The Matzav Rant: Put Down the Microphone


mikeBy Shmuel Miskin

I don’t direct these words at anyone in particular, but I’ve had enough with the pseudo-singers whom we’ve had to come to tolerate in recent times. Now, by no means do I wish to prevent anyone from trying to perfect their ‘skills,’ but please, don’t pretend to know how to sing at our expense. That’s what the shower is for.

It seems that anyone who can hold a microphone now has a green light to croak away and pretend to be a singer. It is unfortunate, because there are dozens of talented singers, and while they have something unique to offer, we have hundreds – yes, hundreds – of mic-holders (I am patenting that phrase) who unfortunately are not vocally capable, but apparently think they are.

Thus, at weddings, bar mitzvahs and in shul, we are forced to listen to these vocally-challenged individuals. At a recent wedding, I had the excruciating experience of listening to such an individual try to make his way through Yonatan Razel’s Vehi She’amda (as if we haven’t heard the song enough altogether), only to change keys three times, botch up a modulation, and totally embarrass himself on the third part, a difficult-to-sing segment of the song. You’d think that the debacle of a performance would have had the young man relinquish the mic. But no, he returned for a second song, which was more painful for us listeners than the first.

Now, we do live in a pseudo world. We have ‘writers’ who can’t write (just take a look at every second website) and we have speakers who can’t speak. But as much as we have wannabes in other fields, music seems to draw a disproportionate number of non-singer-mic-holders who really believe that they are talented. These people wouldn’t know proper pitch if they tripped over it, but my two ears are forced to listen, yet again, to their rendition of Vezakeini at a wedding as I try to make my way through my main dish.

Please, gentleman, give it up. If you have it, go for it. But if you don’t, put down the mic. We’ll be eternally grateful.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. You could write the same thing about editorial writers on the Internet. If hearing his friend sing is mesameach chassan vekallah, which is the purpose of a chasunah (not to entertain the guests), then let it go.

  2. “Now, we do live in a pseudo world. We have ‘writers’ who can’t write (just take a look at every second website)…” Kol Ha Posel b’mumo posel.

  3. Well it’s not a bad point, but I have a more urgent plea to those who know how to sing and are getting us more and more meshuge and tizried the way they sing, please put down the mike.

  4. I understand where the author is coming from.

    with that said,as a person who is asked to daven for the amud, I do it because the rest of the shul enjoys hearing my davening.

    my rav has told me in the past if hashem gives you a good voice you are michyov to daven for the amud..

    maybe thats the problem ppl feel ashamed and dont go up to the amud and we are stuck with others trying to do their best but its painful at times…………..

  5. Perhaps when the writer responds to a chasuna invitation, he should specify that he would only come to be msameach Chassan v’Kalla if the baal simcha will hire only top entertainment.

  6. someone who doesn’t like amatuer siingers
    shouldn’t be using words like “changing keys”
    and modulation
    your the example of today’s rant.

  7. There are more urgent things in life to get all worked up about. I just want to point out that you forgot to mention all the people with fancy cameras who suddently become talented photograhers! But I suppose it’s easier to turn the page than to close your ears

  8. Our sages have taught us that we do not see our own shortcomings. How then can we succeed in perfecting our character without knowing which areas need improvement? The Baal Shem Tov insightfully pointed out that the shortcomings that we see in others we ourselves struggle with as well.

    On that note, the same applies with the Keyboard so you might as well give it up!!!!!

  9. AAnd the guy looking to speed up his shidduch by trying to sing under the Chuppa and is actually delaying his shidduch with every attempted note in addition its “Tzar ballie chaim”

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more completely. Enough is enough! I’m so sick of every loser, yes, loser who thinks he can sing putting out a CD and advertising it like it’s the greatest thing in the planet. Indeed they’re not lying when they write “Unlike anything you’ve evewr heard before.” You can say that again. At least we don’t have to buy the CD but then getting up in public? Who’s telling these people they have good voices??? It’s time to DROP THE MIC AND SPARE US ALL!

  11. Who really cares? so you wont enjoy 5 minutes of a wedding. worse things can happen. But if you want, we can start a whole new thread called “the wannabe singers crisis” so people can bash you some more.

  12. “We have ‘writers’ who can’t write (just take a look at every second website)”
    This piece is a perfect example of that brilliant statement 🙂

  13. i agree totally with this article
    i just find it funny how everyone that reads it immediately attacks the writer as if he said something wrong.
    if you dont agree with a legitimate complaint just don’t post.

  14. ein odom shir eloh mit toic simcha ovtov levov a nigun comes from the heart dveroim hayotzim min halev nichnosim lleve

    we have so much zoros we need simcha we need lebediger nigunim that bring us up in madregoh