Rabbi Levin Discovers and Opposes Anti-Jewish High School Play Rife with Immorality

בנשיאות הרה"ג ר אברהם דוב העכט שליט"א
Rabbinical Alliance of America
305 Church Avenue, Second Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11218-3105 U.S.A.
Tel. 212-242-6420 Fax. 212-255-8313

Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock
President Rosh Beth Din
Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum


Ms. Diana Rigby
Concord-Carlisle Regional School District
Ripley Building
120 Meriam Road
Concord, MA 01742

November 9, 2010

Dear Ms. Diana Rigby,
I am writing you on behalf of our 67-year-old national organization consisting of more than 850 Rabbis.
We have seen excerpts of a play entitled "Falsettos" as well as a partial transcript of some of the songs in that play.
Those of us who saw segments of this play and read from the transcript of various songs are horrified, outraged and disgusted. This makes a mockery of our religion and our Torah/Bible, which refers to Jews as "a monarchy of priests and a holy people".
What this play does is cruder than bathroom humor. We are insulted by the associating of Jews with perversion and debauchery. We don't believe you would have the "chutzpah"/temerity to make or perform such a play if it were about Arabs of the Muslim faith.
By showing this play, you have cheapened our religion and are poisoning the minds of youth who perform this debauchery and also those who view it.
We demand that you do not continue to insult us and that you never show this play again. Society has enough problems with things that seek to propel us into the sewer. This play takes us all in that direction, and we say: "No, Thanks!"

Rabbi Yehuda Levin
Rabbinical Alliance of America

Cc: media, Lee Ann Kay

Rabbi Levin will be in the Holy Land through Nov. 28. He can be reached by emailing rabbilevin@gmail.com.

P.S. Information about the play:
"Falsettos" is a rather long play of about two hours and 24 minutes. Marvin, his son Jason (played by a girl), his psychiatrist Mendel, and his male lover Whizzer begin the play singing, "Four Jews in a room bitching." Marvin has left his wife Trina for Whizzer. Trina later divorces Marvin and marries Mendel. Whizzer dies of AIDS. The play makes fun of Jews, while claiming God is a joke; so you might as well become a homosexual and contract AIDS and die. It's a play that creatively promotes death.
Brief highlights:
0-4 minutes: Scripture is mocked, Jewish stereotypes, nothing is funny about, "funny,
funny, funny, funny."
11:30 - 15:10: Gay activity; these men would "kill for that thrill of first love."
50:11 - 52:00: March of the Falsettos; "One butt following the other, teach it to your
brother..," "...we're lacking in maturity..."
1:19:00 - 1:23:00: Religion satirized, particularly references to son's bar mitzvah.
1:25:00 - 1:29:00: New stereotype about Jewish people, claiming Jews can't play
baseball. Marvin, his ex-wife, his ex-wife's husband, two lesbian
neighbors, and his lover, Whizzer go to watch Jason play baseball.
Whizzer gives pointers to Jason, like a dad.
1:44:00 - 1:47:05: Two homosexual men in bed.
1:57:55 - 2:02:00: Whizzer, Marvin's lover, is in the hospital dying of AIDS. Play
makes fun of Jewish food.
2:03:25 - 2:04:55: Song about passionate lovers; reference to "horny lover."
2:13:00 - end: Mockery of the Jewish bar mitzvah. At 2:17:40, the homosexual lover
"dies" of AIDS during Jason's song in Hebrew. At 2:20:19, Marvin sings
to the ghost of Whizzer - "I'd do it again, and again, and again."
Sodomy is worth the price of abandoning one's wife and child, contracting AIDS, and dying. This is the lesson of "Falsettos," while it cheerfully demeans God and the Jewish people.
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Anonymous said...

As someone who was born and raised Jewish, I am embarrassed by your letter. This play does not ridicule our religion. But your letter does.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole-heartedly with anonymous above. As a deeply committed Jew who has served on the board of our synagogue, who was raised in New York and has lived and studied in Jerusalem, and as the parent of a child who attends Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS), I am both appalled and embarrassed by the close-minded, reactionary, exclusionary, thin-skinned, bigoted nonsense spouted in this letter in the name of Judaism. Perhaps (only perhaps, given the narrow-mindedness exhibited in the letter) if this so-called Rav would read and study the entire play, instead of focusing on just a few excerpts, he might just appreciate the deep empathy, love, and honestly-portrayed Jewish and universal angst contained in this magnificent piece of theater. Those excerpts, by the way, were probably brought to his attention by a single representative of a tiny radical right Christian group that in no way represents the either general population of Concord (who gave the sold-out show standing ovations every night it was presented) or the students or parents who make up our extraordinary CCHS community.

Anonymous said...


Greg said...

Article 31, which asked our town to condemn this play in light of these facts, not only failed as written, but was amended and passed as an article to "applaud" the play. Bottom line, Concord does not want hate groups meddling about with the freedom of artistic expression, and the logic here is based on out of context evidence from the plays and repeated attacks on our town's institutions, such as our local synagogue. No thanks, indeed.

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