The Matzav Shmoooze: Enough with the Mixed Seating Please

75

Dear Editor@Matzav and friends,

I am baffled.

It’s 2019 and we’ve come so far in so many ways.

So why are we still stuck in old ways when it comes to certain things?

I am actually referring to one thing: mixed concerts.

This week, there was a big concert. And it was mixed.

Why? Why does it need to be mixed?

I am not coming from a kannausdike standpoint. I am merely asking why it is necessary. Such events could just as easily be arranged to be only separate seating.

Yeah, I know that separate seating is usually “available.” And I know that it is not “mixed,” but “family seating.”

All semantics.

We’ve made so many strides in doing the right thing. Isn’t it time to do away with the mixed seating at concerts?

I am not here to criticize anyone in particular or concerts in general. I am just asking: Why? Would it be so catastrophic if, for proper decorum and seicheldike appropriateness, we’d be able to take a stand on this and do the right thing.

Okay, Matzav people, now go ahead and tell me I’m nuts.

I can take it.

But I might not hear you.

Because I’m sitting separate. J

Sincerely,

Y. M. P.

{Matzav.com}

75 COMMENTS

  1. “Okay, Matzav people, now go ahead and tell me I’m nuts.”

    You are nuts, and reformed. Stop introducing your modern changes to Judaism
    “So why are we still stuck in old ways when it comes to certain things?”

    If it was good then its fine now

    “But I might not hear you. Because I’m sitting separate”

    So seating separate affects hearing? yet another reason separate seating doesn’t make sense at a concert

  2. Mixed seating concerts are not meant for Chareidim or for religious Jews in general but for those who consider themselves somewhat Jewish, like Modern Orthodox, Conservative.

  3. You’re asking why? It’s because these people are baalei taava, plain and simple. The men want to look at their friends wife. They want to look at other women. Pashut giredt, giluiy arayois. The goal is to break down all gedorim. The promoters of such mixed events are wicked evil people. The fact that some minuscule infinitesimal amount of the profits goes to some obscure “tzidaka” organization, doesn’t change the metzius that it is a davar assur. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. These mixed events don’t even fall under that category. It’s out and out taava.

    • I’m assuming, Reb “The World Is Not Hefker”, and Hagaon Hatzaddik Rav Y.M.P. that you don’t leave your house, go in public, go shopping, fly on a plane, eat at other people for shabbos, go to kiddushim, drive on roads that aren’t empty, and do a myriad of other normal, acceptable, everyday things beacuse you might be nichshal and be oiver the horrible aveirah of happening to randomly see a woman, right? L’shitoscha, separate seating should also be an issue, because you can still see women. Presumably the people who promote public streets are also “wicked evil people”(and are oiver lifnei iveir), because they didn’t design separate roads for men and women like they had back in the times of the Avos, Neviim, Tannaim, and Amoraim, right? No! There isn’t such a thing, and there never was such a thing! We seem to have managed the past 5779 years going about our lives normally, or as normally as circumstances have permitted.

      I’m assuming you haven’t been on any dates either, correct? Is eating in a restaurant also assur?

      Live and let live.

      Venting about your taavos on the pretext of kannaus againt other people with such taavos being reshaim and baalei taavah will not ultimately clear your conscience.

      There are many qualified professionals who can help you.

      Matzav.com is not one of them.

      May you be zoche to learn the difference between kannaus and stupidity, and may we be zoche to the geulah sheleimah b’meheirah beyameinu.

  4. why are you listening to music after the destruction of the beis hamikdosh! such a lukaladika person! shame!
    on a side note can somebody explain why a public venue needs to be gender separated? is somebody davening?

  5. You make a very good point.

    I believe that the reason it has never changed is because each concert is a big investment and the arrangers are afraid to change the status quo because they don’t know how potential concert-goers will respond. If you want this to change, I think you have to take a more vocal approach and garner backing from a wider community, so that concert arrangers will know that people want the change.

  6. All old dinners in america were mixed. 50 years ago everything was mixed. THE OLD BOBOV DINNERS THE LUBAVITCHER YRESHIVA DINNERS – VIENNER DINNERS WERE MIXED. GROW UP AND LEAVE THE KANNAOIS IN ISRAEL

  7. You are not nuts. You have your own taavos.
    I live out of town where many simchos are mixed and Shabbos kiddushim are mixed. However, people live within their means and for the most part, women dress appropriately and pleasant.
    When I go visit very frum family in N.J, I notice the massive homes, fancy shmancy colorful clothing the kids are wearing that cost a fortune, the restaurants and clothing stores galore and fancy new cars all over.
    Tznius? Heck no! Your problem is that you think of tzniyus as a technical issue, not as a way of life.
    Unfortunately your small minded shtickel is representative of yiddishkeit that is all chitzoniyus and no penimiyus.
    You are not nuts. You are a rachmanus.
    P.S. I bet you get your nuts from a very fancy store that charges top dollar but not to worry, they got the most chashuv hechsher.

    • Hi, How does dressing in expensive or pretty clothes make that un-tznios? You want to argue different viewpoints to give people the benefit of the doubt is one thing, but why ramble about things – just to make your argument “seem” strong – when they’re totally unrelated?

      In addition: The gedolim that hold (according to their respected halachic undrstanding) that a mixed event is at least general prohibited: Then the issue of dressing modesty – which would make it of course worse – isn’t going to decipher anything. halacha stays halacha. Its almost like saying: I ‘m permitted to hear a female singing because she has a very unpleasant voice! Lol. Thanks

      • Your comment tells me that your your lack of connection and inability to corelate and contrast, is indicative of the cultural within which you live. I don’t know but I am assuming that you live in a very large frum city and don’t even realize the lifestyle that is directs your life.

    • because on the other side of you is your friends wife too and thats part of the reason you are going to be seen yes even by people of the opposite gender. if it was seperate seating you would not enjoy it as much .. yetzer harah at work.

  8. I don’t understand concerts at all. Why go and waste a night just to be able to see the singer prance around and act like a goy. If y want music listen to Cd

  9. a few points
    the hasc concert is not geared for bnei yeshiva no different than being a staff member in camp hasc yet they do a tremendous service and deserve our support
    and as a general rule klal yisroel has made great strides in this area most dinners today are separate, and even many concerts
    now you ask why??? 50 years ago it was ok ? 2 answers
    A. klal yisroel was traumatized and broken after the war the gedolim of that time had to first put the main framework of yiddishkeit in place , schools,mikva, kashrus….( yet much of the strides we have is due to the “kanois” of those mishpochos that did aim higher”
    B. there has been a hisgabrus hattavah in the world and we have unfortunately become very weak and vulnerable so the gedorim had to change – whether its woman in shul by hakafos or giving girls rides…or mixed seating

    • Please name a non Chassidish gadol who said women should not be allowed in shule by hakafos.
      It is a universal mesorah that women may witness hakafos without a mechitza.

  10. Nobody is nuts. Everyone is right! Take out all the negativity and silly name calling lines in the article and the comments and you will see a common beauty in Klal Yisroel. We all care about our personal relationship with G-D.

    We need to just stop thinking that its either right or wrong. We need to just stop thinking we know it all and we need to just stop thinking Yiddishkeit is a my way or the highway life.

    Everyone is right.
    If you are a person who prefers to choose as your family entertainment a Jewish concert and enjoy it with your family you are right.
    If you are a person who prefers to only attend events that have separate seating you are right
    If you feel Jewish music today is the most beautiful type of music out there regardless of the beat and tune you are right
    If you think Jewish music today has become like the goyish music you are right.

    Why does you being right mean someone else must be wrong? Think about it. It makes no sense. We can all be right. Each of us is at our own madrayga in our journey to be closer to Hashem. We are all on the same path heading in the same direction but we are not all going the same speed or driving the same car. As long as we are headed in the right direction what difference does it make how long it takes us to get there? If you can afford a Bentley but I can only travel on a horse and buggy that doesnt make you a better person. It doesnt make your choice of travel right and mine wrong.

    If you feel something is not Halachically correct then don’t do it. If you want to protect someone else from doing something wrong that is quite noble of you and you get a wonderful Mitzva – BUT you must first learn the Halochos of how to give Tochacha or how to properly give mussar. You need to have Ahavas Yisroel and when you do, it is guaranteed that the way you say things and the way you do things will have a positive impact on the person you are talking to. However, if you choose to live your life as my way or the highway, as I am right and you are wrong, as I know everything and you know nothing – well, then you will never change anyones mind about anything.

    Love all Jews. Accept all Jews, realize we are each trying to get to the same place and G-D is probably so proud of each of us that we are on our personal journey of getting closer to him.

    So, no you are not nuts. You just need to be more accepting and more loving and choose to do what you feel is right and allow others their right to make their choices.

    Thank you for sharing your letter. It gave me an opportunity to remind myself how lucky I am to be a part of this great nation filled with the most wonderful people in the world. Me K’amcha Yisroel

    • Even if you’re driving a horse and buggy going very slowly towards your destination, you still must follow the traffic laws. Just as you telling the writer “he just needs to be more accepting and loving..”, it can be said that you just need to be more accepting and loving and sensitive to halacha. It’s all we got left.

      • Agreed. Please show me the Halacha and I will accept it. Absolutely.

        Just telling me it is the Halacha without showing me where in Shulchan Aruch it says it will not be enough because then all it is is your opinion and your interpretation biased to how you think it is. If it says it black and white I am all in and totally agree with you. I must follow the traffic laws – as you say

  11. there is no heter to listening or playing music as long as the beis hamikdash is not rebuilt. concerns are a goyish thing, we don’t need goyish “outlets” we have various things to learn that are on the lighter side or worse comes to worse to read artscroll books about gedolim. maybe next lehavdil they will gather to watch a ball drop?

    • Daas Torah is not ok, with concerts its not me making this up. A Yid doesn’t need “outlets” that lehavdil Goyim have, maybe we should be going to football games and movies as well. As it is so much time is lost on bittul Torah why should we waste more on this narishkeit?

      • and yet you are on the internet. and probably have no problem with wasting time listening to talk radio. do you eat sushi? should a jew eat foods goyim eat?

  12. The reason is very simple. Frum Bnei Aliya who want separate seating would never attend concerts. The fryer among us who would spend the money and time on such Halachacly questionable events are also not concerned about the chumros of Halachacly permitted mixed seating.

    • and what is halchicly questionable? do you want gender separated supermarkets? gender separated sefarim stores? cant have the neighbors over for a shabbos meal because it’s not tznios?

  13. Dont listen to the naysayers. You do have a point! MBD flat out REFUSED to do mixed seating concerts for years. What changed there? I dont know.

    Unfortunately, this isnt the fight of the times now.

  14. Chareidishe Yidden should not be sitting mixed at at any public venue being a concerts, wedding, etc. It is considered mixed seating, whichever way you look at it.
    It is a lazy comment to state, it was good util now—don’t make us change. Unfortunately ,many things went down hill in Yiddishkeit in the beginning, when yidden settled in America. We have B”H made great strides over the last 100 years, as the writer relates. Shabbos, teharas hamishpacha, Kashruth, Tzneius , Minyonim just to name a few. This is an area that really does need tikun, correcting. (in addition, as Ruby comments, many things were paskened ok, – bideved, after the war, so that our yiddishkeit can exist)
    It is very very understandable that families would like to go out together and enjoy a concert while in the company of all their family members, regardless if male or female. We do have to make certain sacrifices so we can retain our kedusha. Maybe the producers of jewish concerts should offer private suites for individual families to be able to rent out so their complete extended family can enjoy it together. Or maybe those who want to spend time with their family while enjoying a concert, make a bit of a sacrifice and have the ladies sit with the girls and the men with the boys. Father – son time is not something to be taken for granted. It doesn’t compare to the complete family- wife and all children!
    The writer does not need a therapist nor any help. He did bring up a valid poi

    • And what about going to a MLB game? Lo salech bichukas hagoyim. These events are not for bnei aliyah. It’s meant for the erev rav amongst us.

  15. I’d be more concerned about serious issue facing Jews. The amount of loshon horah that is spewed on these sites on a given day is way more to be concerned about than mixed seating ar a concert. Oh and by the way what do you do when you go on a plane, walk in the street and sit on a bus?

  16. The problem IS mixed seating. At reform or conservative or reconstructionist venue. We can not enter and others are tearing us apart.

    Ga to the concert being my worry. World is.

    Want it cool, get the CD and stay home. You might study.

  17. A valid point has been raised.

    A look at the videos posted show women waving their arms and singing along. This was not the behavior of tzniusdike people and the promoters of the concert need to realize that they have created a venue that will be defined by the behavior of the lowest element in attendance. Thus, either get selective in who you sell tickets to (impossible!) or enact gedarim to ensure tznius.

    The holy work of HASC should not have to be besmirched by the mistake of the concert organizers in allowing tznius to be breached.

  18. Separate seating is the right call. I definitely don’t want to go to a concert with my family. My wife should take all the kids, and I will sit by my self on the side. Chas Veshalom I should be able to enjoy a public event with my family!

    • Good point. Why bother with a mechitza in Shul? There is no reason why you shouldn’t be allowed to spend quality time with your spouse during the long davenings, especially yomim noraim. Time to get with the program. Whatever feels good, do it.

  19. HENNA252
    About 10 years ago or more, I heard a shiur by Rav Amnon Yiztchak re the mixed seating at these concert. I have not gone to one since then. It was extremely hard for me since I always ran to every concert there was. Do you know that in Lakewood there are not concerts!! Do you know why? I am very impressed with the letter that you published. The family seating is not the problem but unfortunately the young also join in the fun!!!!!! That would be enough of a reason to cancel the mixed seating. I know that if the singers would form a block and not allow their concerts to be mixed, it would work. Why don’t we ask for it? Perhaps Moshiach would be welcomed.

  20. It’s not a simple solution, we need Mashiach! Ps. This is not to stick up for either side just putting in my two cents.

  21. Seriously with all the problems we have nowadays you focus on this.I llove being able to take my family and sitting and enjoying all the whole supporting a noble organization.Take all the zealotry and sit home.Dont criticize. Trying to fanaticize orthodoxy.Not the frumieit I was raised on.

  22. I don’t go to anything mixed- kiddushim, dinners, concerts, speeches. When I’ve been asked why I didn’t attend I simply stated that it was mixed. Usually I’m met with a “huh”? They’re usually just not holding on that level (yet). If they don’t want to do it separate, I feel bad for them for the lack of kedusha at their event and even more bad for them that they don’t know what’s wrong with it! If you touch a man (or women) at these events accidentally by brushing against them or walking between two men (or women), its an avaira because you could have taken the extra precaution of not attending a mixed event. And its an avaira for the organizers for being nichshal those attending. Look these things can happen just walking on the street but the point is at these events its almost bound to happen and you have to do what you can to prevent it. But I’m not going to stop them- they’re not holding there. The people attending are basically announcing to the world that this is where they are holding in their yiddishkeit nebach.

  23. I don’t understand why mixed seating is verboten and yet people complain about the shidduch crisis. Let young people meet naturally. Like each other. Ask each other out on dates. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Mixed dancing?!!

    • Because at weddings the girls are all made up and look pretty. Once they’re married, and instead of a shaitel their wife is wearing a snood and no make up when they get home from yeshiva/work and instead of a fancy dress they are wearing some LandsEnd shmata, problems start. When they originally saw them at a Simcha all ungiputzed, it was their yetzer hara and infatuation that attracted them, not true love. Why does a young person get married? What is their motive? More thought and maturity is needed when it comes to shidduchim.

      • Thought and maturity? You mean the young man’s mother getting to review a young woman’s report cards from kindergarten before the couple even meets? The shidduch system is leaving far too many people behind. Attraction is an important first step in bringing single people together. Obviously it’s not the only one and it’s important to talk and make sure you’re compatible. But not allowing that to be the first step means that young people who would actually be a good match are often never even allowed to meet. As for married women I very much dispute your notion that after marriage women look frumpy. Married women are often very nicely put together with beautiful shaitels, nice makeup and flattering clothing. Unless they are in certain chasidish communities that forbid it. And frankly if a particular married man feels that his eyes would stray just because attractive women who aren’t his wife are present, he shouldn’t attend the concert. But I think most married men with their families in tow would just enjoy the concert. THAT is what I call thought and maturity.

  24. A question to ponder.
    Families, siblings, friends (male/female), do go to concerts together. They will arrange seats so that husband & wife or male/male, female/female sit along side each other. There is usually a separate seating area if requested.
    There are all types who attend these concerts & are careful with their avodas hashem. Not much different from mixed shmorges/cocktail hour before weddings or Yeshiva dinners.

  25. Since going to a concert may be assur al pi halacha anyways so they figure why make it seperate if those that care won”t be at a concert in the first place.

    • Avi, it is halacha according to Chareidim, – most geloah hatorah of the YESHIVA and CHASSIDIC worlds ,both Sephardi and ashkedazi- those that follow torah shebechsav and torah shebeal peh. Those that don’t look to live a life of heteirim. I understand that not everyone is there yet, and unfortunately others have strayed from there. Anyone looking for a heter to do things not according to halacha can usually get a personal heter, if it means that they will be oiver on a bigger lav if they aren’t given permission to do the thing they feel is detrimental to their well being. (better they go to a mixed jewish concert than a concert that is loi aleinu not performed by jewish people and you have women singing too)
      HASC is an organization that represents all walks of Jewish life included but not limited to -Ultra , Modern and Conservative Jews. It is really up the the Jewish singers (those who are from the ultra orthodox circles) to boycott such an event, unless it would adhere to the passak of gedoilei hatorah.
      The writer of this article did right by bringing up this point. It is a shame that we can’t make kosher entertainment, fully kosher.

    • if avi is serious he has a lot of things to learn about Judaism. its not about “sitting separate from opposite genders” its what it leads to. its what it brings your mind to think. the torah doesnt say “put a mechitza between the mens section and lady section”, but its the same problem!!!!

  26. to the original Question – I guess you go in the street in an enclosed bubble, you do not go on public transportation,
    you do all your shopping on the internet since you do not want to deal with the real world – if you object to the concerts being mixed – don’t go – perhaps one should not go on a date to a public place because there are people there.
    It never ceases to amaze me how the Haredi community tries to find a Chimrah of the week –
    I take my grandchildren to Uncle Moishe, to Chabad venues, etc – and OY VEY there are women and men together One should watch themselves and not dictate to other’s

    • Losing Patience!!
      There is a big difference between going shopping in a store with opposite gender and spending 3 hours sitting together and singing, clapping and dancing. Don’t fool yourself!

  27. Did u ever go when it’s separate seating? It’s a lot worse! The large groups of girls and boys each end up getting very loud and inappropriate. Family seating keeps things calm and normal.

  28. separate seating by a concert is an oxymoron a concert not a jewish thing
    that being said its understandable that most people who go want to go with there wife to enjoy together

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here