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Sep 19, 2022

Rabbis oppose musical slichot

A group of leading rabbis form Bnei Braq have published a letter against the trend of "musical slichot" - those slichot events with a performer/singer leading the services, people bring guitars and maybe other instruments, and they become a big event like a kumzitz or concert.

The say these events are a break from our tradition, in addition to turning a tefilla session in which we work to get prepare as we approach the Judgement Day into a concert. They call on the people organizing these events and to the people leading them  and the singers to stop... The letter is signed by Rabbis Yehuda Silman, Sariel Rosenberg, Tvi Webber, and Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin.


Now I have an excuse (as if I needed one) to not go to them. Instead I will continue saying uninspired slichot that mean very little to me other than the nussach itself that I actually enjoy and find nostalgic. God forbid people should be inspired, for those that find the musical slichot inspiring.

That being said, I happen to not enjoy the musical slichot. As little as I understand of the slichot, and as little I find it inspiring, I do like the traditional nussach and I dont like turning these things into parties, and I want to finish as quickly as possible.

And that's the beauty of life. Different strokes for different folks.

The musical slichot aren't for me. I wasnt even looking for an excuse to not participate, but it fell in my lap. But other people want o say the slichot and to say it in a way that excites and energizes them rather than just saying it in an uninspired way.

I know, some will say the opposite of uninspired slichot done the traditional way does not have to be musical slichot - it can be inspired slichot done the traditional way, and if you want to be inspired by slichot and brought to teshuva you have to prepare, read the words in advance, get familiar, learn the translation and meaning, etc.. Well, for someone who is going to do that, great.

And one more point, I happen to think that it is a bit weird to turn a prayer of requesting forgiveness, talking about having sinned, and all that, into an exciting, invigorating, joyful celebration. 

but that's just me. I find it weird, but if that is what floats your boat, go ahead - unless the above letter deters you....

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1 comment:

  1. Sometimes new things that interest people are in the spirit of the tradition - like watching a Holocaust movie on Tisha BAv. But other times, like when people are playing games at the the Pesach Seder, or dancing at slichos, you have to ask yourself -- would my Zaidy think this is cringey...?


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