'Nothing Personal Against Fried'

Chabad Rabbis say their call to avoid mixed audience performances was not directed against Fried's Afula show.

Gil Ronen ,

Avraham Fried
Avraham Fried

Rav Yeshayahu Herzl, Chief Rabbi of Natzerat Illit, said Thursday that a flyer signed by Chabad rabbis against mixed-audience music performances was not directed against an upcoming show in Afula, located at the northwest corner of the Jezreel Valley, by singer Avraham Fried. 

"The headline that said that we forbid participation in Fried's show is incorrect. There is nothing personal here, we were not talking about a specific personality."
Rav Herzl explained that the rabbi's flyer was directed to the G-d fearing public and not to the singers themselves. "We as rabbis think that the God fearing public does not have a heter [rabbinical permission] to participate in shows that do not have separation [between men and women]. We assume that the singers who are themselves hareidi asked their rabbis if they should perform. But we have a duty to warn our people in order to avoid mishaps.   
"The only way to hold performances is to set up a separation mechitza, just like in weddings," the rabbi said. The main problem, he explained, is when men and women sing together. This creates a situation which is "the opposite of modesty."