Monday, May 30, 2011

Internal Bleeding


This post is a spin off of sorts from the post a few posts back entitled I am the Messiah.

I've been wondering why I feel such a disconnect from Jewish music, literature and any other means of expression at our disposal. Why there's an edge missing from our ability to express and transcend.

It's because everything we talk about and sing about is external.
You'll never hear a singer sing about his OWN feelings and struggles.
How many times do you hear the word "I" in a Jewish song.
Singers are busy preaching to God and to others instead of to the ONE person that has any power effect change...
God didnt create me to preach to him, he created me to live my life to my potential. To struggle MY struggles.

Borrowing 2500 year old words in a language that's not your speaking language automatically means that there's a disconnect. Even the songs with English words are all about the external. Lyrics that deal with topics such as Moshiach, Kiruv, people going off the derech etc. I have yet to hear a songwriter just get up and sing about what's really going on in his heart.
Why are we so fixated on Kiruv?
Are we afraid to explore ourselves?
Are we so afraid of ourselves that we find it easier to deflect our struggles and emotions to things not entirely in our control?
Don't frum people also feel love, disappointment, passion, confusion, desire to grow, the pursuit of perfection and the beauty of honest failings?
Why can't we turn inward and change the world by changing ourselves?
Why aren't there more singers, artists and poets that can shove flowery language into the trash and stop worrying about how polished they look in their cufflink shirts on the cover of albums?
We're losing ourselves by our neurotic posturing.

There's an element of intellectual and emotional self honesty that's sorely lacking, and it's so much easier to turn around and look at the guy behind you and make dumb movies about saving him
I'd love for the pendulum to swing toward turning inward, shining a light into the vast world of introspection.
One can only live after he's learnt to let live and cease being fixated on fixing the world.
I imagine a new Mussar movement for the 21st century, where we'll be proud to show emotion and talk about what's really going on in our hearts with self exploration that can only begin with self honesty.

Who's with me?




Blogger Rachelli Dreyfuss said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 30, 2011 1:58 PM  
Blogger Rachelli Dreyfuss said...

Listen to "Nafalti" and "On My Way", Zevi Kaufman...

And yes, you are correct (in some aspects)

May 30, 2011 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who says 2500 yr old words don't express the innermost longings of the jewish soul? even if they're not understood they still have unrealized power.
i don't see anything wrong with singing about other worthy causes, such as kiruv, or putting stories to song.
i agree with you on your position on the style of music that you've written about in previous posts; how the compositions are far from being sparkling and original.
but the real question seems to be - if you take up such issues with jewish music, why don't you do anything to remedy it?

May 30, 2011 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like you are craving the Mordechai Ben David of old: i.e. "I'd rather pray and sing" "I sit in darkness, remembering the light"
"I'm wandering in a world of confusion, reality is hidden by web of illusion. So my brothers...." MBD Hineni

Quite frankly, I don't know why MBD no longer has good English songs ( or any English songs for that matter)on his latest albums.

What changed? Why did he stop?
There were the political themed albums, for instance "Hold On"; "Let My People Go" and "Yerushalayim is Not For Sale".

But why did he stop with the, as you call it songs of "disappointment, passion, confusion, desire to grow, the pursuit of perfection and the beauty of honest failings?"

Mordechai Ben David is the only singer that did sing that particular genre that you appreciate but, he too stopped.


My temporary advice to you: Go buy Hineni; and I'd rather pray and sing and see if these old albums dont meet or exceed your expectations.

June 01, 2011 1:05 AM  
Anonymous davidonthelake said...

thanks I'll check it out

anony 1
Sure they have unrealized power..thats the problem.

I'd love to..if you have an extra $100,000 floating around I'll be happy to take sponsorship. In the meanwhile I'll just keep writing.

I used to love Hineini when I was a kid..

I just have this image of the frum community as a middle aged person in a therapy room..with the therapist trying to get him to open up and talk about his feelings..and him being clueless and paralyzed...

June 02, 2011 11:43 AM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

It's simple. No one wants to put themselves out there in the orthodox world. This doesnt just apply to jewish music but in every aspect of the frum world. People want to melt into the crowd, not stand out... especially not with their real thoughts and feelings. I definately think you are on to something.

June 14, 2011 12:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home