Category Archives: music

Separating a Person from their work: What do we do with Carlebach’s music?

A provocative and important article from WhoKnowsOneBlog

One of the more obscure ‘secrets’ of the Jewish community involves the legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Anyone who has been to a Friday night prayer service has almost certainly sung some of the many tunes composed by Carlebach. Many have heard stories of his unique ability to bring people closer to Judaism by focusing on the unique, spiritual potential of every individual. What is not as well-known about Carlebach, however, is that he allegedly committed an almost unfathomable number of sexual assaults.

….What do we do with his legacy — specifically his music which has become a staple in the Jewish community? Phrased a bit differently, I think that this is a good case-study of whether or not we can separate a morally deficient person or event from the “objective” work that they produce.

Separating a Person from their work: What do we do with Carlebach’s music?