Thursday, February 16, 2006

Neshama Carlebach's Purim concert cancelled on account of J4J

Here's the story.

A few days ago it was brought to my attention that Neshama Carlebach was to perform at the following event:

Purim in the city...

As it turns out, if you clicked the link, the shul sponsoring the event was a Jewish Messianic congregation (Hebrew Christian, if that wasn't clear enough).

In the ad above, Neshama Carelbach's picture appeared as did the announcment of her performance. That has now been altered after she canceled, when it was brought to her attention that she had agreed to an engagement at that event.

She wrote the following to people who asked her about it:
Dear friends,

I was invited to sing for Congregation Beth El of Manhattan, a congregation of Messianic Jews on March 12, 2006. Naively, I had no idea what their ultimate goal and mission was when I first accepted this invitation.

Now that I have become aware of what this organization represents, I will be canceling my appearance. I absolutely believe in One G-d, and live and breathe for my own Orthodox Judaism. While I respect the ideologies and rights of all people, I feel it to be my own religious and spiritual imperative not to participate with a group that is in direct conflict with my own beliefs and way of life.

I very much feel, in the tradition and inspiration of my father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, that my work in this world is to spread love, light and healing through my music.

It is very painful to know that my acceptance of this invitation may have hurt or offended anyone, just as I'm sad to know that by deciding not to go forward, I may offend some of the people who worked so hard to organize this event. I hope that the reasons for my cancellation will be understood.

I appreciate the concern that you have shown, and thank you for reaching out to me.

I pray that we can continue to be strong Jews and good people, who can, with love and respect, stand up for what we believe in while never growing callous to the impact of our actions on others.

With love and apologies,
Neshama Carlebach
Does anyone know if her late father would not have takka kept the engagement and considered it a kiruv opportunity? I am not blaming her either way, or criticizing her handling, but its an interesting question. Might one have a legitimate reason for performing at a Purim event at a J4J-type synagogue?

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