Music

Lady Gaga-Inspired Hasidic Luddite Robot Dance

Lipa Schmeltzer’s new music video—in which he sings against the evils of smartphones—must be experienced to be believed. Read More

By / June 11, 2012
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Lipa Schmeltzer, a Skverer Hasidic musician who’s well known in the religious community but lacks anything like the crossover appeal of Matisyahu, has a new video out. And it’s strange. Like, Europop acid trip meets ’80s dance-techno meets Halakha—that kind of strange. There are devout men with sidelocks in silver facepaint and body armor that somehow made it off the set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (the peak of the franchise, really). There’s a scene in which Schmeltzer pulls an egg out of a freezer filled with cellphones and iPads. There’s a dance number performed in front of a wall of bone China. And of course, there’s the song’s lyrics, in which, in a mix of English and Yiddish, Schmeltzer exhorts his listeners to not be so beholden to their smartphones. This is actually a message we can all get behind—your correspondent walked into a parked bicycle several nights ago while studying his iPhone’s hypnotically glowing screen—but Schmeltzer delivers it like no other. And of course, given the recent ultra-Orthodox rally at Citi Field against Internet use, Schmeltzer must be seen as coming from a far different, more dogmatic and austere place. But you have to admire the shiny packaging—and those spin moves.

[via The Forward]