarrassing someone in public, which is akin to murder. :)

Nice Jewish Guy said...

Lipa should summon Schorr to a Bet Din for a din Torah on a charge of motzi shem ra. There were enough witnesses to support this charge. He should ask for monetary damages to his reputation and livelihood and a full, written apology published in Hamodia and Yated.

Baal Habos said...

What Shorr probably meant was that people are idolizing Lipa, so Lipa himself is the Avodah Zara. Rabbi's are jealous. They'd rather they be the ones who are worshipped.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Lipa will never summon Rav Shorr to a beis din. He knows he'd lose. These guys don't vote against their own.

ZachM said...

Leader,

Your comment about the nature of Batei Dinim was completely off base. Yes, many rabbis are biased toward their fellow clergymen, but much of our Jewish law and society is based on the integrity of the Beit Din, and I think it is remarkably disrespectful and immature to suggest that all Batei Dinim are marked by the stench of corruption and favoratism.

cipher said...

I think it is remarkably disrespectful and immature to suggest that all Batei Dinim are marked by the stench of corruption and favoratism.

You're kidding. Do you actually think there exists, anywhere on this planet, a Hareidi beit din that would favor, over one of their own, a man already once censored (however unfairly) by a group of their peers?

As far as witnesses are concerned - I'm sure they'd all be too terrified. If this rabbi was a guest, I assume most of the other guests were part of that world, or close enough to it, that they could be harmed. My understanding is that it would be enough merely to suggest that there may be difficulty in arranging a shidduch for one of their children. We're talking about people who throw their own OTD kids out of the house as a result of this kind of pressure.

This will end in one of two ways: either you people, as a subculture, will begin to stand up to them and complain vociferously and often - or, more likely, it will continue to occur, until the Hareidi world crumbles within the next two generations, taking the rest of Orthodoxy with it.

Fred K said...

The crusade against Lipa and the Big Event concert did irreparable harm to the image and status of Gedolim. The facts and circumstances relevant to what they did, and what they said about this harmless concert have been well documented...and the result was disgraceful.

Now Rabbi Schorr comes along and repeats history on a smaller scale, but and makes fool out of himself. And it is captured on video no less. What a disgusting Hillul Hashem...Rabbi Shorr owes Lipa and Klal Yisroel an apology. I hope he klops many an "al cheit" on Yom Kippur.

Anonymous said...

http://parsha.blogspot.com/2009/02/incident-with-lipa-at-wedding.html

the junior said...

"So, why did Rabbi Schorr do this? I don't know."

I do. He's a bigot.

Ari said...

Agree with Baal Habos -- R. Schorr was helpfully alerting the assembled that venerating Lipa was akin to bowing down to an idol. (Maybe not an American Idol, but a Chassideshe Idol nonetheless, sans Indian wig.) Or, perhaps he was insinuating that Lipa was the Eygal Hazahav and the assembled were engaging in a bacchanal of Biblical proportions (with a mechitza, of course).

open the gates said...

Maybe, before Rabbi Schorr starts throwing around terms like avoda zara, he should read this article:

http://www.forward.com/articles/12226

Just something to think about.

cipher said...

Rabbi Schorr would never read the Forward, chos v'sholem! It's written by Jewish goyim! He knows that just as surely as he knows that no Jewish music - no aspect of Jewish culture, in fact - owes anything at all to any other culture - past, present or future. It all arose in a vacuum, guided by HaShem's mighty hand.

And anyone who doubts that is a kofer!

frumsatire said...

Well at least Rabbis know how to market themselves to the frummer than thou crowd. I almost think Rabbis do this so they can have their 15 minutes of fame.

Did all of this crazy stuff happen before blogging and VIN and YWN came around?

aaron from L.A. said...

As it says in An'im Zemirot,"Schit Hamon"(Vhamevin yavin)

Anonymous said...

this so called rabbi is a known rabble rouser and a trouble maker,
and on top of that one of the biggest BAAL GAIVAHS around,everyone who knows him will tell you that this guy is not playing with a full deck