Jewish Music Blog

May 15, 2006

Moderating in Moderation

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 12:47 pm

The purpose of this blog is to provide a degree of information about Jewish music that is not found elsewhere, and have interesting discussions about that information. I do this because I care about Jewish music.

Lately I’ve had to delete several comments because they deviated from that purpose. They were inflammatory, sarcastic, and most importantly, they were not at all germane to the post.

It’s up to the readers to use their discretion as to what a proper post is, and I have faith in the readers to do it well. If your comments are not germane to the post, please send me an email at keyboardguy@yahoo.com. But please do not take out your angst on an unrelated post.

This occurence also reiterates the point that comments said in someone’s name are not necessarily from that person.

The discussion from the previous post can continue here.

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128 Comments »

  1. To the other Anonymous,

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    Did Aryeh come out and say anything negative about the album? There is so much text on these topics that I may have forgotten. My point was just that this is Aryeh’s blog. He can say what he wants when and how we wants. You make a very valid point about a newspaper having editors. But this is HIS blog.

    That being said, I do not ever remember him speaking negatively about the album. May he reported something incorrect, but when he found the facts he corrected himself. Even one of the current members of the group responded in a positive light.

    I am not trying to cause any machlokes. Just trying to let everyone know that (in my estimation) Aryeh is not doing this because of any ill will. Like I said, I am friendly with him. He tells me that he still talks to these guys regularly.

    What i have seen by reading the various posts, is that people like to “hear” themselves speak. From the outside, tt is very easy to criticize and even assume that Aryeh was writing out of harbored feelings. I have actually spoken to Aryeh about this as soon as the album came out. There is no ill will, there are no harbored feelings. Aryeh had to leave the group due to logistical reasons. He was not going to be near the production (not even close).

    So let’s be dan l’kaf z’chus and assume that Aryeh has no other intention other than to inform his blog reader of the latest on the albums.

    COA.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  2. Cant we all just get along?

    Comment by Biff — May 15, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

  3. Ok I agree with Biff.
    COA

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  4. Although at first I was a bit skeptical as to Aryeh’s motives, I have come to realize over the course of the past few weeks that aryeh is actually a very sweet guy – and for the most part unbiased.

    The only thing that i would like to suggest, and i mean this in the nicest way, is that if this is to be an edgier blog, different from thr run-of-the-mill jewish music review bloggs, then let’s keep it real.

    While I would hope that it is not the case, I don’t want to feel like aryeh is simply a sameach PR guy/ pundent. When I read an interview like the Yogati interview that is how it seems.

    If the artist wants to keep it middle-of the road and would like to come off sounding all inspirational and polished then let the artist post his own piece and indicate that this was contributed by the artist and is the view of the artist and/or the label. When your interview includes lines like “I just want to add a little joy and emotion into peoples lives… It should inspire them to come closer to Hashem” that makes me want to throw up. Why? well because it sounds conceded. Either these people are taking themselves too seriously in which case lighten up or they are trying to come off like s/t that they are not. Let’s call a spade a spade most artists just want to make music because they either love music, love the sound of their voice or just want to entertain (and occasionaly make some money). Now, the artist to which i alluded to is just an example – he may actually be sincere but let us be the judge of that – there are so many jewish entertainers that pass themselves off like they produce these albums just to get closer to hashem – i just find it hard to believe – and i count on you aryeh to be real and true to your readers – don’t feed us generic material – i’d like to see you examine the full package and then give us your unbiased and unfiltered take.
    That’s what we’ve seen in the past few weeks and thats what makes for a great blog.

    Comment by Avi — May 15, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  5. Avi,

    I agree with ALMOST everything you said. I apologize in advance for making this an issue at all. The only thing that hit a nerve was when you say we should judge if people are sincere or not. I know you did not throw it in there as a conversation starter, but I wanted to say that we should only judge favorably. Even if you are absolutely correct in your assessment of most entertainers.

    Aryeh, Avi makes valid points. Keep it real. Yes, be careful of potential loshon hara and the like, but keep it real. The Yacov Young interview is weak. Let’s get some meat. We are counting on you to provide us with information that we otherwise would not even think of obtaining.

    Continue to intrigue us Keyboardguy!!!!!

    Your friend,
    Cloak

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

  6. Cloakster,

    I appreciate your seconding my post. I must add that i, in no way am suggesting that we infuse this blog with loshon hora. What I am suggesting is that if someone does wish for their album to be reviewed they must be ready for criticisim. And often the people that post must be ready to defend their positions.

    As far as the Yakov Young interview goes, it’s ok to paint this glossy idealistic picture of the album and its creators… but save that for the Sameach website. If I want to hear about how the latest album is all sunny skies and daffodils (spelling?) then i can get that from practically any jewish music magazine or publication. What i look for in this blog is substance. Aryeh, as an objective and discerning blogger you should think twice before posting generic responses like “i hope this album brings people closer to hashem” – b/c truthfuly, likely not since shlomo carelbach and a hand full of others has any jewish artist had that affect.

    Bekitzur, all i ask is that you not all this blog to be watered down with cheezy, cliche reponses. If it doesn’t seem real – don’t encourage it.

    Comment by Avi — May 15, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  7. Avi –

    I’m glad that you’re expressing your concerns clearly. I do hear what you’re saying. If someone else had posted my interview, I probably would have said what you said!!

    But, I will explain why I did it the way I did. This is my first interview on this blog, and I hoped to use it as a springboard to have other interviews. If Yacov had a good experience with the interviews, hopefully he’ll encourage other artists he knows to allow me to interveiw them as well, and once I’ve solidified my reputation as an interviewer I can ask and post questions and answers that are more substantive.

    Also, Yacov Young told me that he wanted to keep the interview “pareve”, and out of respect for his wishes, I decided to post what I did get instead of not posting it at all.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 15, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  8. Don’t any of you have day jobs?
    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

    Comment by Lipa Schmetlzer — May 15, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  9. Avi,

    What do you say we “obtain” the not so Pareve version from Aryeh? đŸ™‚

    Cloakster

    Comment by Anonymous — May 15, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  10. Cloakmeister,

    I’m thinkin we start a breakoff blog and call it “KEYBOARDGUY UNPLUGGED.” We can have aryeh post the more riske’ stuff on that blog so as not to offend the loyal groupies from this blog.

    Comment by Avi — May 15, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

  11. Aryeh,

    My previous post regarding “accountability” for yout writing, was neither inflammatory nor attacking. It was written resepectfully, avoiding any personal ad hominum attacks.

    I am disappointed that you took my post down. I would greatly appreciate it if you answered my question.

    To summarize, I have a great deal of respect for your blog. I appreciate the candor in your reviews and the attention you pay to detail. My question was, if your blog is to be known as the place to come when you want to know the “truth” about the Jewish music scene, I ask you, what is the truth with about your involvement with the acapella project?

    Are you still friendly with the members of the acapella group? If so, did you call them and consult with them, confirming the facts, before posting some rather negative remarks regarding their album and marketing tactics. I would assume that a friend would have the decency to do that for a friend. If you did have a chance to confirm this information with them, then you have my full respect and my apology for even questioning your methods.

    On the other hand, if you are not still close with the members of the group, would it be fair to say that you could not truly give them a fair and objective review, as you harbor some ill feelings toward them?

    After perusing through your other posts, I noticed that you seemed to pay a greater amount of detail to this album than you have on others (four posts mention this album and the review seems to be a lot longer than any of the others.) I found this to be especially intriguing being that this is a new album by a new group, one that is not really known to the general public. Not an established Jewish music entertainer who you might assume would warrant a longer, more detailed review. What is the reason for this?

    So, not to belabor this point, but I really mean no disrespect. I am asking you a question without attacking your integrity or expertise. I would just like some clarity on the issue I addressed.

    Finally, I believe this post is especially germane to this particular topic. I apologize for originally posting it under your interview with yacov young.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 16, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  12. This post has been removed by the author.

    Comment by GCohn — May 16, 2006 @ 10:43 am

  13. Dear Gcohen,

    I appreciate your response. Congratulations on the debut of this album, as you must share in the same feelings of joy as Aryeh.

    I will now respond to your statements in order. Firstly, I am not “continuing to question” Aryeh. My first posted question was taken down and therefore I reposted it. So in essence, this is my first post and first question. I am still awaiting a response from Aryeh.

    Secondly, my question had nothing to do with the locations of the production and Aryeh. My question was, is he still close, as in friendly, with the members of the group or is he not. Either way, some clarification on the situation is in order.

    Thirdly, I agree with you that he did not post anything that directly attacked the members of the group. However, statements like “Did these guys actually ask a shei’lah before releasing with this album to determine whether it complies with halacha?” and “it is more likely that most of them (background vocals) were sung by John Clark and Ed Boyer” are definitely not complimentary statements. If Aryeh is indeed still close with the members of the group as you say, couldn’t he have clarified this information with his friends before putting it up on a public site? This way he would at least be privy to both sides of the story and be more able to provide an objective review.

    That is my question. I am awaiting a response. Thank you.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 16, 2006 @ 11:27 am

  14. The name is Cohn not Cohen (just a pet peeve of mine).

    I will let Aryeh respond to your questions for him.

    Regardless of what was said or how it was typed, I know that Aryeh is still friendly with these guys. I do not think he meant to be harmful in anyway.

    Comment by GCohn — May 16, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  15. Thankyou for the clarification gcohn (sorry about the misspelling). I do indeed believe you that he is still close with the members of the group, which of course begs the question, why didnt he just ask them instead of “assume”? I guess I will have to wait to hear from him. Thanks again.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 16, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

  16. anonymous-

    I have been in contact with several members of AKA Pella, and am still very friendly with them. mitch117’s post should have made this obvious to you.

    Why did I write “Did these guys actually ask a shei’lah before releasing with this album to determine whether it complies with halacha?” Yes I’ve been in contact with them, but there’s a line between asking strange questions to friends and not asking them. To call them up and ask them this would be plain weird. I assumed this was self-evident. Also, there was no need to call them up to ask them this question because based on what I personally know about them, I already knew the answer.

    Why did I write “it is more likely that most of them (background vocals) were sung by John Clark and Ed Boyer”? First, a little background information. I have received approbations from various artists based on my reviews because of what I can discern from listening to an album. Artists appreciate the fact that their I can articulate their subtle intentions. That’s one aspect of my reviews that I find unique – I can listen to something and tell a great deal about it. My reviews are my observations, and I do not like to solicit information if I don’t have to. If I’m contacted directly, I’ll happily respond, and I definitely appreciate it when artists contact me directly, but at this point in the game I’d rather not solicit. It’s just me.

    Based on my observations of the album, as well as several correspondances with various people involved in this production, I determined that for some songs, at least, Ed Boyer sang several parts. I extended this logically to the whole album.

    And that’s why I wrote what I wrote.

    Also, I didn’t delete the other posts, I merely turned comments off for that post because they were not germane to the post. I could have re-posted all the comments myself, but I honestly did not want to tediously cut and repaste everything.

    I hope this clears everything up.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 16, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  17. Would you “anonymous” Yentas cut it out! Aryeh could post a comment up about the weather, and you’d turn it into a conspiracy. Enough! Now, onto the weather…

    Comment by Concerned Blogger — May 16, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

  18. Aryeh,

    I was parusing through the Sameach website and this strange feeling came over me. It seems that Sameach plays favorites when it comes to album relases. Not to pick on Mr. Young, but I get the impression that Sameach has gone all out on promoting his CD whereas they had played a more passive role in the release of more recent ones. I was wondering if you could shed some light on Sameach’s internal workings. Why is it that some albums are pushed more noticibly than others. For example it looks like Sameach has gone through a great deal of time and effort with special podcasts and messages announcing the Yakov Young releas. Where were Sameachs efforts before AKA Pella came out and following the release?

    Comment by Avi — May 16, 2006 @ 7:14 pm

  19. I can’t speak for Sameach, but I have two plausible answers for you. The first one is about sefirah albums in general – people tend not to listen to them except for the sefirah period, so it doesn’t make sense to promote an album that is only good for a couple of weeks per year.

    The other answer is that Sameach promotes the albums they think will be successful. What criteria do they use to determine that? I have no idea – what criteria does any record company use?

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 16, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

  20. Well that sounds like good enough reason for someone to decide not to go through Sameach. Who would want to take the chance of Sameach not having faith in his album?

    I have heard in the past that that is the reason why many musicians stay away from Sameach as they know that favorites are chosen. Thanks for shedding light Aryeh!

    Comment by Anonymous — May 16, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

  21. Aryeh,

    Thank you for responding to my previous questions. Now if you could clarify a few more things for me, I would be truly grateful.

    You state that you felt it would be “weird” if you were to question your “friends”, regarding whether they consulted a halachic authority before putting out this album. You felt, as I understand it, it would be awkward to ask such a question and therefore you chose to avoid it.

    I do not mean this to come across as being an attack, but did you therefore choose to take what you consider a more acceptable route of questioning, by posting your question (in a way that many would decipher as being “inflammatory”)on a public blog? Did you feel that that would be less awkward or “weird” for these guys? Perhaps the people involved in this project are unusual people, but for me personally, I would rather my friends ask me a question in private, no matter how weird the question is, than have them post their question on a public forum. Is my logic wrong?

    You also say that based on what you knew about the group members, you knew the answer about whether they had consulted halacha or not. That means you knew that they did consult or that they did not consult? Either way, you say you knew the answer. If so, why did you pose it as a question? Why not just say it how it is? If you were trying to make a point such as “they didn’t even consult halacha!”, how does that fit into a music review? Was that information that you had permission to reveal?

    Regarding the backup vocals, you make some good, valid points. And again, I truly respect your expertise. Reading through your previous reviews, I can tell that you have a unique ability. But let me ask you, does your musical expertise go so far as to possessing the ability to deliniate which voices are doing backup vocals? Especially voices that I am assuming you are not so familiar with(Clark and Boyer)? And can you recognize these voices while mixed with those of others?
    I know you say you don’t like to solicate information. I can respect that. However, if you read through some of your previous posts, Mo Kiss, the supposed engineer of this project, claims that everyone involved in the project provided background vocals. I would also assume that Mo Kiss, would know more about this than any of us. I mean, he was there! What would he have to gain by lying? This isn’t his group! Why wouldn’t we just believe what he said?! So he came forward with this information. It is right there on your blog. However, you chose to disregard his statements and assume that most of the background vocals were sung by Clark and Boyer. Why would you do that?

    Again, I apologize for posting my original statement under your post on Yacov Young. I agree that it I should not have posted there. I appreciate you creating this post in order to discuss these aspects of your blog. I also appreciate your quick and honest reply to my questions. Thank you.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 12:14 am

  22. This is hammering a nail in a coffin, but here goes.

    The literary device I used to prove my point (about asking a shei’lah) is known as a rhetorical question – sometimes asking a question you already know the anwer to is more a more effective and interesting way of writing than simply saying it outright. It’s really as simple as that. You’re making it out to be more than it is.

    As for the Mo Kiss statement:
    Sure, the guys in the group sang some of the background vocals, but not all. Once again, simple.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 17, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  23. Hammering the nail in the coffin? More like beating a dead horse.

    Comment by Concerned Blogger — May 17, 2006 @ 11:39 am

  24. Dear Aryeh,

    You have not really answered my questions. Did you or did you not believe that your friends would rather you pose your question on a public blog, rather than have you ask them this “weird” question in private? These were your friends, so I assume you had their best interest in mind.

    Regarding your rhetorical question, I assumed that is what you were trying to do. However, the way the question was phrased, it was made out to sound that you had no idea what these “guys”, were thinking. Why not say something like, “being that I am friends with these guys, I don’t really understand what they were doing. Perhaps I will clarify this with them during my next conversation (as these are my friends and we are in contact.)”

    Finally, I found your statements regarding backup vocals to be a bit misleading. I see that you are now confirming that you agree with Mo Kiss’ statement. Unfortunately, your post did not read like that. If I hadn’t known better, (and I believe most blog readers read it this way)I would have read your post as giving credence to the statements of “Anonymous” from your original post (i.e. “The backgrounds were sung entirely by the recording engineers and arrangers”). If you indeed meant to inform the public that you agree completely with the statements of Mo Kiss and you disagree with those of “Anonymous”, I believe that should have been clearly stated as I’m sure you wanted to clear up the confusion.
    Once again if you could provide clarity it would be appreciated.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  25. What is your problem? I’ve been reading these comments and I don’t get it. The review written of this album was almost all positive. Your making him crazy for one or two lines?? Go back and read some older reviews. He isn’t half as positive. Go read the Gabay review. He practically rips the whole CD to pieces. The accusations and tone of these comments are dripping with loshan hara and motzei sheim ra. I know loshan hara is a blurred line in the blogogsphere, but come on. He wrote much much harsher reviews on albums where he had no connection with the artist. If anything I might assume he was as positive as he was because he knew the guys in the group.

    Comment by foncused — May 17, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  26. Foncused,

    I am not trying to make Aryeh crazy. I am only asking for clarification on some issues in a very respectful manner. Isn’t that the point of a blog? To discuss the topic that has been posted? My comments have been completely “germane” to this post.

    I have not spoken any loshon horah. I have only questioned what I have read.

    I know it may look like I am just trying to annoy Aryeh, but I assure you, when I am answered adequately, I will cease with my questioning.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  27. I sounds like nit picking to me, and it really reads like badgering. Why don’t you just e-mail him and have him e-mail you back answers. Like I said, whatever your grievances with his review are, there were still much worse reviews of cd’s in the past. I respect that you say your trying to sound respectful, but it’s coming out like harassment. The only answer it seems you want is for him to just say “you are right, I am wrong.”

    This isn’t just beating a dead horse, it’s like beating, kicking, shooting, stomping and stabbing a dead horse.

    Comment by Still foncused — May 17, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

  28. Foncused,

    I respect your opinion. I personally do not feel that I am nitpicking. I am not badgering either, as my questions have not been answered. They have rather, been avoided in the responses.

    I do not need to have Aryeh say “you are right I am wrong”. I don’t care for that at all. I only request clarification.

    The reason I am doing this publicly is because I feel that the public deserves to see the points I have raised and the questions I have asked. Just as the review was posted publicly, I believe that questions surrounding the reviewers tactics should be posted publicly as well. I don’t think that is unreasonable.

    I also do not agree with your dead horse analogy. It would indeed be “beating a dead horse” if Aryeh was to answer my questions adequately, and I would persevere with my questioning. I would agree with you then.

    However, if my questions have never been answered, I am still only greeting this live horse for the first time.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  29. If you ask someone a question 10 times and each time the answer is either avoided or not deemed good enough by the asker, but you keep on asking. I think that’s badgering.

    Obviously he isn’t interested in answering you. I think everyone reading these comments has gotten that by now. If he wanted to answer you more directly he would have by now. Yet you are still asking and asking and asking, I think that can be defined as badgering. Even though you say it can’t. That’s just my two cents but hey … this is obviously very important to you so I won’t get in the way. Carry on.

    Comment by Forever foncused — May 17, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  30. Foncused,

    If I make a public statement that the world is able to see/hear/read, I have now put myself in a situation where I must be prepared to answer any questions surrounding my statement.

    As Aryeh said, this album took about 7 months to put out. Maybe more, maybe less. I don’t know.

    Whatever, the time frame, it definitely took a lot longer than it took Aryeh to listen to the album and submit his review. Now of course, that is fine. Aryeh is not expected to spend 7 months listening to the CD.

    However, if Aryeh is going to publicly critique the album, and possibly negate the 7 months of work that were put into the production of the album, he had better be prepared to answer any questions about his methods. If he has potentially discouraged anyone from purchasing the album, we had better make sure that Aryeh conducted himself with “yashrus.”

    I am not badgering. I am seeking the truth.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

  31. Foncused,

    How about you explain to me why you are so against the idea of Aryeh explaining himself? Don’t you want to know the truth?! It has already been established that the people who read this blog are those who are seeking the truth. Well here is an opportunity! I would expect you to agree with me.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  32. Anonymous,

    You are getting extremely annoying. No answer will satisfy you so why dont you stop and move on with your life. His opinion is his opinion. Aryeh doesn’t need to explain something again and again until you are satisfide.

    Comment by GenikShoin — May 17, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  33. Genikshoin,

    I have refrained from using insults in my posts. Please have the decency to do the same. As I already stated, I will be “satisfide” with adequate answers/responses to my questions.

    Of course Aryeh does not “need” to answer my questions. He also does not “need” to critique albums, as I am pretty confident that this blog is not his primary source of parnasah. However, if he chooses to publicly review albums, I feel that he needs to be willing to answer questions on those reviews.

    If the artists are fair game, why is the reviewer not? My question to both you and foncused is, why do you have a problem with me “critiquing” Aryeh’s review but you have no qualms with him critiquing others?

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  34. Anonymous,

    Firstly, I recomend you find yourself a job. Secondly, your boring me.

    Comment by GenikShoin — May 17, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  35. GenikShoin,

    Firstly, I politely asked you to refrain from the insults.
    Secondly, I am pretty confident that I make more than you at my job.
    Thirdly, I don’t appreciate your technique of avoiding my questions by insulting me.

    Finally, if my statements bore you, don’t read this particulur post. My posts are quite approriate for the topic being discussed.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  36. Anonymous,

    Thats some sweet job, reading this blog all day and badgering people who disagree with you and making big money. What do you do?

    Comment by GenikShoin — May 17, 2006 @ 5:09 pm

  37. With all due respect, I think this has gotten way out of hand.

    It is true that anonymous has been pushing too hard to find the answers to his questions, and i agree that if he still HAS to know, he should email Aryeh outside this blog.

    Anonymous, I can understand your frustration in wanting the response to come in public, but I will have to agree, that as a blog reader it is becoming very disconcerting.

    Comment by TorahYouth — May 17, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  38. You’re allowed to critique his review, just stop demanding things from him. Who are you The Truth Police?

    As far as “the truth”, I am not against you getting answers to your questions, but don’t you see you aren’t getting the answers? You have the right to ask, but doesn’t he also have the right to refuse to answer? Freedom of speech and rights are a two way street. All I am saying is that this has been going on forever.

    The man said he tried to answer you twice. You weren’t satisfied with his answers. Fine, but come on already, your making this out to be like Watergate. I don’t care one iota about if he answers or not. It’s his blog frankly he can do whatever the heck he wants to do.

    I have been reading his reviews for while now and I have gone back and read his reviews on his old site. I didn’t feel he was so harsh towards this album. In fact I haven’t always agreed with his reviews of certain albums but I’m not a mindless drone. Just because he said he wasn’t impressed with something doesn’t mean I don’t buy it.

    Instead of telling you to go back and read his old reviews, I’m going to quote one. This is an acapella CD which (Sorry Aryeh) but let’s face it, he trashes.

    “A Capella Kumzitz – GENERAL: This is an acapella version of no new songs, but instead more recent songs.

    SPECIFIC: Sung mainly by Tzvi Silberstein, this album is quite simply – simple. The first track, sung by a cryptic “Achim”, is actually a verbatim take – I mean they just took the actual recording, of N’Sync’s O’ Holy Night from their Christmas album. The rest of the album doesn’t approach the quality of N’Sync, though. Uncomplicated simple thirds drenched in reverb to cover up their average voices fills up the otherwise pleasant acoustic silence of the album. It’s as if they rented out a studio for a couple of hours and decided to sell it.”

    If you want more here are some links to times Aryeh’s been more truthful than anyone else would ever be.

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-does-jewish-music-all-sound-same.html

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2005/09/pey-dalid-review.html

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2005/10/barock-demo-thoughts.html

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2005/12/sameach-podcast-music-reviews.html

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2006/01/tek-noy-review.html

    http://jewish-music.blogspot.com/2006/03/dovid-gabay-legabay-review.html

    http://geocities.com/keyboardguy/reviews.html#DEDI%205

    http://geocities.com/keyboardguy/reviews.html#ruach

    If you read all those reviews you would see how “truthful” Aryeh has been for a very long time.

    Can’t you just agree to disagree and move on? If you read the Ruach U’Neshoma review you will see he writes how he is friends with some of the musicians and the guy who made the cover, but he is still very truthful. I think he is always been fair, and his attitude towards the aka pella cd was in line with how he has approached every other album he has reviewed, whether he knew the people involved or not.

    At this point I think you are being unfair to him.

    Comment by Agent Mulder (AKA Foncused) — May 17, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  39. Dear Torahyouth,

    After clicking on your name, I was brought to a website that lists one of the staff members of the “TY” program as being one, Gavriel Cohn. Are you the one and the same “gcohn” who posted here previously? If so, why did you take down your previous post?

    Anyway, to answer your question Torahyouth, I have already stated my reasons for posting publicly. Did Aryeh give his critique in private? No, it was done publicly. Therefore, if I am trying to gain clarity on his statements, I believe it should be done publicly as well.

    Regarding, my posts becoming disconcerting, I found a number of Aryeh’s harsher posts to be disconcerting as well. Now, I agree with everyone here that it is Aryeh’s blog and he therefore has the freedom to post what he wishes. However, I believe that there should be some accountability. If someone questions his methods, he should be ready and willing to defend them. Not avoid them.

    I may be wrong here “TY” but I will assume that if you had put a significant amount of work and dedication into an album, and you had read a harsh, critical review by Aryeh in response to your album, you might find his posts to be “disconcerting” as well.

    But, if you truly find my posts to be disconcerting, I will offer you the same piece of advice that I offered “foncused”. Don’t read this topic. My posts have been completely in line with the subject of this particular post.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

  40. Foncused,

    Not once did I demand something from Aryeh. Many times I stated that I believe Aryeh should be ready to answer my questions, but I never demanded anything from him.

    I hear the point you make about freedom of speech. So let me put it to you like this.

    Two guys recently came out with a book claiming that Barry Bonds, the baseball player, took steroids. That is a pretty hefty statement. They are basically claiming that Bonds is a cheater.

    Now what would happen if it were discovered that Barry Bonds had run over the dogs of the two men who had written this book. Might you start to question their motives for writing a book? Now what would happen if every time they were asked a question about these allegations of theirs, they ignored it, or answered a different question, avoiding the question being asked. People might not be so convinced anymore.

    Now would you say it would be approriate for these two authors to be asked about their statements in private? They wrote a public book! It’s only fair that they are questioned in public.

    Now obviously, this is a completely different situation. But I believe there are many similarities here too. If Aryeh is open to publicly critiquing an album, he should be open to answering the questions publicly as well.

    Also, by bringing up other albums that Aryeh has “ripped” you are not changing anything. I don’t condone his actions there either. And if Aryeh had been questioned about his methods there, I believe he should have been open to answering them as well.

    For now, I am dealing with the most current review. Perhaps in the future, I will question prior reviews.

    Finally, if Aryeh refuses to answer me, then my questions, which receive no answer, will hopefully erase some of the damage that his review has done.

    Foncused, tell me why you defend Aryeh so adamently but you have not bothered to defend any of the musicians that he has critiqued rather “harshly”? Do they not deserve your sympathy too?

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

  41. I love how you are so quick to ask ME why I’M SO ADAMANDT about defending Aryeh, yet you have been so adamant about “seeking the truth” about Aryeh’s review on aka pella. Are you serious? Who are you kidding already, you need to be able to take some criticism yourself.

    So Aryeh had a couple issues with the album, big freakin deal. 90% of the review was positive. Anyone who read it should have got the impression that Aryeh liked it and therefore assuming they are mindless drones, gone out and bought the album.

    What’s the problem?

    Why don’t you go to Jrants.com and find every blogger who criticized anything and start taking them to task. Why are YOU defending it soooo strongly. Your self riotous tone is not fooling anyone. Only YOU can ask questions, only YOU decide if the answers are worthy, only YOU can push something to the point of badgering, only YOU decide when the topic is over. Only YOU can evade questions and change the flow.

    Why am I defending Aryeh? Because I come here like anyone else to read his opinions on Jewish music. I come to other blogs to read other peoples opinions on other topics. I dont take what Aryeh says to be Torah, nor do I take anything other bloggers write to fact and the final say. It’s just a blog, what is your deal?

    Why didn’t you address the points I made in my previous comment? I specifically spoke to your concerns. I showed you a review where he critiqued an album done by people he admitted were his friends. He was both positive and negative in the review. To me it proves that he is honest and says what he really thinks. If you have a problem with him speaking his mind then I suggest it should be YOU that stops coming here. Who died and made you in charge of taking this particular blogger to task?

    I am not the only one who has commented here that your begining to become annoying. I don’t care if you are “polite” your also self riotous and full of yourself.

    Why are so adamant that Aryeh HAS to do anything? I didn’t see a law anywhere that he has to defend his comments. Even if he is not only breaking the law but going against halacha, who are you to judge him? Are you so perfect in your own ways? You know though, even if he did come here and attempt to answer you (again), I wouldn’t take it seriously anyway. I would just think he’s doing it to pacify you and make you stop.

    So in essence, no matter what happens from this point on, the “damage” done can never be undone.

    Comment by Agent Mulder (AKA Foncused) — May 17, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  42. My thoughts on AKA Pella, and the above discussion. I may not have Arye’s ability to “listen to music critically,” but I can read critically, so here goes:

    +Maybe Atah Bonim and Shalsheles’ Esa Einai are Arye’s favorite sons, but personally Scarborough Fair and Sweet Home Alabama are alot closer to my favorites. The album cover says “your favorite songs,” not “your favorite yeshivish songs.”

    +Arye says in his post on the ads: “The one on the home page says that AKA Pella is “so good it should be ossur” (prohibited). Cute, but not very intelligent. Did these guys actually ask a shei’lah before releasing (sic.) with this album to determine whether it complies with halacha”

    +Did Aryeh ask a shei’la about listening to acapella during sfira before implicitly criticizing the makers of Permium Blend for not doing so?

    +Where on the cd does it say that it is muttar for sfira? I personally listened to it during sfira on long drives(during which I need music to keep me awake), insted of regular music.

    +I have heard a variety of halachik opinions on the issue, who is Aryeh to (implicitly) be machria between them? Does his critical ear for music give him a special insight into hilchos availus?

    +Unlike most Jewish singers/bands who rip off secular music without giving credit to the original artists, AKA Pella actually gives credit in some form or another to almost all the original sources. I think is worthy of credit

    +If, as Arye states, the makers off AKA Pella are his friends, why all the publicly aired anger? e.g.- “Cute, but not very intelligent,” when criticising his “friends'” album?

    Comment by Yosef — May 17, 2006 @ 8:20 pm

  43. WOW–Miss a day miss a lot — i’ve been in the middle of finals for the past 24 hours and unable to check on the progress of this blog – B’H i got here in the nick of time. Anonymous, I must say that your passion for the truth is admirable. But if it is the truth you seek, you have come to wrong place. How can you honestly have the expectation of truth in a forum where e/o disguises their identities and spews whatever comes to their minds. However, I gotta defend Aryeh- whether or not he gave a good or bad review he is quite fair. I don’t believe that anything he said negated the integrity or negatively impacted sales of the AKA Pella album – in fact, the more controversial the album got the more publicity it recieved.

    As far as claims that recording engineers particpated in the background vocals – who cares – do you think that the bais yaakov girl that listens to the album gives a crap whether the background vocals were contributed by Mo Kiss. Ed Boyer, John Clark or the SWtay Puffed Marshmellow man?! The important thing is that the CD sounds great – and no where did Aryeh question the sound of the album (while he has done so on many other projects). In fact he gave it a rave review. Don’t you get it– Discussions as to whether it’s mutar or asur or whether the ads are obcsene or inflamatory, whether the video clip offends chasidim or is just plain crazy –all fuels the contoversy surounding the CD — that’s exactly what the marketing called for — they wanted to push the envelope with every move — to be different than the typical jewish album release — the fact that Aryeh’s blog has over a hundred posts dedicated to AKA Pella – is a testiment to the marketing of the album! You dont see too many posts for the Yakov Young album – thats b/c there’s nothing devient about it- it’s a very straight forward, predictable sounding, typical release that will likely fade into obscurity along with every other typical jewish album out there.

    At the end of the day AKA Pella owes Aryeh a big pat on the back for keeping this fire burning well after people stop listening to acappella. The fact that anonymous is still riled up – well – he just added more fuel to the fire and who knows maybe we can keep this going till next sefira.

    So Anonymous – you can rest easy knowing that the creator of AKA Pella is looking at this blog and smiling to himself — MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    Comment by Avi — May 17, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  44. Dear Foncused,

    I am going to have to assume that you don’t have much experience with blogs. If you did, you would not be questioning my actions so harshly.

    The purpose of a blog is for the writer to contribute his post and for the readers to discuss it. They can offer support or provide a dissenting view. That is what makes for an intriguing blog.

    There is an option underneath each of Aryeh’s posts for readers to add their comments. Obviously, both you and I have made much use it. If each reader were to write a comment that read something like, “Great review Aryeh!” or “Right on again, ol’ buddy!” would it be make for much of an interesting conversation? It would be a place for Aryeh to write his reviews and then sit back and collect the compliments.

    I am going to do my best to respond to your statements/attacks.

    Sooo…What criticism did I not take? Am I missing something? And what question did I not answer? I’m pretty sure that I have been straightforward thus far.

    I am not being self-righteous nor am I full of myself.I find it humorous that because I disagree with you, I therefore must be pompous. All I am doing is addressing issues that I feel should be brought up in a respectful tone. Perhaps you feel it would be easier if I were less pleasant. I personally believe that if I were to do that, it would be much easier to pass off my statements as those of an angry, incoherent troll, not worthy of a response. I have kept my tone respectful throughout because I would like to hear some answers.

    We are dealing with this specific post right now. I would appreciate it if you stopped referring me to other posts and other blogs. For all you know, I have already posted there or plan to in the future. Either way, it doesn’t strengthen your argument. Lets deal with this one for now.

    My questions had nothing to do with whether the post was generally positive. My questions were directed at specific statements in the post.

    Lets say someone writes a book that is “in general”, rather praiseworthy of the Jews. Lets say the author describes Jews as being kind, courteous and wise. He really expounds on these virtues of the Jews for page upon page. Also, the author adds a small portion to his book that mentions how Jews are money hungry and control the banks and Hollywood. Would you shrug that portion off and say, “Hey, he was generally positive! In fact he has written worse about the Blacks and Asians!”

    Of course it is not to that extreme extent, but I will assume that you are an intelligent person and that you catch my drift.

    In response to your statement about only ME being allowed to ask questions, nowhere did I state such a thing. You should feel free to ask as many questions as you want. As you already said, we are entitled to the gift of freedom of speech, so ask away.

    I did not say that Aryeh’s answers were not suitable. I said that he did not answer me at all. The important questions were left alone without an answer, which leads me to believe that he realized were he to answer them, he would compromise himself in some way.

    Can you really say that this is all “just a blog” and its no big deal? Perhaps you have been left out of the loop for some time, but information that his been written on blogs has destroyed people’s reputations, parnassah, family as well as many other important things. Blogs can be extremely harmful if not handled correctly.

    Perhaps you don’t take what Aryeh writes as fact but can you say that for everyone else out there? What if Aryeh convinced even one potential customer not to buy the album of any artist, because he was mislead by one of Aryeh’s posts. Has he not harmed that musician? That is a pretty big responsibility! Definitely not one I would want to take on. I feel that if Aryeh has this ability, we had better make sure that he is conducting himself approriately.

    Once again, the fact that Aryeh has ripped other albums to shreds doesn’t change anything. I am not asking him why he treated this group differently than others. Maybe he was even kinder with this one. You could be right. However, I said I am only focusing on this particular album as it is the most current group that has been reviewed. Maybe I will question his tactics when he posts about Yacov Young. Maybe not. That is not the concern right now.

    Finally, as I already informed you earlier, I have not demanded anything of Aryeh. I did not say he HAS to answer me. I would appreciate it if you would review my words again because you are obviously reading meaning into them that is not there. I have only said that if the artists and musicians are fair game, the reviewer should be too.

    My points are clear, concise and easily understood. I have not insulted your intelligence, though the I have had the urge to do so a number of times. If you would like to respond to this post, please do so respectfully. Answer my questions and ask your own. That is fair.

    Just don’t give way to the insults. It makes what you say sound rather petty.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 12:07 am

  45. Only after geniusly creative and amazingly talented people agree to come on board and commence in a paying mutually beneficial relationship(and commence a kosher business)will the creator(for whatever that’s worth)of AKA pella say Mission Accomplished.He smiles though at the horrible excuses for a tagline he cme up with this morning: )

    Comment by Feivy Feffercorn — May 18, 2006 @ 12:07 am

  46. This goes for all of you!!!!

    The Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Hacohen, 1838-1933) readily agreed when another prominent rabbi requested his help with a communal matter in another city in Poland. The participation of the renowned Chofetz Chaim was sure to add considerably to the success of the mission because of his high standing in the eyes of all his co-religionists.

    In the course of their trip the two rabbis stopped at a roadside inn to partake of a meal. They were happy to eat at this establishment as a Jewish woman who was well respected for her high standards of kashrut ran it. The two rabbis were seated at a special table and accorded every mark of honor.

    After they had finished the meal the proprietress came to their table to inquire how they had enjoyed the food.

    The Chofetz Chaim smiled politely and replied: “It was very tasty, and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.”

    The other rabbi answered: “The meal was very good, thank you. Only, if I might say, the soup might have used a bit more salt.”

    When the owner left the table the Chofetz Chaim turned to his companion, and in an anguished voice said:

    “Unbelievable! All my life I have avoided speaking or listening to lashon hara (slander about a fellow Jew), and here I am, going on a trip to perform a mitzva (commandment), and I have been put into a situation of having to hear you speak lashon hara! I deeply regret my involvement in this mission, for it cannot be a true mitzva. If it were, such a terrible thing would never have happened to me!”

    The other rabbi was shocked and upset by the Chofetz Chaim’s reaction. To him it seemed to be a perfectly innocent remark. “What was so terrible about my comment? I only mentioned that a little salt would help the food, which was otherwise very good.”

    The Chofetz Chaim began to explain himself. “You certainly don’t understand the power that words possess! Just see what a chain reaction your words have set off: I’m sure that the woman who owns the inn doesn’t do her own cooking; she probably employs some poor person to do it, maybe even a widow who depends upon this job for her living.

    “Because of your thoughtless comment the employee will be reprimanded for not adding enough salt to the food. She will try to defend herself before replying that she certainly did put in enough salt, which will be a lie. Then the owner will accuse her of lying, since she will certainly take your word over that of the poor cook. This exchange will lead to an argument and the owner will, in her anger, fire the poor cook, who will then have no income with which to support herself and her family.

    “And just think how many sins have been caused by one off-handed remark: You spoke lashon hara and caused others to hear it; you caused the owner of the inn to repeat the lashon hara; the poor cook was prompted to tell a lie; the owner caused pain to a poor person; your remark caused an argument. All of these are violations of the Torah!”

    The rabbi, who had listened closely to the Chofetz Chaim’s explanation, replied respectfully: “Reb Yisrael Meir, I simply can’t help but feel that you are overreacting to the whole incident. My few casual words couldn’t have created all that damage. I think that your scenario just isn’t realistic.”

    The Chofetz Chaim rose from his seat, still in an agitated state, and said: “If you don’t believe me, then follow me into the kitchen and you will see with your own eyes what has happened!”

    The two rabbis quietly entered the kitchen, and a sorry sight met their eyes. The proprietress was standing before an elderly woman and giving her a sharp tongue-lashing; while the woman stood there with tears streaming down her face. The shocked rabbi ran up to the cook and begged her to forgive him for all the pain she was suffering. He then turned to the owner of the inn and pleaded with her to forgive him and to forget that he had ever made a comment. He had never intended that it be taken so seriously.

    The proprietress of the inn, who was really a kind person by nature, had never actually intended to dismiss her elderly employee and was happy to accede to the rabbi’s request. She explained that she had merely wanted to impress upon the cook her responsibility to be more careful in the future. She assured the rabbi that the woman’s job was secured and he had no grounds for worry.

    The rabbi turned to the Chofetz Chaim with an understanding look. He had certainly acquired a new profound respect for the awesome power of words.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 12:23 am

  47. Thank you anonymous for sharing your story.Did you like that story?
    For more stories you can purchase tapes,cd,dvds all online at specially discounted rates!Pesach Krohn,Rabbi Frand and other great titles.Huge selection!Buy now and mention this ad and take an additional 20 percent off the regular price.What an incredible deal!(And for fair and balanced reviews,please go to life of town rubin.com)

    Comment by Feldheim Publishers — May 18, 2006 @ 1:27 am

  48. I forget,

    Who was it that said one “letz” can destroy one thousand “tochahos”?

    Comment by yogi — May 18, 2006 @ 9:23 am

  49. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Comment by Shloimy — May 18, 2006 @ 9:44 am

  50. Hello Shloimy,

    Sorry to wake you but would please enlighten me as to what has made you fall asleep?

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 9:58 am

  51. Parshios Tazria & Metzorah
    Above the Animals

    Much of this week’s combined reading, of Tazria and Metzora, concerns the spiritual ailment known as Tzara’as. Tzara’as is often translated as leprosy, but the two illnesses could not be further apart. Tzara’as was treated not by doctors, but by analysis by the Kohen (Priest)… and someone who was so thoroughly afflicted that his or her entire body turned white, was pure.

    Tzara’as, we learn from the Medrash, came upon a person as a result of Lashon Hora, evil gossip. Moshe’s hand turned white when he claimed that the Nation of Israel would not believe or follow him, and Miriam caught Tzara’as when she spoke about Moshe. So too, this evil came upon any Jew who spoke evil of his or her neighbor.

    Tzara’as was an entirely spiritual ailment – just as loshon hora, gossip, causes intangible harm rather than physical. The spiritual nature of gossip is actually that which makes it such a great transgression, worthy of a special and unique punishment.

    This was explained by the Rosh Yeshiva (Dean) of “Lakewood in Israel”, Rabbi Yaakov Eliezer Schwartzmann. What advantage do humans have over animals? The answer is, our intellects. Scientists may have proven that gorillas can communicate – but not that they discuss philosophy! For us, communication provides worldly expression of our intellects.

    Thus the person who gossips takes the most spiritual element of his or her physical existence… and uses it for evil. This is the great evil of gossip, because we use an inherently spiritual trait to cause harm beyond what mere sticks and stones could ever do.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 10:27 am

  52. Enough of the divrei torah! Gosh!

    This blog is a place for us to try to bring down musicians! Not hear Torah! Don’t you get that?

    Comment by Paul — May 18, 2006 @ 10:40 am

  53. going with what paul and feldheim said: just like you can say tons of stories about loshon hora, you can also say tons of stories about sheker and chanifa, which is what other jewish magazines do for their reviews now. i don’t see how one is better than the other.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 10:51 am

  54. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for contributing your opinion. However,not to sound too trite here but two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because Mark McGwire used steroids doesn’t mean it is ok for Barry Bonds to use them as well.

    If Jewish music magazines are blatantly lying in their reviews, they are wrong. That still doesn’t change a thing about Aryeh’s reviews.

    -Anonymously seeking the real story

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 10:59 am

  55. you’re right, but still, if you’re going to attack aryeh, you should attack all these magazines too, to not be a hypocrite.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  56. Ok, just to make things easier for response purposes – will Anonymous, and you know who you are, please give yourself a name just so I can be sure I am responding to the right Anonymous post.

    Comment by Shloimy — May 18, 2006 @ 11:23 am

  57. Shloimy,

    From this point on I will be known as Doug. Feel free to respond to me.

    Anonymous, who asked about magazines, perhaps I should questions magazines and perhaps I will. However, this is not the place to do that. Aryeh’s blog has nothing to do with the Jewish music magazines that you speak of.

    I am trying to keep my content relevant to the blog and its postings.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  58. P.S.
    For clarity’s sake, I am neither the Anonymous who posts the Divrei Torah on Loshon nor am I the Anonymous who has brought up the issue of mainstream Jewish music magazines.

    Comment by Doug — May 18, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  59. I am neither anonymous(henceforth known as Doug)nor am I the an onymous who is just plain anonymous.Actaully,my name is Paul.I don’t know why I chose to remain anonymous.
    Keep the Divrei Torah coming!
    This is precisely what is wrong with Jewish music today.We don’t need non jewish influences,pervading our horn sections,our trumpets,our manditory one english song per album.If we had more chizuk,then we’d be inspired more to learn more and not worry about Aryeh’s reviews and whether or not he answers questions.I think personally that for every post that someone makes on this blog,he should also be m’kabel on himself to learn one seder of mishnayos.It may SEEM difficult at first,but you”ll see,if we try…..we can do anything!Let’s give anonymous a huge groise Yasher koach for posting his divrei torah on this very forum.Let us hope that he continues his noble cause and posts many more divrei torah on this site and many more sites,like only simchas,and five towns radio.Could you imagine the zechus.7 posts of mazel tovs and then………a gantza shtickel from the Kli Yackar.Wouldn’t that be amazing!And how bout email moshe dov your requests now!(10 emails for Yaakov Young,L’gabay,Pesach in the Ghetto,AKA Pella Premium Blend,and then…..A a nice midrash on Hashamas Haboker with the entire machlokes Rambam/Raavad on Hilchos Krias Sh’ma B’zmano!It would mamesh k’nock,yeah?
    I’m getting so excited just thinking about it.Thank you anonymous!And thank you Aryeh!!

    Comment by Anonymous — May 18, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  60. What type of goyesheh name is Paul?

    Comment by Yanky — May 18, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  61. Hey Paul!

    “Pesach in the Ghetto” is my favorite song too!

    Comment by Yoinusun — May 18, 2006 @ 12:37 pm

  62. Raboisay,

    I’d like to take a momment to remind you that there are other links out there not getting much attention. Maybe s/o could take a few moments out of their day to leave a a post about the fabbulous Yakov Young or L’gabi websites. It’s a shanda that the new link only has one comment. At the very least s/o should leave a d’var torah or kapitel tehilim so that those two albums can gather some zechusem. Also, to help thing along in that department — it recently found out concerning ther YY CD that it wasn’t Yitchok Rosenthal but rather dudu fisher who composed 5 out of the 10 songs —and the backup vocals were performed not by Yaaov Young by the the chevra!! Discuss amoung yourselves.

    Gantze yasher koiach

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 18, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

  63. What kind of crazy statement is that!I happen to know to know the chevra and they only do lead vocals…………they must have enlisted severe help to do background voclas.What must have happened is like this.The Chevra gave Dudu the ideas(note:I didn’t say they gave him dudu ideas,as in not such good ideas,but rather once again,they GAVE DUDU the ideaes and he used a vocal patch to sample the vocals.It is actually nothing more than playing a keyboard.From marketing perspective,I don’t know what this guy is thinking.What kind of a name is Dudu.Do you think his parents asked a shaila before giving him such a name?

    Comment by Moishes — May 18, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  64. Raboisay,

    Once again i’m gonna have to ask people to keep the big words down to a minimum – i don’t know what vocal patches are nor have i ever used them – i recommend regular nicotine patches – and say what you want about Yakov Young but don’t mess with my Dudu… you hear me? Dudu is off the table – we all love Dudu and thats the end of that.

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 18, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  65. Aryeh,

    Please disregard the past few “disrespectful” comments, when determining whether to answe me.

    I really would appreciate an answer from you. I have neither insulted you nor your expertise.

    I understand that you feel you have already answered me and in regard to some of the my questions, you have. I will admit that.

    I would still appreciate it if you were to answer the questions that you left untouched.

    Thank you

    Comment by Doug — May 18, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  66. Aryeh,
    Serious question. Do you know when Gabai or Yakov Young will be coming out with their videos?

    Comment by Shloimy — May 18, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

  67. Videos?

    Comment by torahyouth — May 18, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  68. Yes, like the one AKA Pella put out.

    Comment by Shloimy — May 18, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

  69. Doug & Aryeh

    I’ve decided to help you and Aryeh resolve all unanswered questions in a quick and effecient manner.
    For clarity purposes the “oilam” here at the “Jewish Music Blog” would appreciate it if you could please reiterate your questions in an orderly fashion. Due to the overwhelming response to this blog I believe that most ppl have either forgotten or are not clear as to what specifically you are asking Aryeh to respond to. In order to move things along (so that we may finally delve into other pressing matters) please relist your questions numerically.

    For example, your questions can be stated as such:

    1. Aryeh, do you have any unresolved issues with the members of AKA Pella and if so, what specifically are they?

    2. Aryeh, why have you chosen to make blind insinuations before contacting the group for clarification or checking your sources?

    See, if posed like that Aryeh and fellow bloggers will be better able to follow the dialogoue. As it stands now, no one is quite certain what it is that you are asking.

    Aryeh, in responding to Doug’s questiones please cut and past the text of the original question and respond in a numerical and systmeatic fashion.

    Finally, Doug – try keeping the divrei torah to a minimum – (here’s a another pointer) if you inorporate too much lumdus into your post you lose the oilam. People on blogs are not know for their attention spans. Nothing kills a blog like a good shtickle toirah.

    I’h this suggestion will enable us all to finally move on with our lives and Doug will finally be able to get the closure he so desperately needs. May we all be zoiche to blog our way to the beas ha moshiach bemehara beyameinu. amein!

    Gantzeh yasher koiach onece again,

    Reb Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 18, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  70. Well well…

    Reb Yankel I have been watching this dialogoue from a distance and I have a problem with your suggestion. If they resolve this matter in an orderly fashion, then people may stop commenting and this post will not continue as one of the longest running posts in blog history!

    I would like to give a shout out to my boy Avi, who actually has something else to do besides write on a blog. Hatzlacha on your finals buddy!

    The Cloakster

    Comment by CLOAK OF ANONIMITY — May 18, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  71. Excellent point Cloackster,

    I must say i did not realize we were on the verhge of breaking records here. Here’s my take on your point though. I believe that whether or not Aryeh responds to each and every point raised by Doug, Doug will not be content. Doug will not rest untill Aryeh comes right out and says “you got me — I never liked those rascals in AKA Pella, I think their a detriment to society and jewish music and gosh darnet all i wanted was to sing backup vocals — but those guys at AKA Pella snubbed me.” Now, we all know that won’t happen – nor should Aryeh be forced to admit or deny any of this – it’s his friggen blog and he could do as he pleases.

    So, long story short, Cloackster, you need not worry about Doug quiting anytime soon.

    Doug,

    BudLight Sallutes you,

    Doug you’re a true blogging hero!

    B/c where everyone else has called it quits on this issue.. you keep on pressing it.
    Most people leave a max of 2-3 posts on any particular point — not you Sir Doug, you keep em’ coming…

    and why you ask…b/c you’re not a quitter!

    No, not you Doug, you proudly take on each blogger post by post – people make insensative remarks – you don’t even flinch – you simply ask them nicely to not hurt your feelings and keep on blogging… you are a one man wrecking crew.. you are on a holy mission.. ..you Doug are a winner.

    BudLight salutes you!

    Comment by Reb Yanke — May 18, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  72. Hey everyone,

    You all are making light of Doug’s statements but I think he’s made some good points. Granted he has gone on a bit too long (maybe MORE than a bit too long) but his points are true.

    Joseph McCarthy was free to say whatever he wanted about people, until certain others decided to step up and question his actions.

    I think that Doug has done a noble service by doing the same.

    Aryeh’s silence to his questions (way too many questions, he lost me more than a few times) speaks volumes.

    Comment by Robby — May 18, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  73. 1. Two thumbs up to the Budweiser commercial.

    2. Robby, I do not understand how Aryeh’s silence has spoken volumes to you. Maybe, and this is just a thought, that Aryeh has wanted to answer the questions but needs them revisited in a simple question format. I think we can agree that this has been belabored long enough, but do not think that Aryeh’s volume has spoken volumes. Even yourself will have to admit that this post has been pretty busy of late.

    Doug, you may agree with Robby, but I (yes Reb Yankel I am conceding to you)would suggest you ask the questions one more time to see if Aryeh wants to respond.

    That being said, to make things easy to find, after Doug reposts, noone should write anything more on the post until Aryeh does.

    He may or may not respond. If he does not, then he chooses not to.

    Let’s not read into it.

    On the side: I would like to commend everyone who has participated in this post for making this the most entertaining piece of narashkeit on the web.

    CloakMania

    Comment by Cloak of Anonimity — May 18, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  74. Cloakster,

    Aryeh’s volume has spoken volumes?
    You can type better than that!
    Ok, we know what you meant.
    GC

    Comment by torahyouth — May 18, 2006 @ 11:02 pm

  75. Hello All,

    It is quite nice to see I’ve developed such a following. With so many people stopping to see what is written next, it can really mess with a guys ego.

    I appreciate the compliment by the holy reb yankel, being referred to as a “blog hero” (I am especially proud of the Bud Light salute. I am sure that when I inform my parents, they will shep such nachas.)

    But the truth is folks, I’m no hero. Hard to believe but it’s true. I’m just your ordinary, every day guy, trying to look out for his fellow Jew.

    You know who the real heroes are? The ones we should really look up to? They are the individuals in the Jewish entertainment/music industry, who regularly put their kochos, hard work, and creativity into their projects to provide the rest of us with some amusement while we strive to serve Hashem better.(Policemen, Firemen, and Superman are heroes too.)(It goes without saying that the gedolei hatorah are levels above the description of hero and are therefore not included in this category.)

    Did any of you see Spiderman? If yes, did it bother you how the newspaper editor was always there, trying to ruin Spiderman’s reputation? Didn’t you ever think, “Hey Mr. Jamison! Spiderman is a hero! Why are you trying to bring him down?”

    Often, in the privacy of my own home, I like to refer to the members of the Jewish music industry as “Spidermen”. They take upon themselves the responsibility of combating/battling the yetzer harah for the rest of us. Instead of falling prey to the satan’s many traps, we are provided with good, kosher entertainment to help us get through those rough spells. Thank you musicians.

    So, as it has been requested of me, I will pose my most recent, unanswered question(s) to Aryeh again. I am a reasonable person and therefore am open to granting your requests. Here goes:

    1) Aryeh, you stated earlier that it would have been “weird” for you to privately question your friends from AKApella if they had consulted halacha before putting out the album. Therefore, instead of asking them in confidence, you chose to ask them, along with the rest of the world, on your public blog site. My question is, did you think that that would be less “weird” for them?

    2) Aryeh, you have basically confirmed through your responses to me, that you agree with Mo Kiss’ statements (“The backup vocals were sung by everyone involved in the project”) and disagree with Anonymous’ statements (“The backup vocals were not sung by the members of the group.”) Being as there was much confusion surrounding that issue in your original post, why didn’t you clarify your position in your review? Interestingly, your review seemed to lean toward many of the statements that Anonymous made. Why was that?

    3) My final question is a new one (I know I seem to be full of them.) On one of your posts, you state that you will respect the requests of any musician who asks that a review of their album be taken down. Does that mean that if the members of AKApella asked you to take down your review, you would comply?

    I guess that is it for now. I hope my points are clear and easily understood.

    Its nice to see that the discussion on this blog has gone from “becoming very disconcerting” and “boring” as described by some earlier bloggers, to “the most entertaining piece of narashkeit on the web” as described by a more recent blogger. I am glad that everyone has been entertained. Perhaps one day, I will reach the level of the Jewish music professionals who provide entertainment to so many more people on such a larger scale, every day.

    Yours Truly,
    Doug

    Comment by Doug — May 19, 2006 @ 12:17 am

  76. reb yanke – great Budweiser commercial!

    doug-
    To hopefully put the dead horse out of its misery once and for all, I’ll take one last stab at your questions.

    1) Before I say something, I don’t go running to the artists asking for their permission. Sure, I’m still in touch with these guys, but if I called them up every time I wanted to ask them a question, it would get quite annoying. Perhaps it’s your opinion that I should called them for this because you view this as a major issue. I don’t – and we can agree to disagree. I phrased it as a rhetorical question instead of saying it outright because sometimes rhetorical questions get the point across more poignantly than just exposition. I also thought it was the type of question that someone seeing the ad for the first time would ask.

    2) I spoke to many different people at different times about who covered the background singing, and I got many different responses. I even got different responses from people in the group. I clearly could not rely on one opinion over the other, so I based my judgment on what I do best – my own opinion, which is based on all the different opinions I heard and which is based on my own experiences working with these guys.

    3) Yes I would take it down, but this is a moot point since they have told me that they respect my review.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 19, 2006 @ 1:13 am

  77. Annnnnnnd ROLL CREDITS!

    Comment by The End — May 19, 2006 @ 1:30 am

  78. Dear Aryeh (and other distinguished bloggers),

    I really appreciate/respect your(Aryeh’s) decision to answer my last few questions. I know it would have been easier to just have ignored them and I wanted to let you know that the effort you exerted in answering them means a lot to me.

    As you stated, I guess we will have to “Agree to disagree”. It is pretty evident by now that I could go on for some time. You believe that you are providing a great service to the public and I believe it is a great disservice. That is where we differ, repectfully.

    I would just like to leave this post with one last thought. I don’t want or expect any responses. It’s just some food for thought.

    What if Aryeh possessed expertise in public speaking skills. He was a master at this art and was a brilliant critic.

    What if Aryeh took it upon himself to create a blog, that reviewed every pulpit rabbi/rav that he had ever heard speak. From his hometown to the different cities he had visited.

    On his blog, Aryeh was able to inform the world that, “Rabbi Schwartz was a smart man but obviously not very articulate.” That “Rabbi Cohen was a tzaddik, but not very aware of worldy affairs as evidenced by his misquoting of secular scholars and misunderstanding of the current events.” That “Rabbi Goldberg was unusually boring, possessing an extremely monotonous voice, and offering “mashulim” that nobody could understand.”

    Now Aryeh clearly states on this blog (the fictional rabbi blog)that his writings are merely his opinions. However, he feels that his reviews assist his readers in making more “informed” decisions before choosing to daven at a specific shul and paying membership fees.

    Would everyone still be in defense? I am pretty confident that that is not the case. If I am wrong, then I truly question the integrity of the readers of this blog.

    Why do we feel, for some reason, that since these music professionals are to an extent, in the public eye, that reviews (which many a rav would consider to be loshon horah) which could potentially harm the sales of an album, are completely acceptable?
    Would it be more of an issur for the “rabbi blog” because they are probably holier than the musicians? I don’t think so.

    Thank you all for reading my posts as I believe they have been informative. Thank you Aryeh for allowing me to post at all.
    And thank you Hashem for giving me the strength to wake up each day and serve you in the best way I know how.

    Comment by Doug — May 19, 2006 @ 9:47 am

  79. B’reshus.. R’Aryeh R’Doug chusheve members of this blog…

    As a high ranking senior member of this blog and the only one with semicha I’d like to set a few things straight for record in response to preceeding posts.

    1. Our troops in Iraq are heros… the firefighters who went into the twin towers to save lives are heros… Doug is a blogging hero… the ninja turtles are heros… the people involved in jewish music are NOT heros! Far from it – their just a couple of guys with a modecum of talent who felt the urge to make an album.

    2. People… please stop with this business about artists making jewish music to bring people closer to hashem or help us serve Hashem better! How does listening to any of these albums help us serve hashem better?!?

    3. Yes, Doug i too consider the people in the Jewish Music Industry to be very similar to “Spiderman” – but not in the superhero sense – more like the comic book sense – “They take upon themselves the responsibility of combating/battling the yetzer harah for the rest of us.” Doug, have you been hitting the whacky weed again – please refer to point no. 1 – ppl in the jewish music industry are not superheros – just trying to make a buck and do s/t they enjoy in the process with the hope of getting famous/hitting it big – i assure you that Yaakov Shwekey does not wake up in the morning, put on his Swekey Cape (and tights)and go off looking for ways to combat the yetzer hora – more like he wakes up, calles his manager and finds out where his next high priced gig will be that night. Doug, you live in a dream world (albiet an inspirational one, but a dream world nonetheless).

    4. Doug, why are you are so concerned about these reviews hurting the parnasah of the artist.
    What about the hundreds of innocent victims/consumers who might actually go out and buy crappy album. If Aryeh can’t be candid with this audience about an album than what’s the point of it. If every CD that came out got thestandard “glossy” review then how could people distinguish between the good, the bad and the downright ugly. While, it’s very noble of you to protect the artist’s interststs, what about interetsts of the consumer. What about the poor bais yakov girl that was duped into purchasing the @#$%^ @#$%^ album simply b/c all the jewish publications couldnt say enough great things about it – but ultimately the album blows! – What about her – is she not a person – will she ever see that $15 again, we she get back the 45 minutes of her life that she spent listening to that CD….NO, she won’t… all b/c people like you only look out for the artists!

    5. Finally, i think Aryhe is ultimately doing a great service for the the consumers and Jewish Music Industry as a whole. By giving each album a fair and critical listen and providing us with real critiques, Aryeh, is in essense holding jewish music to a higher standard than has been the case in the past. Aryeh is basically letting artists know that crap won’t fly with this crowd – either put out s/t good or don’t put it out at all. In effect, Aryeh is calling on the industry to step it up a notch.
    Forums like these also give the artists insight into the likes and dislikes of the consumers.

    So Doug, stop busting Aryeh’s kneidalach for speaking so candidly. Ultimately, blogs like these will serve only to take Jewish Music to the next level – only then will “Spiderman” truly bring about Moshiach..amen!

    Signing off,

    R’ Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 19, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  80. Dear R’ Yankel,

    For some strange reason I get the feeling that the person who has been posting under your name changed at some point during the discussions on this point.

    1) Either way, my statement about Jewish musicians being heroes was a facitious one. As the tone of some of the more recent posts shifted to one of humor, I tried to give comedy a whirl as well. However, the point I made is valid in many ways. While they are obviously not heroes, Jewish musicians provide us with a kosher outlet, a positive alternative to movie going, bar hopping, pool hall visiting, etc. For that, I am thankful to the artists.

    2) While I am obviously not naive enough to believe that EVERY Jewish musician creates music in order to bring us closer to Hashem, I definitely believe there are those who do (i.e. Shlomo Carlebach, Yosef Karduner, Shmuel Brazil to name a few).

    You ask how does Jewish music help us serve Hashem better. Have you never been inspired to daven with more intensity, learn more fervently or serve Hashem more fully because of song you heard? Don’t underestimate the power of music. If music was just some neutral form of entertainment, I don’t think we would see so many gedolim singing niggunim.

    3) Whatever the case is, whether the musician puts out an album solely to make money, or because he/they is/are pursuing a dream, it is still not right to publicly critique them, and most definitely when you do not possess all the required information. Maybe it is acceptable in the seculur world but as frumme yidden, we hold ourselves to higher standard.

    4) Do you feel that it would be acceptable then for me to create a “Rabbi Sermon Critique Blog” as I am potentially helping people from committing their time and hard earned money to a shul that is run by a Rabbi with egrigious speaking skills?

    5) Let me ask you this. Assume I am a 15 year old girl and I really enjoy all the albums that Eli Gerstner has put out. I am also not adept at noticing the musical nuances that Aryeh is more capable of picking up. One day I stumble across Aryeh Steiner’s blog and I read through one of his discourteous reviews of a Gerstner album. Assuming I am someone who is easily convinced (as the greater population truly is) I may very well be persuaded into believing that Gerstner’s music is INDEED trash and that I have been wasting my time listening to it. Now has that provided the public with a service? It has harmed Eli G’s CD sales and it has convinced this girl to abnegate the music she once loved.

    As it has been mentioned a number of times on this blog, Sameach music provides music stores with listening stations. Here, anyone can put on a pair of headphones and listen to a newly released CD. The individual is able to make his or her own decision on whether to buy the album without being coerced one way or another by the review of a musical expert/genius/mad scientist.

    6) R Yankel, Aryeh’s reviews won’t help artists know that their music must be up to a certain standard. The sale of their albums does that. Even if Aryeh’s reviews are completely honest and help inform the rest of us music lovers of what is good/bad about an album, is it not loshon horah?

    If the “almanah” down the road owns a dry cleaning business which helps her pay rent on her one room apartment, happens to doe a lousy job in getting the clothes clean, should I stand on the corner with a billboard, shouting, “Don’t bring your clothes here! She doesn’t know how to clean them!” ? I am helping save everyone’s money?! Or do we say that some things, we let people figure out on their own. Personally, I would rather spend $15 on a “poor quality” CD, than have someone else out there publicly making statements that could harm the sales of the product. How do we know which musician would have no parnassah outside of his album production? We are not required to give “tzeddakah” by buying the album, but we also shouldn’t try to put it down.

    7) I had thought that this topic was finished. Obviously not.

    Comment by Doug — May 19, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  81. These comments have gone way beyond loshon hara now. I know you think your being sincere, but at this point no good is coming from anything here.

    Personally I’m beginning to think that Doug and Yankel are the same person and your just trying to extend your 15 minutes of blog (supposed) fame.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 19, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

  82. Hey ANONYMOUS – who made you the loshon hora police?? – I’d like to put the oilam here on notice… I’m the only one here with s’micha (ordained by Yahoo!)..I’m the mashgiach and ONLY I decide when we have gone “beyond loshon hora”.. so Mr. anonymous…untill your name begins with a “Reb” please leave the blogging and the tough calls to Aryeh, Doug and myself. If you can’t handle the conversation try hanging out in the “shemiras halashon blog” – but if you insist on hanging out here please only contribute if you have something inflamatory to say!

    Reb Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 21, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  83. Actually, it just so happens to be, I do have Smicha. I just don’t wave it over everyone’s head while I embarrass myself on a blog pretending to be someone who is saying any thing of even the littlest importance.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 21, 2006 @ 8:07 pm

  84. Ok – now that was loshon hora – not only was that motzee shem ra but you were malbin penei chavero berabim…(which is especially bad since you were mevayesh a rabbi)…
    listen here buddy, where do you get off talking like that on a “jewish” music blog. This is exactly the kind of hate mongering that we try and discourage… there is simply no room for that kind of talk on this blog. Now, i don’t know if you have s’micha or not, but i assure you – your smicha is not Yahoo! approved. So untill you’re have a REB in front of ANONYMOUS – zip it. And for the record i don’t waive my smicha over everyone’s heads – that’s kapurus buddy!..get your 411 straight… and even if i did waive smicha over everyone’s heads that’s my perogative as I am the self proclaimed mashigiach of this blog.

    I apologize to the oilam for the disruption…apparently we have some bad sheep in this flock.. hopefully we won’t let a few bad apples dirupt our civilized discussions…

    Tizku le’mitzvos

    Reb Yankel shlita’

    Comment by Reb Yankel S'hlita — May 21, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  85. Guys-
    Let’s try to keep the conversation civil and the I’m-right-you’re-wrong to a minimum. In case anonymous didn’t notice, reb yankel was using humor to get a valid point across.

    Doug-
    I think it’s funny how you’re the one to say you “thought this topic was finished” when you’re the one who extended this conversation from a why-did-you-write-what-you-did-about-AKA-Pella to a discussion about loshon hora.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 21, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

  86. Someone needs to take back control of the asylum. The patients are running wild.

    Comment by concerned — May 21, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

  87. I apologize Aryeh, sometimes i just take my mashgiach position a little too seriously. I’m simply trying to maintain the civility in your absence. I don’t want people who don’t have a “Reb” or a “Rabbi” prefix in their title deciding what is or isn’t loshon hora. Now, if Mr. Anonymous want’s to repost his previous comment but this time with a “Reb” in front of “anonymous” then i’ll defer to him… but untill that time – the mashgiach has spoken.

    Reb Yankel
    Blog Mashgiach

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 21, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

  88. Aryeh,

    As you should have realized by now, I have absolutely no problem continuing the conversation on this topic.

    If I desired, I could start listing the myriad of issues that I have with this blog, the tactics taken in reviewing the albums, and the practices of the many readers who buy into this whole “reviewing” system.

    However, as I have discovered through a number of the discussions that have taken place here, most of your readers would rather hear about how “poor” Eli Gerstner’s productions are than hear a simple question about the practices of the reviewer.

    The reason that I mentioned that “I thought the conversation was over” was because I provided an easy “ending” to the conversation. I stated that I neither wanted nor expected a response to my post. Instead of accepting the closure, R’ Yankel decided to post a response and continue the conversation.
    I therefore found it ironic that one of your readers who seemed so intent on ending the discussion here, chose to ignore the simple “out” and instead, provoke further conversation.

    That was the reason for my statement.

    Comment by Doug — May 22, 2006 @ 12:20 am

  89. Dearest Doug,

    As a matter of fact i did not respond to your last post – as i too believed that the issue had been brought to an end. I was actually responding to anonymous, who for some reason felt that he could unsurp my authority in this blog.

    However, now that my name has been invoked – i will respond to your previous comments. Allow me to address (and refute)your points one by one:

    1. You asked: “Have you never been inspired to daven with more intensity, learn more fervently or serve Hashem more fully because of song you heard?” – hmmm…I’d have to say – NO!! – ok, there was this one time i heard a gevaldik nigun from n’sync that inspired a very shtark s’hemone esrei, but other than that …. NO! I find it hard to believe that anyone actually had a shtarker davening just b/c they heard a great tune from “The Chevra”.

    2.You stated in reference to critiquing jewish music: “Maybe it is acceptable in the seculur world but as frumme yidden, we hold ourselves to higher standard.” – Did you really mean a “lower standard” – since according to what your saying – basically anybody with a pulse can put out an album and we all have to praise it!

    3.You stated: “Do you feel that it would be acceptable then for me to create a “Rabbi Sermon Critique Blog” ” – go right ahead – there’s a Reb Yankel blog out there -if a particular rabbi’s sermons are offensive or inapropriate or even controversial you have every right to comment on it – even halachicly, public Rabonim are fair game when it comes to critiquing their virtues.

    4.You stated: “Assume I am a 15 year old girl and I really enjoy all the albums that Eli Gerstner has put out” — If you want to pretend to be a 15 year old girl that’s your business – but please keep the fantasies down to a minimum… this a is a family blog. And it’s Reb Eli Gerstner to you!

    5. Finally, you gave this great mashal: “If the “almanah” down the road owns a dry cleaning business” – I must say i was brought to tears by that touching story – however, i must take issue with your anlysis… if this almanah down the road is in fact ruining peoples clothing than she realy has no business being a dry-cleaner – and yes i probably would tell people not to use her services b/c she would destroy everyone’s clothing. Now, I know what you’re thinking Doug,…”but she’s a poor almanah…she needs the parnasah!!!” true- but if she’s no good at dry cleaning then she has no business dry cleaning! I’d probably put her out of business and set her up as a butcher or something – but i believe you have an obligation to inform people that their shirts will come back purple!

    You see Doug, since you are comparing jewish entertainers to the almanah/dry-cleaner – bad entertainers are just like bad dry-cleaners – you gotta stay away from them – if your friend was about to take his wedding suit to be cleaned or a tailord by this almanah – you would say something, wouldn’t you – same with these artists – if you’re friend was about to buy a really chrefty album you should say something before he wastes his money – Aryeh is that friend – he listens to the music… gives his critique… and either endoses the CD or not… (there are no illicit motives behind the critique) it’s simply his impression – an opinion just like people in all walks of life have opinons regarding everything they experience. People give their opinions about resteraunts, movies, books etc. it’s not loshon hora it’s an opinion. In the “Doug” world no one would be able to give an opinion b/c it could possibly hurt s/o’s parnasah

    6.You stated: “How do we know which musician would have no parnassah outside of his album production?” – we don’t – but i can only hope that no one in the jewish music industry is quitting their day job. That aside, do you realy think that one man’s opinion on a blog is actually going to impact sales in any significant way?

    7.You stated: “I had thought that this topic was finished” – you though WRONG!

    Reb Yankel
    Blog Mashgiach & Manhig Ruchani

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 22, 2006 @ 2:11 am

  90. Dear Reb Yankel,

    When I had stated that I thought the conversation was over, it was in referrence to your earlier statements to me (i.e. “B’reshus.. R’Aryeh R’Doug chusheve members of this blog…”) Not your comments to anonymous. This is what I was informing Aryeh of.

    To the numbers we go.

    1)My question to you was, “Have you ever been inspired to serve Hashem more fervently after hearing a song”. I did not ask if this was the case following a particular song, rather a Jewish song in general. My motive was to illustrate the power of music, as you had posed the question “How does listening to any of these albums help us serve hashem better?!?” So perhaps certain songs/niggunim don’t do it for you. Is it now permissable to attack an album that happens to feature a particular song that YOU don’t find inspirational? Maybe Eli G doesn’t do it for you. I know many a person who does get inspiration from the Chevra/Carlebach sefirah album.

    2) I did not state that Aryeh, nor anyone was required to praise every album. However, that does not mean that he/we are required to “slam” it either. The gemara provides us with a brilliant maxim; “mila beselah, shticka betrain.” There is something very valuable about silence.

    As I have stated again and again on this blog, Sameach music has set up listening stations where one can preview newly released albums. Why not let everyone come to their own conclusions?

    3)I was not referring to a Rabbi who is making “offensive or inapproriate” sermons. I thought that was pretty evident from my words. A Rabbi who is not up-to-date on current events would not necessarily be making “offensive” sermons.

    Aryeh is not critiquing the insensitivity of these Jewish albums. If an album came out that truly was offensive (i.e. a blatant chillul Hashem, not using a tune that Aryeh believes doesn’t acurately describe the words it is put to), I do not think we would be having this conversation. I would instead be supporting Aryeh’s actions. However, as you and I both know, this is not the case with Aryeh’s reviews.

    Personally, I would not consider a newly released album with an overuse of autotune and simple chord progressions to be “insensitive” or “offensive.”

    4) R’ Yankel, you are obviously an intelligent man. It is no easy feat to attain smichah. Please don’t cheapen this discussion with personal insults.

    I was trying to illustrate a point, suggesting a potential consumer who would fit this particular example.

    5)Once again, I believe that you have taken my words out of context. I was not referring to a dry cleaner where articles of clothing were being destroyed, just as Aryeh is not critiquing albums that may cause permanent physical damage to the eardrums of the listener. (Please don’t take that statement and respond with something like, “Who knows?! Maybe these albums do cause permanent damage!”) I am instead referring to a dry cleaner that is not winning any awards for their excellence in dry cleaning skills. But even assuming for a moment that the woman was destroying clothes, should I feel obliged to stand on the street corner with a billboard, take out an ad in the local newspapers, and go online to inform the public of her poor cleaning practices? I believe that in that particular scenario, one can discuss the issue in private with his or her personal aquaintences.

    My example, was referring to a woman who was not doing a top-notch job. For some customers, her cleaning is good enough. For the succesful lawyer who is more particular about his clothing, her services may be unsatisfactory. Aryeh is critiquing albums that are not performing up to his personal standards. These albums are more than fine for most of the general Jewish population.

    Regarding your statement that his is his “opinion”, just because it is Aryeh’s opinion doesn’t make it any less wrong. If I were to inform my friends that I believed you to be a jerk (of course this is not the case, as I feel I have grown quite close to you over this past week) would it be OK if I clarified my statement by saying that it is only my opinion?

    Again, we don’t need Aryeh’s critiques to decide whether to buy an album. We have the listening stations, a number of different internet Jewish music sites, and our friends who buy the albums before us. Lets use those mediums rather than this public forum. There is a significant difference to offering one’s opinion in a more covert mannet to displaying it for all the world to see.

    6)I am fairly certain that the majority of Jewish music professionals’ primary source of parnassah is their music. Therefore, a harsh critique is affecting their main source of income. Either way, there is no more of a heter to slander an individual’s or group’s efforts because it is not their “primary” source of income. They may have secure day jobs on top of their music. Hurting their side professions is wrong as well.

    One man can most certainly make a difference. Rabbi, I am sure you are aware of the mashul of the man who was told to collect all the pillow feathers after letting them out in the wind and the difficulty he had in doing so. It is not only the readers of Aryeh’s blog who are privy to his acrid reviews. After the blog followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, a harmful message may have been passed to hundreds if not thousands.

    7) All I can say Rebbi is, and I mean this with the utmost respect; Bring it on.

    Comment by Doug — May 22, 2006 @ 9:58 am

  91. “Aryeh is critiquing albums that are not performing up to his personal standards. These albums are more than fine for most of the general Jewish population.”
    – Doug

    Doug,
    Don’t you think if theyre more than fine for most of the general Jewish population, this blog won’t really matter to them? The Bais Yakov girl who could care less about the intricacies of an album won’t be swayed by any comments on this blog. On the other hand, for those of us who don’t wish to buy another crappy cd, why is it wrong to get an honest opinion before wasting your money? Wouldn’t you give your friend your opinion of a particular cd (assuming you already heard it) before your friend makes a disappointing purchase? Surely you wouldn’t say “go listen online at Sameach’s website – I cant give you an opinion.”

    If one is putting out a cd for the public they have to be prepared for both positive and negative feedback, in the same way that someone who posts a comment on a public blog must be ready for criticism, as well.

    Im out.

    Comment by Genik Shoin — May 22, 2006 @ 10:58 am

  92. Genik shoin,

    Truly valid points and I do agree with you what you said to an extent. However, I am drawing the line between privately informing my friend of my opinion regarding a certain album and publicly informing the world. Aryeh, may be a close friend of yours. If that is the case, I have less of a problem with you calling him up and asking “Hey Aryeh, in your expert opinion, what do you think of the new Yacov Young album?” He can then respond by telling you that in his personal opinion, which you don’t have to accept as a halacha l’moshe mesinai, he either likes or dislikes the album for the following reasons. Many would still consider this to be loshon horah but I personally have less of a problem with this. Publicly stating his reviews for the entire world to see is in my opinion, and I believe the opinion of many others as well, going too far.

    If the producers of an album ought to receive feedback on their production, Aryeh could easily send a detailed email to Sameach and Aderet music, informing them of which areas in his opinion, require improvement. The distributors could then relay that message to the musicians. In this way, the musicians have received the critical feedback which you speak of, and we have avoided turning potential customers off from the album.

    Regarding your first statement about the girl who would not be turned off by a review if she already enjoys this music, I agree that that is the case for some people out there.

    However, you and I both know a large number of people (I personally believe that this is the majority of the population) who are quite impressionable. There are many of us out there who after reading a scathing review, are quick to say “You know what? That review is correct! I don’t know what I was thinking before.”

    In the secular world there is a concept to not read a movie review of a particular film that one is interested in viewing, before actually seeing it. The individual does not want to be influenced, or made aware of any “holes in the plot”, before the viewing. These individuals would rather watch the film and enjoy it on their own personal scale, without any prior biases they may have picked up from that mornings newspaper review.

    People are impressionable. That is the nature of man. We can be so confident in our beliefs one day and then the following day, hear an inspirational speech who challenges these beliefs, leaving us questioning our previous notions.

    It is for this reason that I question Aryeh’s blog. It is for this reason that I most definitely believe that Aryeh should be held accountable for his statements and that if his motives for reviewing a particular album appear to be questionable, this should be noted by the readers.

    Comment by Doug — May 22, 2006 @ 11:36 am

  93. In the secular world there is a concept to not read a movie review of a particular film that one is interested in viewing, before actually seeing it. The individual does not want to be influenced, or made aware of any “holes in the plot”, before the viewing. These individuals would rather watch the film and enjoy it on their own personal scale, without any prior biases they may have picked up from that mornings newspaper review.
    – Doug

    Exactly! The same could be said over here. If one doesn’t wanna’ be influenced or made aware of any “holes” he doesn’t have to read these music reviews.

    Comment by GenikShoin — May 22, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  94. Genik shoin,

    That is correct. One does not have to read the reviews. I am speaking to the people who actually do read the reviews and are then influenced.

    To use a more extreme analogy, if a frum man is working as a tattoo artist and providing his service to wayword teens, we don’t just say, “Hey, they don’t have to go to him!” Rather, we focus on the man who is providing the service.

    Comment by Doug — May 22, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  95. What’s whis all these analogies – can’t you make a cogent argument without them?

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 22, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

  96. Aryeh,

    As my words have been misunderstood a number of times already on this blog (even though I have been unusually clear)I have begun using more analogies so your distinguished blog readers have an easier time interpreting my posts.

    I’m sure you have posed that same question to the gemara every time it offers its readers an analogy. (Aryeh- “Come on gemara! That analogy proves you can’t make a cogent argument!”)

    Honestly Aryeh, is your best response to my questions, a question about the amount of analogies I use? It clearly looks as if your only method of defense is to question my writing skills. Very interesting.

    Comment by Doug — May 22, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

  97. I’d rather moderate and let you guys dish out the fighting. The reason I don’t like analogies is because anybody could make up an analogy tht suits their point, and it’s really easy to find holes in analogies. The gemara doesn’t “make up” analogies – when the gemara brings a proof, it’s from another documented source.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 22, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  98. Doug,

    Could you tell us what your mission is here… do you want Aryeh to shut down this blog? Is that what you realy want? What if the almanah from down the street had a jewish music blog… would you shut her down too? Why are you being so hard on a guy who basically gave AKA Pella a great review?
    So he questioned some of the techniques the group used – big deal! Reb Yankel still baught the CD and so did thousands of others -we all get to live happily ever after…why stress so much… life is too short.

    Aryeh, please raffirm your commitment to being Fair & Balanced in the future ….and Doug please give Aryeh some room to breath.

    Now kiss and make up…. ok gotta run… Reb Yankels’ gotta polish his semicha trophy (that’s right anonymous, a i have a semicha trophy!)

    Reb Yankel
    The head shizzel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 22, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

  99. Doug, i’m gonna take your side here – i find your analogies critical to my understanding of the issues. For instance, i was totaly lost as to the concept of focusing on the individual vs. focusing on the service – that is until you provided us with the fabulous mashal about the frum tatoo artist – now my only question is whether I should get the “i love MOM” tatoo or the “9-11” commemoration tatoo.

    Reb Yankel
    smicha rocks!

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 22, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

  100. Raboisay,

    I just wanted to be the one to post the 100th post on this blog… on behalf of Aryeh, Doug the rest of the oilam …mazal tov!
    May we be zoche to keep blogging untill 120 (posts that is!).

    With a tear in my eye,

    Reb Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 22, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

  101. Excellent – 100 posts – keep ’em coming.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 22, 2006 @ 9:29 pm

  102. Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov!
    I was waiting for this day. Maybe we can all move on now.

    ~ Cloak

    Comment by Cloak Of Anonimity — May 23, 2006 @ 12:18 am

  103. Aryeh,

    I wasn’t using analogies as “proof”. I think you are quite aware of that. As I mentioned already, my analogies are used to illustrate the point I am making. Similar to the way the gemara uses meshalim to illustrate a point, not provide a proof.

    Of course it is very easy to find holes in analogies. My reason for using them is to hopefully help your readers see my points in a different, more relatable context.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  104. Reb Yankel,

    One of your most recent posts (Could you tell us what your mission is here… do you want Aryeh to shut down this blog?) allows me to come to one of two possible conclusions. Either you have not been reading my posts clearly or you have a short-term memory problem. (If your answer is B, there are many available techniques to help with memory retrieval though this is not the time nor the place to discuss them.)

    For you R’ Yankel, and this is only because of your chashivus that I am doing so, I will repeat what I have already said numerous times.

    I believe there should be a certain amount of accountability for Aryeh’s postings. Even if my personal belief was that this blog is a center for loshon horah and motzei shemrah, that would not be relevant, as I know that no matter what I write, Aryeh will not stop blogging and the blog visitors will not stop reading.

    All I ask is that myself as well as others, question Aryeh’s methods from time to time. If something smells fishy, question it.

    My larger mission has nothing to do with AKA pella and whether they received a positive review or not. It is to make sure that the musicians, who are often being harshly critiqued on this blog, have someone out there who is not jealous of their accomplishments and is willing to defend them.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 11:12 am

  105. I have to step up and defend myself here – on what basis can you say that I’m “jealous” of them? If that were the case, I’d review every album harshly, and that’s far from the case. This blog is a forum of my professional opinion – if you have something to say from a musical perspective which disagrees with my assessment, say it.

    This is flagrant motzei shem rah, and a personal affront to me. I never once made this personal – but you have a knack of dragging that into everything you say. As I said before, you don’t like it, don’t read it, or start your own blog.

    I keep answering your questions, and you don’t answer any of ours – all you do is repeat the same thing you said with a new analogy.

    You want to personally attack me, e-mail me, instead of cowering behind your anonymity.

    Comment by keyboardguy — May 23, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

  106. Aryeh,

    Whether you are or not jealous of the accomplishments of the musicians you review was not the point I was trying to convey. Looking over what I wrote, I see how it could have been misunderstood that way and I apologize for that. I did not mean to make a personal attack at you. If you review my posts, you will see that I never once attacked you personally, but rather questioned your methods.

    I was referring to a number of your readers who see no problem with the talents, skills, and work of the musical artists being critiqued so harshly. I can only assume that these people harbor some amount of jealousy, as there is no other explanation as to why they would embrace the consistent defamation of their fellow Jews.

    Once again, I ask you to review my posts and see for yourself that I have not posted any personal attacks at you. As of this point, I have respectfully served as your counter. My belief is, having my input actually makes your blog more enjoyable as your readers are now offered perspectives from two different angles.

    If you find my questioning of your methods to be synonomous with a “personal attack” then I suggest you get a tougher shell.

    Finally, I am not anonymous. I am Doug.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 1:15 pm

  107. Aryeh,

    I have answered every question asked of me. Please point me in the direction of a question I have not answered.

    Now a question you never answered.

    “Did you think your friends from AKA pella would find it less weird if you were to post your question to them on a public forum, rather than ask them in private?”

    You have managed to avoid this question by posting an answer that goes in a different direction.

    I take offense at your accusation that I have not answered any of your questions while you have answered all of mine. I see it as being completely the opposite. Please don’t make baseless accusations.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  108. “If you find my questioning of your methods to be synonomous with a “personal attack” then I suggest you get a tougher shell.
    – Doug’s last post

    “Publicly stating his reviews for the entire world to see is in my opinion, and I believe the opinion of many others as well, going too far.”
    -earlier Doug Post

    So Doug, where do you draw the line? Perhaps it is you and your fellow AKAPella members who need to ‘get a tougher shell.'(Im assuming your involved in this group – why else would you defend them so strongly and illogically.) Aryeh’s review of the album was fairly positive. The fact that he doesn’t just say everything is perfect actually legitimizes his critique’ of the album and if anything probably helped this album. I believe Aryeh deserves a Thank You from you guys.

    No moshol needed,

    Heimy

    Comment by Heimy — May 23, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  109. Heimy,

    I am not part of AKA pella. In fact, as Aryeh as already stated, the members of AKA pella HAVE indeed already thanked him for the review.

    You can assume what you like, but there is a reason we have that famous adage about “assuming”.

    I am questioning the “larger picture” surrounding this blog. The potential damage it can do cause musical artists, the controversy that has arisen when I questioned the reviewer and other such topics. I used Aryeh’s most recent review, that of AKA pella, to illustrate my points.

    Now, if you have any real questions for me, I would be happy to answer them.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

  110. How bout you and Aryeh take it outside.

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 23, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

  111. I would like to state for the record that the last Reb Yankel post was not authorized (and when i find out who it was there will be trouble – i’m talking to a certain s/o whose name rhymes with futti) — Raboisay, please do not capatilize on my authority and semicha to get people’s attention – i don’t like waiving my smicha over peoples heads or reminding people that i have a smicha trophy – it’s just not mentchlich… Reb Yankel just doesnt roll like that – moving on…

    Doug,

    In response to one of your recent comments… it is true that i suffer from short-term memory loss… and i must apologize for not remebering what it is you set out to do 78 posts ago… however I assure you that i have rectified the situation… I have now compiled a database of all your points and arguments, including a seperate database just for your moshalim… now every time you kvetch on this blog, I simply scan my databse and determine what it is your kvetching about… it’s not easy to keep track – so give me some time to adjust to this new system. Hopefully i will have compiled enough mashalim so that I can finally publish “The Best of Doug” anthology… i’m very excited.

    Finally Doug,

    Here’s the deal – if we’re talking about an ordinary person minding his own business living a private life than there realy is no room for forums like these… however when you are an entertainer and you make it your business to get in the limelight and attract media attention then it’s unrealistic to expect that others will not critique your work…after all your voluntarily pushing yourself on the public – what i’m trying to say is that just like Aryeh opens himself up to critisism (and he understands the ramifications of hosting a blog) so do all the tom, dick and harry’s that decide to put out an album… it’s simply the reality.

    Now, for you to insinuate that Aryeh harbors some resentment or jeolousy – that goes against e/t you have been preaching… why not give Aryeh the benifit of the doubt – his critisism of AKA Pella was not any more pointed than his critisism of any other group.

    Some recent examples:

    “Koili is an uninspiring song”

    “Katz has a very unprofessional voice, and I don’t think it’s enough to propel the song through the simple acoustic guitar-centric arrangement.”

    So, is it safe to say that Aryeh resents ALL artists and that Aryeh is jealous of Dudu Kalish & Mr. Katz… I think not!

    I don’t know Aryeh outside of this blog… heck Reb Yankel doesn’t even care that much for Jewish Music (except for Dudu Fisher and AKA Pella ofcourse)… but i have the utmost respect for Aryeh’s reviews and comments b/c they are honest, realistsic, well thought out and unbiased. So unless you have some concrete proof that Aryeh made these comments out of spite – i think you should be dan him l’caf zechus.

    Reb Yankel

    The head Rizzle for shizzle
    (plus i have a smicha trophy)

    Comment by The Real Reb Yankel — May 23, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  112. R’ Yankel,

    I do not have the time at the moment to respond to your post entire. All I ask, is that you look a few posts back where I clarified that the “jealousy” comment was not aimed at Aryeh.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  113. Doug,

    Based on your last 67 comments, its apparent you have plenty of time…

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 23, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

  114. Reb Yankel,

    Your recent change in attitude and tone is disrespectful and it is not getting us anywhere. I am attempting to have a mature and serious debate here without resorting to such insults. When you and the rest of your blogger buddies decide to ask serious questions we can carry on in a civil manner.

    Doug

    Doug

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  115. YANkel IVe noticed that someone else has posted as Doug in my place. You can disregard the last statement.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  116. Reb Yankel,

    I dont know who posted these last 2 posts but neither of them were mine.

    Doug

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  117. Doug… The last post wasn’t mine either…

    “Doug,

    Based on your last 67 comments, its apparent you have plenty of time… ”

    I did not say that – I’m warning you rebel rousers out there – if I catch who it is using my name in vain i will shove my smicha trophy so far up… well you get the idea – don’t make me come after you..

    Reb Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 23, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  118. Doug,

    I was looking through my “Doug” database and came across this comment:

    “I was referring to a number of your readers who see no problem with the talents, skills, and work of the musical artists being critiqued so harshly. I can only assume that these people harbor some amount of jealousy..”

    Doug, what are you insinuating – that I, Reb Yankel am jealous of jewish musical artists??

    While I admit that I’ve been known sing Dudu Fisher’s tunes in the mikvah and on occasion even dress like Dudu – by no means am i jealous of his musical talents – his looks, perhaps – but not his talents. Chas veshalom – Dudu has a gift and anyone with an iota of self respect can appreciate that gift w/o resorting to jealousy.

    Now, my love for Dudu aside, I highly doubt people here are jealous of any of these artists – we are all extactic – much like i could not contain myself when Yogati was finally released… you have to accept the fact that people can critique an album w/o harboring any ill-will or jealousy – if people didn’t critique the album then how would the artists know how to improve the next album… i look at this as a service for the artist.

    I wish i could incapsulate this for you with a quick mashal but the only mashal i have involves a monkey and boomerang and it simply woyuld take too long to recite…

    Reb Yankel

    taking the fizzle out of your shizzle since 1969

    Comment by Reb Yankel (tm) — May 23, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

  119. Heilegeh Reb Yankel,

    I am quite familiar with the monkey/boomerang mashul and have had the opportunity to use it on many occasions.

    R’ Yankel I was not referring to you in particular in my jealousy comment. I am very much aware that if it were discovered that you had succumbed to this heinous urge, the Rabbinical counsel would confiscate your trophy immediately. This is something neither you nor I want.

    My jealousy statement fit with my question about the “Rabbi Sermon blog.” Being that there is no blog for these Rabbi’s, how will they know to improve their public speaking skills? But nobody (outside of your facitious statement) has felt that such a blog would be approriate. I therefore came to the assumption that a number of readers who support this blog, must want certain musicians to be less succesful.

    I hear the points that you have made R’ Yanky, but I still find a number of these reviews to be inapproriate.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  120. “I hear the points that you have made R’ Yanky, but…”

    Doug,

    R’Yanky?

    I didnt spend 6 years in Rebbe School for nothing. Please show some respect.

    REB Yankel

    Keepin the hock on the block since 1978.

    Comment by reb yankel — May 23, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

  121. R’ Yank,

    Perhaps you don’t remember Reb YanKEL but I actually sat behind you in the beis medrash during your first 8 years in Ponovitch. I figured that our informal connection might allow you to show me some leniency in the moniker area.
    I’m sorry if I have insulted you.

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  122. I hope we can just get past all of this. I know it’s been hard for everyone, but I’m sure you all see by now how I was right.

    The “real” Doug

    Comment by Doug — May 23, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

  123. Whoever is posting as me, it is not appreciated. Anyone who has been following this post, knows by now that I would not have made a statement like the statement right before this one. Readers, please disregard it as it is not me.

    Comment by Doug — May 24, 2006 @ 12:32 am

  124. Doug,

    that last post was not mine either – and i especially take offense to unfunny people using MY name just to get some street cred around these blogs.

    Doug, unfortunately this is the price of fame – people just want to step into Reb Yankel’s shoes and feel what it means to be “the Rebba” – well I won’t let that happen on my clock!

    I worked too long and too hard to build my reputation (and i have a smicha trophy to prove it)- to have it tainted by some mindless bloggers is not only a descration of my position here but a lack of kavod hatorah! I don’t think that i need to remind the oilam here that i’m not just your average Yankel – I have a “REB” in front of my name (which is something that can’t be said for the rest of you) – so let’s have a little respect for the rabbinate – thank you.

    On a final note – i get a lot of emails from fans and foes alike, one feisty blogger wrote and asked:

    “R’ Yankel… I know that your a chashuve rav and have years of experience… but why must you point out that you have smicha every 2 minutes… and what’s with the smicha trophy… enough with the showing off”

    MY RESPONSE:

    I want the oilam to know that it’s mamesh not my style to rub my smicha in people’s faces (or to mention that I have the only Yahoo approved smicha trophy in the North East) – I wish i didn’t have to mention it – but alas – people need to be reminded – the smicha trophy was given to me when i came in first place at the Smicha Convention of 2002 – it looks a little like the stanley cup (just a tad smaller) and it’s engraved with some hebrew jibrish and the words “R’Yankel is a gevaldike talmid chacham and a groiseh baal midos” – it’s very special to me as it reminds me daily that i’m a very important person and that my tafkid in life is to share my wisdome with others…

    all the best,

    R’ Yankel

    Comment by Reb Yankel (tm) — May 24, 2006 @ 1:19 am

  125. Reb Yankel,

    How is the oilem supposed to differentiate between your posts and the fake Reb Yankel posts when both are, in fact, equally “unfunny”?

    The Rebetzin

    Comment by Rebetzin Yenta — May 24, 2006 @ 9:09 am

  126. Posted on behalf of REB YANKEL:

    “Reb Yankel does not talk to or acknowledge women… not even the rebbetzen… while, Reb Yankel would like to return to the blog, he cannot as he does not participate in co-ed blogs”

    Comment by reb yankel's spokesperson — May 24, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  127. Not so chasuva oilem,

    Its okay the Rebetzin typed through a sheet.

    Also, didnt I see Reb Yankel’s signature on the latest internet ban poster? Whats he doing Rebbe-blogging at all hours of the day?

    PS. For more info on the latest internet ban check us out @ http://www.theinternetsassur.com

    The Rebetzin

    Comment by Rebetzin Yenta's spokesperson — May 24, 2006 @ 10:45 am

  128. Raboisay,

    Reb Yankel now has his own blog – Ask Reb Yankel – feel free to drop a line, a question or to stam kvetch – don’t keep Reb Yankel waiting for your posts.

    *Charges of 1.99 per minute may apply!

    Comment by Reb Yankel — May 27, 2006 @ 11:42 pm


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