April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Several weeks ago we drove through the night from Montreal to New Jersey. We par­ticipated in a wedding in which Mordechai was the masader kedushin on Sunday night and then after the first course of the meal was served we got into the car and started our drive in order to get back in time for our grand­daughter’s graduation from Touro. Nina is the family night driver so the burden is primarily on her. The caterer of the wedding we attend­ed, an old friend, stocked us up with plenty of nosh for the way and we were off.

For those of you who are familiar with the trip, once you cross the border and pass Platts­burgh the road until Albany winding through the Adirondacks is quite desolate. Gas stations in most little cities are not open late at night and cell phone service is difficult to get as is the radio. In order to stay awake Nina enjoys listen­ing to old show tunes and singing along. Show­boat, the King and I, Grease and West Side Sto­ry kept her going. She knows practically every word of each of them. We began with “Some Enchanted Evening” and got all the way to the social norms of the kids in West Side Story lis­tening to the tirade which they sang to Ser­geant Krupke about their terrible upbringing.

We started to wonder what songs chil­dren sing to and relate to today. We know that through the vibes of Schwecky, Binny Fried­man, Lipa, Miami Boys Choir, etc., there are lots of tunes being listened to. iPods, iPads, CD’s, DVD’s and all of the many technical advanc­es that we know nothing about bring these sounds to our children day in and day out. Even if they chose to listen to music sung by rappers and other rather low types of individu­als singing today how are they even able to re­peat the words that they are singing and what message are they really retaining from them. It just seems so sad.

We exalted in Annie, loved to watch Oli­ver, knew all of the songs of the Sound of Mu­sic and danced together with Eliza in My Fair Lady. Nina remembers that for her parents 25th anniversary her brother surprised the family and got them tickets to see My Fair Lady. We walked out feeling as though we could “Dance All Night” with the Professor and Eliza. Prior to our wedding, Nina’s friends surprised her and bought “standing room” tickets for them to go together to see Fiddler On the Roof. Imagine telling our children today that we were going to a play and were going to stand to watch it!

We watched romances that were benign and gave us so much hope. We sang “Sum­mer Loving” and “Maria” from West Side Sto­ry and were able to fantasize about the fu­ture and having a someone love us and take care of us. We watched Yul Brynner and Deb­orah Kerr dance together and closed our eyes and dreamed. We saw children singing the song “Getting To Know You” and saw a young girl become more confident as she sang the song “I am 16 Going on 17.” Nina remembers singing that song on the day she became 16. We guess what we are trying to say is that the beauty of the arts is so different today. We know that baseball, soccer, and basketball for all sexes are most important. Families are run­ning from one game to the next. When, how­ever, do we sit down and croon and remember and what is there to listen to today that will still be thought of in 25 and more years. It’s kind of sad. Too bad Sergeant Krupke isn’t around for us to complain to.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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