The Fourth Son

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  1. Bob Miller says:

    Music also has the ability to pull Jews into the orbit of Jewish feeling and then thinking. While I don’t suggest that only traditional tunes can do this, I sense that the dull semi-quasi-rock at ultra-volume, as we hear too often at our events, pollutes our musical ideal.

  2. micha says:

    Is music an “also”? Music is experienced. It can be understood, given theory, ratios of frequencies, etc… But music as music is an experience rather than a cold cerebral exercise.

  3. Bob Miller says:

    I was just pointing to music as an example to support your thesis here. Both positive and negative musical experiences are readily available, but maybe more so the latter.

  4. milhouse trabajo says:

    very new-age, i also enjoy reading the Tam as a positive adjective based on context, as does R’ Shlomo Carlebach (who also reads the she’eino yode’ah lish’ol as the best, who is so filled with love and awe that he doesn’t bother with questions/details, so we must push him to care more about minutiae).
    one could also read the chacham as the worst, a taavah filled, narcissistic shelo-lishmanik.

    • micha says:

      My intent was not new-age at all.

      1- “Tam” isn’t used yet as a negative term when the Hagadah was written. Yaaqov is described as an “ish tam yosheiv ohalim”, and R’ Yaaqov the Tosafist is therefore called Rabbeinu Tam. The piyut we say on Yamim Noraim describes G-d as “haTam umetameim im temimim.” Neither is plausible if “tam” had a negative connotation even as a different usage. What kind of honorific is it if the term could be used in ridicule as well?

      The Y-mi has the third son as “tipeish”, and I think the Bavli intentionally chose “tam” so as NOT to be negative.

      2- What motivated the post, was reading R’ Dov Kramer’s (“Davenin’ Dov Kramer” to WFAN listeners) blog post at while in the middle of working my way through the Ramchal’s original dialog version of Mesilas Yesharim. In his first version, the Ramchal makes it a dialog between a Chakham and a Chasid. Mapping “chasid” to “tam” came naturally.

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