Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kol Ish

Yeshiva World reports (as does Ynet) about a new singer from Natanya named Eliyahu Haim Fayzakov. The twenty-year-old recently released his first album and was rapidly becoming a hit on chareidi radio stations.

Then, suddenly, his songs were no longer heard. Radio stations stopped playing them.

Was there a problem with the lyrics? Nope, they were fine. Was the music too "goyish?" Nope, that was OK too. So, what's the problem?

Well, the problem is that Mr. Fayzakov has a high voice, and his singing sounds like a woman's voice, which prompted calls from the listening audience. After listening to a clip of his singing (which can be found at the Ynet article I linked to above), I would have to agree that his singing could easily be mistaken for that of a woman.

But so what? The bottom line is that he *is* a man, and there is no more halachic problem listening to him singing than if he had long lustrous hair, was married and walked around without a sheitel. As long as the radio station identifies him by name (he has a man's name), he should be fine.

I'm kind of curious why people have no problem with imitation cheeseburgers, imitation bacon bits, sheitels that resemble real hair and any of the hundreds of other "kosher-equivalent" alternatives but seem to have a problem with this singer. I'd say that the items on my list are far worse in terms of violating the spirit of the law (while staying true to the letter) than listening to Mr. Fayzakov sing.

Now, to be fair, it should be pointed out that this seems to be a grassroots campaign against him. I'm not aware of any chareidi rabbi who has weighed in on the matter one way or the other. Hopefully, one of them will speak up and set the matter straight.

The Wolf


Anonymous said...

The irony is that the Talmud says that every forbidden food has a corresponding kosher food with similar taste. Sensual woman's vocal register is prohibited, so cute little boytchiklach with sensual high pitched voices are correspondingly permitted (hence boy's choirs and this guy).

Jack Steiner said...

Oy, these sorts of things just make me roll my eyes.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not aware of any chareidi rabbi who has weighed in on the matter one way or the other. Hopefully, one of them will speak up and set the matter straight."

Wanna bet?

Anonymous said...

Some people DO have problems with imitation bacon bits and fakie cheeseburgers, y'know..

Chana said...

That is the strangest thing I've ever heard of...the man sounds like a woman, hence shun him?

Very odd.

Alan said...

If I had to make a guess about what actually happened, I would guess that people had the music on in the background, didn't listen to the name, and when they heard the feminine voice, they called and complained. Even though people might not have had any problems with it after the fact, the radio stations probably got so frustrated with the volume of calls, that they thought it was easier to just not play him

DAG said...

The male singer whose songs were banned from Charedi radio stations because of the feminine nature of his voice sent an impassioned plea that was published in this week's Yated.

In the letter, Twenty-year-old Eliyahu Haim Fayzakov complains,

If you need to ban my songs, ban my songs. But forbidding me from using the men's mikvah, making me sit behind the mechitza and cover my hair IS going a bit too far.

DAG said...

BTw, I dig the stupidity tag

PsychoToddler said...

Why don't they ban all the boys choirs, while they're at it?

Larry Lennhoff said...

I wonder if the brains of the shabuta fish tastes like pork, ham, or bacon? The talmud just says it resembles 'the taste of pig'.

DAG said...

That would be a positive development, Psycho

Shira Salamone said...

Sorry, but this is just too good to resist: Finally, an Orthodox *man* finds himself in the situation that's standard for an Orthodox *woman.* And you can see how much *he* likes it.

" . . . the man sounds like a woman, hence shun him?" The *woman* sounds like a woman, hence shun *her*??!!

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Insult us by calling obscene the voices that HaShem gave us--as the b'rachah states, HaShem made us according to His will--and it will come back to haunt you. Who died and put women in charge of men's yetzer ha-rah?