Monday, June 10, 2013

"From My Young Israel Days...."

I've joined a gym!
Yay!  Actually, ouch, big time. But that's not the main point, here (though I LOVE the zumba class!)

The music is....current. popular. loud. and goyish.

Which really doesn't bother me, just the loudness does.  It's actually funny,somewhat, or very sad (to me) that now I know a lot of the tunes playing in stores, malls, and public places. 

But every so often one of the "older" instructors plays oldies music, or tunes I remember from my teen and early 20's years.  And I hum along. If it's really loud, I actually sing along! No embarrassed teenaged children hanging around me to roll their eyes or snort!

In today's cardio sculpt class, a song I remember from eons ago came on, and I was humming to the beat. Sort of a distraction, from focusing on the pain of lifting weights.  And the woman next to me said, "I remember this, too! From my Young Israel days!"

I wasn't sure what to answer her. I never went to a Young Israel shul.  I went to a Bais Yakov school.   A lot of us listened to English music.  It really wasn't such a big deal. Or if it was, no one in our lives told us so.  I really love music, and singing, and singing along with music.  And I'll never get ABBA or The Mammas and the Poppas or anything sung by Julie Andrews out of my head. 

But I'm closer to .... well, over 40, and I don't really care if someone knows why I know the songs with all the lyrics, or why I'm humming along.  Who really cares if it's because we grew up differently than we are now?! 

Should I have told her, "Oh! It's from my Washington Heights days"?  What does that mean? Where I lived had nothing to do with it, because there were girls in my class who didn't listen to English music.

I think we are just so uncomfortable with what we may have been like when we were younger, or what we did, that even as we approach lower middle age, we are still apologizing and trying to explain why we do something.

Or do I have it all wrong?  I think I've grown spiritually over the past 30 years, but am I wrong?

I had an issue with a long time friend who told me (also at the gym!) "my little thing to become frummer was wearing pantyhose with my short socks.  If I don't wear a long skirt, and part of my leg is showing, I think it's right to cover it with hose. That's just my way of becoming a little bit frummer."



Princess Lea said...

I sing along with my mother "Mecca" by Gene Pitney. We holler "Money Money Money" by Abba. We croon together "I am a Rock" by Simon and Garfunkel.

But we also sing together "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson.

She went to Bais Yaakov. I went to Bais Yaakov. My parents never had any issue with "goyish" music, neither did their parents. It was never a conversation.

Yet no car can make a trip without Avraham Fried or Mordechai Ben David.

FBB said...

I think to a great degree we have have framed people who listen to non-Jewish music or watch tv/movies as potentially going off the derech as opposed to having distractions, and putting a barrier to their potentially closeness to Hashem. Not that they can't get close, but could get closer.

However, when leaving in a world of extremes and absolutes, the slightest slip or rather deviation from what has become the norm send people into a panic that it's all or nothing, and the kid will leave yiddishkeit.

Thus, people need to disavow their past lest their kids become "at risk"


daughtersintheparsha said...

FBB: "like"