Hello, it’s me, I’ve been Living Under a Rock.

As Passover has arrived, so have arrived a new crop of amazing Jewish Music videos about Passover. As someone who does not listen to Secular music, the joke is often lost on me. Whether its Six13, whose “Seder Crew” reimagination of “Shape of you” or the Y-studs La La Passover which has to do with Lala land, I simply dont get the joke.  Here is an article on this topic last year, when watching an aish.com video taught me there is a singer named Adelle whose “Hello” had over 1 billion views on Youtube! Enjoy!

Hello, it’s Me. I’ve been Living under a Rock

Dear Henry,

      As an outreach, blogging, tweet’n, Facebookin, Insta-grammin, Insta-grannyin’ Snoopifyin’ rabbi with thousands upon thousands of readers across the vast expanse of the universe, I consider myself to be of the worldly type. Growing up more secular, I can quote you Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and 2pac by heart. I was therefore shocked when I discovered four days ago a new singer who apparently is very popular. Even more popular, claims a friend and colleague who we shall call Barbara, than Britney Spears herself. You see, oh Henry, every Jewish holiday presents an opportunity for spiritual growth and reflection. But now in the era of YouTube, it also provides an abundance of holiday music videos. Usually these videos include very catchy songs that I immediately take a liking to. And until about 6 months ago, I thought these songs were originals composed by the Jewish musicians singing them. But then, when I was at Top Golf a few months ago and one of the songs came on as I was preparing for a monster drive, I got extremely excited with the idea that a large venue like Top Golf plays the Maccabeats to the hundreds of people there, the vast majority of whom are not even Jewish. But then, as I returned to my table after my shot and began sipping my ice cold Blue Moon, I noticed that while the music was similar to the Maccabeats, the words were very, very, very different. It was then that someone explained to me that in fact, it was the Maccabeats who made a parody of this, the original song. The same thing happened to me this past Chanukah-I was enamored with the sheer brilliance of Six13’s Watch me Spin my Drei Dei– only to realize that they too made a parody of a very, very different type song by a guy named Silento called “Watch me nay nay.”
With that rather lengthy introduction, I can tell you, my thousands upon thousands of readers world wide what happened last week. Last week I saw literally dozens of my friends posting an Aish.com video called ” Adelle/Bieber Passover Mashup.” People were literally going crazy over this video, so I thought I would give it a watch. The only thing I knew going into this was that I have a sweet, kind, enormously special relative named Adele who has been a grandmother figure for me throughout my whole life, and that Justin Bieber is a singer who looks like he’s straight out of a boy band from the 1990s, who once humbly reflected that Anne Frank was a “great girl” who would have been a huge fan of his. So as I opened up the video I was greeted by the characters from Ten Commandments singing a slow ballad, in a tune that I had never heard in my life. Realizing how excited so many of my friends were getting, I decided to do a little research project, to see if in fact this Aish.com song was based on another song. What I discovered truly astonished me: While I did not identify if in fact Justin Bieber’s song is parodied here, I did come to the conclusive conclusion that there is a singer named Adelle who has a song called “Hello” that is the basis for this new Passover video. Upon doing a little more research I landed on the original YouTube video which totally, completely blew my mind. The reason, oh Henry I was so stunned, was that I saw that on the You Tube page, around 1.5 BILLION people had viewed this very video. That is 1.5 BILLION people! And until last week, when aish.com brought it to my attention, I had never even heard of this singer, let alone her apparently, very, very, very popular song! I was stunned.
After this crazy realization, I did a bit of self reflection: How is it that I had never heard of Adelle, or her song boasting 1.5 billion views? Do I live under a giant rock? Do I live on a remote island devoid of any form of modern technology or other human beings with whom to interact? Am I hermit living in an abandoned house on a prairie? Then I remembered the decision I made over nine years ago, as I prepared to get married to the Better Half. From the day I got married, I made a conscious decision to stop listening to secular non Jewish music, and I also made a decision to cold turkey, stop watching movies. The reason behind this seemingly archaic move on my part is really two fold: For one, the type of music I happened to like listening to was very often about not nice things. Violence, domestic abuse, and the objectification of women. As I began to embark upon my life building a home filled with kedusha, holiness, I realized it would be inappropriate to have these concepts and jingles anywhere in the vicinity of my head. I had to rid myself of it completely. That is why I traded in my Eminem CD for Yeshiva Boys Choir CDs. That’s why I exchanged my Ludicrus CD for my Yaakov Shwekey and Simcha Leiner CDs.
The second reason I abandoned secular music and movies is because as I prepared to start my life as a young husband, I understood that one of my primary job’s in life is to take care of, honor, respect and revere my wife. She is my world– and represents the paradigm of what it means to be a woman, a wife and a mother. As a matter of fact, the Sefer HaChinuch writes, in a phenomenally beautiful manner, how there is a mitzvah we call Shana Rishona. The basic premise behind this mitzah is that a newly married couple spends their entire first year together. The husband is not meant to go to the army, and they are not meant to take vacations apart from one another. The Sefer HaChinuch writes that the reason behind this is so that their natures become unified, and that the newly married husband becomes so used to his wife, that the ways of any other woman on the planet are foreign, and downright bizarre to him. His wife becomes the epitome of a woman. It is for this reason, Henry, that I stopped watching movies and listening to music. I don’t need images in my head of other women. Many times Holywood actresses are pretty. I don’t need them in my mind. I don’t need to compare my wife- in my mind the essence of femininity- to them. Many times secular non Jewish singers like Adelle or Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez have nice voices. I don’t need to hear them, and to think of the nice looking person behind the voice. Don’t need, or want that imagery in my head. That is why I proudly traded in my Spice Girls CD for my Chevra CD- My Britney CD for my Mordechai Shapiro CD- my Mariah CD for my Mesivta of Waterbury CD.
I am not here to deny there is an abundance of phenomenal, inspiring music and movies out there– there clearly is. To those millions of people who enjoy that, G-d bless you all, I bear no ill judgments against you. But for me, there is something so remarkably beautiful about my life underneath a giant rock.

Forever Yours,
Danny Wolfe

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