Monday, September 12, 2011

A Video I'm Having Trouble Understanding

I've recently come to realize just how old I truly am:
  1. I have a son in high school. Scary.
  2. Forty rapidly approaches. 
  3. A new cool internet Kiruv video makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
Someone on Facebook linked to a new Aish video called "Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem" in which a clearly non-religious person complains that Rosh Hashanah is boring. "Jewish New Year? It's just going to be a bunch of guys praying, right? I mean, what's the fun in that?" To this, the frum person says, "It's the holiest time of the year. A time for introspection, appreciation..." At this point, the kiruv-candidate feigns snoring. So the frum guy says, "You know what, let me explain it to you a little bit differently."
At this point, a group of frum-dressed men begin dancing to what must be dance-party music. I must admit, the dancing - if that's what it is, is quite impressive. Something tells me that these guys didn't learn to dance this way at the recent Aish Melave Malka, if you know what I mean.
But I can't hear the words to the song at all, and if anything, the video seems to reinforce exactly what our not-yet-frum friend complained about: Rosh Hashanah really is boring, and it's much better to break dance on your head, jump around Jerusalem, and leap over people (during davening? I'd go to that shul!)
The video, while visually impressive and fun to watch, doesn't seem to have anything to do with Judaism, unless you count the miracle of keeping your kipah on while doing a triple-lutz while overlooking the Kotel.
Aish does incredible work, but I truly fail to see how this video has anything to do with Kiruv. It seems that in our bid to increase page views and attract eyeballs, we're now in a race to the bottom where anything remotely related to Judaism can somehow be considered kiruv.
The best proof? A comment on YouTube about the video:
WOW! This is coool! Especially that blond guy that balances/dances on one and both hands! I'm not Jewish, so whenever Rosh Hashana is, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YA'LL! :->
Great. So now the non-Jewish world thinks that Rosh Hashanah is precisely like the American New Year. Parties. Dancing. Music.
How again is this supposed to be kiruv?

I just got the video sent to me as a link with this email:
I wanted to share with you an amazing Rosh Hashanah video featuring one of Israel's top break dance teams.  We hope that you can post this video on your site, blog, Facebook or twitter accounts and hopefully we will get the entire Jewish nation excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year,
Ben Feferman
Executive Producer
Forbidden Fruit Media

Again - I have nothing against the break dancing per se. But what connection does it have to Aish HaTorah?