Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Reb Shlomo Carlebach Was Never Kicked Out Of BMG ......

In an interview conducted with the president of Lakewood’s BMG, Rabbi Aharon Kotler, a myth and legend that has been well-entrenched in the chareidi world about famous Jewish composer and singer, Shlomo Carlebach Z”L being expelled from the Lakewood Yeshiva, was shattered. 
After the supposed expulsion, Shlomo Carlebach is said to have then immediately composed the song, “Lulaei Torascha” while sitting on the steps outside the yeshiva. 
Kotler, who is named after his grandfather, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Kotler ZT”L, who founded the Yeshiva, stressed that in fact “Shlomo Carlebach was never kicked out of Lakewood. Rav Aharon loved him. He was, as we all know, exceptionally musically inclined… I can imagine that at some point in his life, his musical interests and drive exceeded his desire to learn in yeshiva.”
In the interview, Rabbi Kotler reveals the special connection that existed between his grandfather and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and also explains the difference in norms between the yeshiva world in the United States and the yeshiva world in Israel. 
“He played guitar in my parents’ Sheva Brochos. They made a kumzitz. They closed the lights in the room, he sat on the floor. I do not know how studious he was. I was not there back then… 
Also, one of the important things to remember is that Lakewood is not a life system. Neither is kollel a life system for everybody, and certainly in Rav Aharon’s days, people were in yeshiva for a number of years and then they eventually left. That was the norm. 
So, I have never checked the enrollment records of Shlomo Carlebach, whether he stayed longer than the norm or shorter than the norm, but he certainly was not kicked out of Lakewood.”
The interview with Rabbi Kotler was conducted by Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt, assistant Rabbi of Park East Synagogue in Manhattan and as a part of the “Kikar Global” a project of Kikar Shabbos News.


anonymous said...

To say that Carlebach's musical drive exceeded his desire to learn is totally ludicrous!

Tzei Tomei said...

Aaron is playing diplomat, on guard like always to issue the most pareve explanations that are good for fundraising the less of the population you tick off. Even if Shloyma wasn't turfed out & despite what happened by R' Shneur's simcha, R' Aron definitely told his close talmidim to not listen to his music.

In the old days the shayla, which was also tackled by a Breuer's rosh yeshiva being that the Carlebachs are Yekkes who lived in the Heights, was if music is treif from a batlan who started kissing every woman he could consentually get his paws on, which any consent does not eliminate the ervah problem.

But in the 1990s it became public that Shloyma was a molester which even before the Mir Oichet era is a much bigger problem. Certainly, no one frum or frey should be supporting this drug addled lecherous bum. I met him in Boro Park right before he was exposed in the media. He was praising the rosh yeshiva ztl to me with eyes like a tripped out stoner.

As time went on the kol against him took a turn for the worse: rapist & child molester. And very recently he was exposed for having a shvartza mistress.

Unknown said...

The reason he left is exactly because of the way they understand his leaving. There was an article a few months ago in the Jewish Press that describes him going back to yeshiva with his brother by bus and before it go there he told his brother I just cant go back there and got off. His soul was just in a different place than Lakewood, each derech is good for some but if one is in the place that's not for them their soul gets crushed.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if he was tossed or not...He is Dead now.
But most importantly his songs are alive and well and growing.

Frum_schmekel said...

Very well said!

Anonymous said...

Eli Carleach's widow was interviewed in the Jewish Press and she told how her husband and Shlomo Carlebach were on their way back tot he yeshiva in Lakewood, and the law was buses had to stop and open their door before entering a tunnel. When the door opened, Shlomo said he is getting off the bus and not going back to Lakewood. She said specifically that they weren't nice to him in Lakewood. So not necessarily kicked out, but the way you may treat an employee so they look to leave on their own, and you don't have to fire them bc you don't want to have to pay for their unemployment. Kotler wasn't sending anyone to look for them, unlike the Carlebach brothers parents who appealed to a big supporter of Chabad to withhold their donations as long as the Carlebach brothers dont go back to Lakewood.(Keep in mind Eli Carlebach's father in law was a first cousin of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, so his widow has her view and negiyas to Chabad.)

Aaron Kotler, as always is a clever man and a real diplomat. He is a master fundraiser who raises $2Million a week and knows how to avoid controversy. But we heard it from the Carlebach's mouth -- they were not kicked out, but chose not to return and went to the Chabad yeshiva. So the story of Shlomo composing the song on the yeshiva steps right after being kicked out of the yeshiva, seems to be a myth. He may have composed it after a pow-wow while he was still there.

Dig a little deeper and rather ask-- Considering the Carlebachs prided themselves on their own yichus in Germany, but were now lost in a new world where noone knew or really cared about their past, and considering the boys were pushed by their father to try to recapture that elite'ness and pushed them to be grades ahead of themselves in learning at Torah Vodaas -- did they come to lakewood with an attitude of superiority to the Kotlers, or did the Kotlers feel inferior to them? Or maybe they were just burned out by their father's constant pushing them.

We see one thing for sure-- Aaron Kotler speaks from experience-- there comes a point when some people decide to leave yeshiva... Carlebach went the music route, Aaron Kotler went the fundraising/business money making route.