One Universal Ethical Basis For Us All

בסיעתא דשמיא

The world's existence is preserved through 3 things;Torah study, Prayer & Kind Deeds. For society to flourish mankind as a whole must come to appreciate the importance of, Truth, Justice & Peace & conduct itself accordingly. Within the great Family of Man, each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet there is ONE Universal ethical basis for us all. Accept upon yourself the responsibility for peace & oneness in our world - world peace as a value goal. That will herald in a new era & a renewed world. A world of truth, wisdom, harmony & peace!

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it ."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston and Worship Of Celebrity

News headlines everywhere have informed the world that the singer with the larger than life voice "Whitney Houston Found Dead In Her Hotel Room, Aged 48". The shock and grief from fans worldwide was immediate as fans mourned Houston's death in different ways  inside and outside the Beverley Hilton, Saturday night. Outside grieving fans laid roses and flickering candles on the front and back entrances of the sprawling complex.

Which begs the question. In general, what is the fascination and logic in the worship of the Hollywood celebrity and global leader(s)? When they die so young (more often than not the cause being drugs, alcohol or suicide), what exactly are we shedding the tears for? What exactly are we "worshipping" or "idolizing"? Besides talent, what remarkable values and legacy did they leave behind? What kind of role model were they for our generation and the future ones?

{Key notes from video shown below}
19:00 "Role of identity is so false it destroys the people and yet we find ourselves looking up to them as they are destroying themselves. If the most popular, the most rich, the most famous can't seem to find joy in life what chance do we, who are not part of Hollywood, what chance do we have?
They have all the glamour. They have all the wealth. They have all the fun and all the opportunity and they kill themselves. Well life stinks. What will it take to have a good life?

So by defining them as their lives as the good life and then watching them deteiorate in front of our eyes it's really depressing. So if we are an unhappy society it is probably because of celebrity" - Manis Friedman

21:10 "We have to be very careful where we put our admiration what it is and who it is we admire. What is the proper if they are the idol what is the truth? What is the trueform of popularity?"

21:45 "The person who should be popular is the person who has an idea, a vision,  a view of life that is not only good for them but also good for others. It's an idea that offers direction, and it lifts the spirit. It doesnt pamper it doesnt pander it lifts, it moves you it forces you to move to higher ground. It forces you to be your better self rather than your lesser self and that's just minimum . Ideally a true leader causes you to be better than themself, better than your best self  because his ideas are new to you"

22:56 "A true leader has ideas that the average person hasn't thought of yet which means its better than their better self. Higher, greater, bigger. The people we admire is the people who respect their philosophy"

25:30 "We want our role models to be consistent. We want their lives to refelct their message. No matter how great the message is if it isnt even working for them how is it gonna work for anybody else?"...

I present you with a video below, a talk by famed American educator and lecturer R' Manis Friedman on the "Worship Of Celebrity - Celebrityhood Is A Terrible Idol".

Well worth listening to the video in its entirety. Thoughts?

R' Manis Friedman - "Today's society reveres famous people just for being famous. What is the difference between celebrityhood and true leadership?"


Anonymous said...

A bit unfair. There is a difference between a star and a "celeb" who is famous for being famous.

Whitney had the most amazing voice, and she expressed so much emotion, and yes she was beautiful too. This isn't worship of celebrity, this is a person who has touched the lives of millions of people through her gift of music. She did lift the spirit and move people. Why does she have to be a role model? Why can't she be appreciated for what she was, her gifts and her warts. She wasn't my "idol", but I love her music and I'm sad that she is dead.

I find this article in bad taste, and maybe missing the point even.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that you listen to Whitney singing "That's what friends are for" with Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.

This is the reason Whitney is famous and loved.

Creed Of Noah said...

I would encourage you to re read the post and listen to the video in its entirety as you may be caught up in emotion and possibly have missed the point of the post.

No argument here that Whitney Houston had the most amazing voice as I mentoned in the opening line of this post "the singer with the larger than life voice". The post also says "Besides talent, what remarkable values and legacy..." The post didn't specificaly mention anything about Whitney being a role model.

As Whitney's passing is the hottest trending topic right now, the post was a GENERAL post to get people thinking why alot of them "worship celebrity" and revere the famous. I found R' Manis Friedman's talk to be thought provoking and sensible and decided to share it.

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous... I understand about Whitney raising the spirit of the people, and moving them... and her most gorgeous voice was phenomenal... but if our spirit is not lifted to.. what? To worship and serve HaShem and Glorify HIM, then we've lost that opportunity of our spirit soaring... to do what it was meant to do.. to soar to heights above and beyond this world... Glorifying HaShem and all His Beauty and His Righteousness. Music is powerful and can lift ones soul to heights, but it can also bring us to a "height" of depression and the opposite.

I think the Rabbi was trying to help us understand what a true leader was and the comparison between a celebrity and the height they bring us to, and a true leader and the height he will bring YOU to...

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful you did not post my comment. It was so inappropriate of me to make that comment without understanding the point you were making.

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