Jun 28, 2007

the boy who sounds like a girl...

A lot of bloggers have been writing about the recent story of the guy who sounded like a girl. So many, that I am only going to link to two of them, otherwise this post would be way too long. See yaak's take and Joe's take on the story. The story was in all the various Israeli papers, as well as on the bulleting boards of a number of sites.

The story goes that this young man from Netanya, Eliyahu Faizikov,a 20 year old charedi yeshiva bachur, sings like a girl. His voice is very feminine. He put out an album and number of songs as singles. He distributed them to be played on the radio, religious Radio Kol Chai to be specific, and they were met with a certain amount of success.

After some time, Faizikov noticed that the station was no longer playing his songs. He contacted the station to query why they stopped. Their response was that because his voice sounds so feminine, every time they would play his songs they would be bombarded with phone calls complaining that they are playing songs by women singers.

(to explain for those of you who might not understand: there is a prohibition for a man to listen to a woman singer. That is in brief. It comes with a lot of caveats and people find all sorts of ways around the problem, but in general a man should not listen to a woman sing, as it is considered to be erotic and arouse improper thoughts)

So, the listeners think they are playing a woman singer, and they call the station outraged to complain. The station received so many of these complaints, they decided to stop playing his songs.

I heard a couple of his songs. The Ynet article on the subject has 2 of his songs. Go listen to them. He sounds like a girl. Seriously. Poor kid.

Some of the articles/posts/comments I read on the subject were witty. Some were topical. Yet many of them claim that the religious world is awash with chumrohs and this is just another baseless, ridiculous chumroh. He is a guy, so even if he sounds like a girl it is not a halachic problem.

I would like to clarify the story as I see it. This is not a baseless chumroh. This is not the chareidi world banning an innocent victim. This is not a bunch of old-fashioned Rabbis coming down on a ridiculous irrelevant law.

It is simply a business decision.

No signs were posted on the walls of Mea Shearim declaring Faizikov and his music to be in cherem. no letters (that I know of) were presented to Rabbis Elyashiv and Kanievsky to be signed declaring him persona non grata.

Listeners heard, what they thought, was a womans singing voice being broadcast over the radio and called to complain. They were skeptical as to the explanation, and just don't want to listen to women sing. Does it matter that it is really a guy? To Eliyahu Faizikov it does, but it does not to the listeners who think it is a girl!

When the radio station receives a lot of complaints about something they are broadcasting, they have to make an evaluation. They have to decide whether the offending broadcast brings in more revenue than the loss of upsetting listeners (something akin to broadcasting the vile Howard Stern - he upsets many people, but many more enjoy listening to him).

The radio station manager decided that more people were upset and would stop listening to the station/program than the gain they had by continuing to play the girlie music.

That is it. It is not a chumroh, rather a simple business decision.

If he has truble getting himself heard, he can go audition for Miami Boys Choir. They have tons of kids who sound like girls. That is their specialty.


  1. For the longest time I thought the guy from Air Supply was a girl.

    He sounded hot.

  2. wow, that really does sound like a girl. He should take voice lessons. If i have never heard miami boys before, i never would believe that was possible...

  3. Actually hearing a man with a girlie voice is even worse as it could lead to same-sex erotic thoughts, heaven help us. I must ask my Rav if I should buy a bigger black hat and throw more rocks at the police as kapara.


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