Saturday, January 19, 2013


Why Isn’t The Culture Kosher?

A great video discussion by Rabbi Wallerstein on why certain current cultural trends are NOT KOSHER. He includes discussions of Zumba, Rap and Pole Dancing. Kosher Pole Dancing? Kosher Zumba? He explains why there is simply NO WAY.

UPDATE – Several commentors (via comments and email) have pointed out that the rav slips from a cultural explanation to one that can easily be understood as racist.  Reviewing the video on this basis, I agree.  We do not condone such ideas, and certainly would feel strongly if such was directed at us.  I have therefore removed the video.  (I am not, G-d forbid, accusing the rabbi of being racist, I don’t know him.  Just saying a few unfortunate statements in this video lesson can be interpreted that way.)

However, I want to summarize his points with which I agreed:

1. The Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination, is able to slide some negatively impacting elements into the religious Jewish community under the guise of exercise and modern health.

2. Music and body movements have an impact on our perceptions and emotions.  Certain types of music styles are heavy in their impact, and these types of music are integral parts of these problematic exercise routines.  Further, these routines usually target women.

(I’d add two points here.  First, studies on music impact have even shown listening to “fast” paced music while driving results in the driver driving faster or listening to certain types of music result in the driver driving more recklessly.   Second, if you’ve ever seen young children (2-4 years old) react to certain types of music, you can directly see a “body” reaction to music without any type of cultural filter.)

3. If you want to consider compatibility between an exercise routine or type of music and orthodox Judaism, just imagine yourself sitting with your 12 year old child going over Torah homework immediately after listening or exercising to such music or routines.  Can you return from gyrating to thumping tunes and discuss the parsha, a Rashi or a Mishnah?

When viewed in such a context, the incompatibility is obvious.


  1. Gee, this is an exact post from here:

    Thanks for spreading the word, though!

  2. You post this man talking that Black people are dancing like "Monkeys in the Jungle?". Since when is racism part of Judaism? It is one thing that a dance may be sexually provocative and not tznius, but he seems to suggest that this is because it is inherently Black? No, it is just one type of dance and there are many people of all colours who may regard it as incorrect.

  3. Rabbi Wallerstein is in/coming to Eretz Yisrael, and will be speaking at the Great Synagogue January 23, this Wednesday evening at 8pm. Signs are all over Rehavia.

  4. I strongly disagree with his points. By same logic he can say that basketball is assur. (Can you imagine dribbling a ball in a sweaty t-shirt and shorts and then immediately saying "v'hu rachum... shma..."?) And once we're at it, so is serving in the army. And what about using the internet?

    The world will always be FULL of things that don't seem to fit with the shuckling of the beis medrash. It's important to know that we don't learn Torah so that we can shuckle just like our grandparents did! We learn Torah so we can know what the right thing is!

    As to zumba itself, I really don't know, I never tried it, but dare I say it - I think there're far grater troubles facing Klal Yisroel that's making young people go off. I bet you Weberman and many other molesters never visited a zumba class...

    To end off - if this were coming from someone who is moser nefesh to fight child molesters in frum communities, perhaps I would pay more attention to his outcry against zumba. And so would many frum women out there.

  5. Where is the light unto the nations?

  6. And the word of HaShem came to me, saying:

    2 Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: Thus saith HaShem: I remember for thee the affection of thy youth, the love of thine espousals; how thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

    3 Israel is HaShem'S hallowed portion, His first-fruits of the increase; all that devour him shall be held guilty, evil shall come upon them, saith HaShem.

    4 Hear ye the word of HaShem, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel;

    5 Thus saith HaShem: what unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me, that they are gone far from Me, and have walked after things of nought, and are become nought?

    6 Neither said they: 'Where is HaShem that brought us up out of the land of Egypt; that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?'

    7 And I brought you into a land of fruitful fields, to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled My land, and made My heritage an abomination.

    8 The priests said not: 'Where is HaShem?' And they that handle the law knew Me not, and the rulers transgressed against Me; the prophets also prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

    9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith HaShem, and with your children's children will I plead.

    WHERE IS THE LIGHT, being chosen is not an option, it's a responsibility.

  7. 26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets;

    27 Who say to a stock: 'Thou art my father', and to a stone: 'Thou hast brought us forth', for they have turned their back unto Me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say: 'Arise, and save us.'

    28 But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble; for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.

    29 Wherefore will ye contend with Me? Ye all have transgressed against Me, saith HaShem.

    30 In vain have I smitten your children--they received no correction; your sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.

    31 O generation, see ye the word of HaShem: have I been a wilderness unto Israel? or a land of thick darkness? Wherefore say My people: 'We roam at large; we will come no more unto Thee'?

    32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.


  8. How many more generations are we going to steer in the wrong direction? When do we step up and let G-d know we have heard, but finally we listen? We create this life, and then when things are bad based on what we created, then we turn to G-d & ask for help. It's time to become the light unto the nations, it's time we listen.

  9. 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith HaShem.

    21 Hark! upon the high hills is heard the suppliant weeping of the children of Israel; for that they have perverted their way, they have forgotten HaShem their G-d.

    22 Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings.-- 'Here we are, we are come unto Thee; for Thou art HaShem our G-d.

    23 Truly vain have proved the hills, the uproar on the mountains; truly in HaShem our G-d is the salvation of Israel.

    24 But the shameful thing hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

    25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against HaShem our G-d, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day; and we have not hearkened to the voice of HaShem our G-d.'

    How many are confused today? How many would stand in shame? We have no truthful leaders that lead with righteousness. Become the light, the people are looking for the light.

  10. 21 How long shall I see the standard, shall I hear the sound of the horn?

    22 For My people is foolish, they know Me not; they are sottish children, and they have no understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

    23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.


  11. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not attended unto My words, and as for My teaching, they have rejected it.

    Does it have to become bad again before Israel realizes they have a responsibility unto the nations & to G-d? You were given back the land, and how are you repaying G-d for this? Waiting for an anointed one to rebuild the Temple? I'm affraid the anointed one will state facts you don't want to hear.


  12. 22 For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices;

    23 but this thing I commanded them, saying: 'Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your G-d, and ye shall be My people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'

    24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in their own counsels, even in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward,

    25 even since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day; and though I have sent unto you all My servants the prophets, sending them daily betimes and often,

    26 yet they hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff; they did worse than their fathers.

    27 And thou shalt speak all these words unto them, but they will not hearken to thee; thou shalt also call unto them, but they will not answer thee.

    28 Therefore thou shalt say unto them: This is the nation that hath not hearkened to the voice of HaShem their G-d, nor received correction; faithfulness is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

    Prophets, the Temple, servants, and still did not hearken unto G-d's voice. How are you going to listen to the anointed one? So many Rabbi's that know the law, yet so little LIGHT.

  13. "The Scarifice"

    Was not about the animal, the Temple, or the service. Was about the person standing in line showing the shame of sin, waiting their turn to offer. HOW LONG WOULD THE LINE FOR SACRIFICE BE TODAY?


  14. 4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them: Thus saith HaShem: do men fall, and not rise up again? Doth one turn away, and not return?

    5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

    6 I attended and listened, but they spoke not aright; no man repenteth him of his wickedness, saying: 'What have I done?' Every one turneth away in his course, as a horse that rusheth headlong in the battle.

    7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the ordinance of HaShem.

    8 How do ye say: 'We are wise, and the Law of HaShem is with us'? Lo, certainly in vain hath wrought the vain pen of the scribes.

    9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken; lo, they have rejected the word of HaShem; and what wisdom is in them?

    10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall possess them; for from the least even unto the greatest every one is greedy for gain, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

    11 And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people lightly, saying: 'Peace, peace', when there is no peace.

    I can find a church in every city/town; I can find a mosque in every city/town. Where are the synagogues teaching the law in every city/town? Why has Israel allowed false gods to be spread throughout the world? Where is the sacrifice of Israel? Israel has allowed, once again, the abundance of false idols to take control. Now, it will take sacrifice like never seen in the days of old, to spread the law. It’s expected for the leaders of false idols to hide behind closed doors, but the LAW should not hide.




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