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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Give Her a Get

Jewish punk music might have ditched the kitsch for good. While I love myself some YIDcore, the silly Australian punk band, the Groggers' new music video for the song "Get" is everything that punk is supposed to be about -- mostly, positive social change and making you uncomfortable.

I have no idea whether they're disgruntled yeshiva boys or sardonically clever baal teshuvas or another monster entirely. Dear Groggers, who are you? Do you have more songs? And are you actually cool in real life? Give me a shout.

And, if you want to know more about what a get is or exactly why it's permissible in Jewish law to kick that dude's tuchus six ways to Sunday, read's article on agunot get, and check out this other swanky example of art-as-activism: a comic called the Unmasked Project.

(And thanks to the innumerable Heshy Fried for showing me this.)


Unknown said...

For further information regarding The Groggers, feel free to email

...and yeah they're pretty cool

Religion and State in Israel said...

Check out The ‘Get’ Rap.

Here's the chorus:

Did did you get the Get?
Oh yeh I got it done
You see I copped a plea
at the Bet Din, officially
They cut it for me
The male hierarchy
They told me I could be free
If I paid them a fee

matthue said...

Hey @Religion,

I'm not feeling the Get rap. The Groggers video is so powerful because it's people who get and agunah actually applies to, and they're making a commentary and making it loud, and they're trying to raise awareness and get social change happening.

Agunot are a major problem. But when Anne Etra writes things like, "Because there’s ten in a minyan/And you’re not included/So don’t be deluded/And think that they care" -- it trivializes the whole issue of agunot get. Saying "Orthodox Jews are sexist" is a narrow, imperturbable and wholly un-understanding way of (not) looking at what's really going on.

Religion and State in Israel said...


I'm not sure I understand your point when you say that "the Grogger video is so powerful because its people who 'get' and agunah actually applies to".

Anne Etra mentions that "The my cousin Diana's cause: she is a Conservative Rabbi in Israel who has been fighting the GET for some ten years now, under the auspices of the Schecter Institute of Jewish Studies, a seminary of the Conservative Movement."

Seems that My Jewish Learning just posted a relevant article online, titled Jewish Divorce: Get Abuse.

matthue said...

But there's like 3 different issues!

1) Religious Jews outside of Israel: i.e., the dudes who are singing the song.

2) Jews in Israel: This is what the MJL article's referring to. It's kind of messed up that people who don't believe in halacha are being forced into living their lives that way -- as my favourite tattoo art says, "Only G*d can judge me." I believe that's also what the rapper's cousin is fighting. And that's totally legit.

3) Is Orthodox Jewish halacha misogynist? Maybe, in some ways, in the reading of modern secular American values. In other ways, Orthodox halacha is totally misandrist by that measurement. But I think it's incorrect, even dangerous, to collate this with (1) -- because you're arguing two entirely different universes. One is social. One is textual. And, in any cases, the equation "you don't count me in a minyan=you don't care about me" doesn't work. I don't count Sherman Alexie or my wife in a minyan, but I care pretty deeply about both [uh, in different ways, though].

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