Wednesday, September 09, 2009

London Girls' Choir

Here's something new, to me, anyway:  The London Girls' Choir!
 
Why is this new, or exciting, or even noteworthy?
Because religious Jewish music is almost exclusively the domain of men accompanied by any number of cloyingly-sweet boys' choirs (The Miami Boys' Choir being perhaps the best-known) filling in any of the higher-pitched bits in the music.
 
Women's voices (and those of older girls) are generally considered what's known as "ervah," which refers to the beguilingly beautiful private parts of a woman that could, I suppose, lead men astray.
 
It is true that women's voices are one of our exceedingly beautiful attributes.  (By "our" I don't mean MINE, just women in general!)
It's one of the special things that not only differentiates us from men but makes us attractive to them.  Maybe even more so than the parts that it used to be generally accepted should be covered in public but most men today see every day on the streets.  Hearing someone sing is personal; it's private.
 
So I'm not entirely dismissive of this halacha, but it is amazing to me that this group of women, apparently comprising all ages and abilities, has such a deep desire to sing that they found a halachically-permissible way to put together an album as well as perform at concerts.
 
Generally, such concerts are for women only.  And the album may have some type of label on it, similar to the "Do not play on Shabbos and Yom Tov" of other frum CD's, indicating that it is for women and girls only.  Nothing stopping men from listening to it, I suppose, and I wonder how the ladies on the CD would feel about that.
 
(I have wondered for years about women who come to mother-and-daughter-only events and plays at my daughter's school and videotape them for the fathers and brothers waiting at home... I probably wouldn't want my own daughter being seen singing and dancing by men who aren't in her family, but what if she's right next to the girl they're taping?  What if she has a solo?)
(okay, a solo isn't likely for Elisheva...)
 
Anyway, they also have a single on YouTube and the group sounds lovely.  Check it out!  Buy it!  Encourage them!
Very cool, in a narrowly-defined religious worldview kind of way...

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