Chasidic Female Rockers Announce Debut Album

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, alternative-rock band Bulletproof Stockings are gearing up to drop their debut full length, Homeland-Call-Stomp, later this December.

The quartet consisting of, as pictured above from left to right: Dana Pestun (violin), Dalia Shusterman (drums/vocals), Perl Wolfe (lead vocals/piano) and Elisheva Maister (cello), will also embark on a US tour including a record release show at Webster Hall on December 6th.

With features in various publications including The New Yorker, VICE, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and more already in their stockpile, Bulletproof Stockings will look to spread their progressive message and eclectic rock stylings out to the world.

Emerging from their Chasidic community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, bold in their ideas and sound, the band seeks to empower women as proven last year when they defied naysayers and sold out Arlene’s Grocery with an all-female audience. The performance would serve as the basis of an episode of Oxygen Channel’s reality series “Living Different”.

The group’s upcoming tour schedule is listed on their website.

46 Comments

    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      The fact that they are chassidos of the Rebbe and follow his teachings, and showing the world that using ones talents to the fullest doesn’t have to mean compromising on ones yiddishkeit in any way. If that’s not a chossid, what is?

  • 3. HOW SAD wrote:

    How sad that this is the only way they can feel important! for thousands of years Jewish women and Judaism thrived (a heck of a lot better than todays “mod” “hip” society) without trying to copy the goyishe low life

    • 4. Look within wrote:

      You created an imagined description of who they are and then judged them based on your false impressions. I am confident that they can and do feel important in many ways.

      You probably noticed that chassidishe niggunim sound like Russian and Ukranian folk songs. You may have also noticed that Sephardi songs sound like Arabic music. It’s clear that “Jewish” music from around the world absorbs influences from the surrounding non-Jewish culture.

      Do you think Moshe Rabbeinu would recognize any of the music that you consider “Jewish?”

    • 5. shimi wrote:

      How exactly do you know the way they feel, and what causes them to feel important? Maybe your only place where you feel important is in your kitchen, good for you… but perhaps their place to feel important is in the kitchen, in the home, in the workplace, in shul and on stage (to performs tznius and just for women)..

      you can go on and accuse any artist who performs “goyishe” style music incl benny friedman, 8th day, piamenta etc etc etc…….. HOW SAD of them

    • 6. K wrote:

      “for thousands of years Jewish women and Judaism thrived without trying to copy the goyishe low life”

      Funny you should say that! For thousands of years Jewish women and Judaism thrived without computers! Since when in the shtetel did the Jewish women drive cars? And the fashionable shoes, clothing and handbag you wear – which goyish low life designer are YOU trying to copy?

      But I can hear you thinking – what I do is okay. I can copy the goyim, but THEY can’t. Because what I do is acceptable in halacha…bot so are they!

      You think, I can set the rules of which goyish / modern practices are acceptable and which ones aren’t, and they must follow MY rules.

      Well, let me fill you in on something: For thousands of years Jewish women HAVE been allowing CERTAIN influences from the goyish surroundings – BUT it needed to be al pi halacha.

      Speaking of which: Loshon Hara is totally goyish and neged halacha. While they are innocent of your accusations, I accuse you of breaching halachas of loshon hara.

      According to Tanya chapter one: You are a rasha.

  • 7. qkfngers wrote:

    This is great music group with their priorities in check. They know what’s important: Family; chassidus; using your talent/s in positive form.
    AND the music ROCKS!
    I’ll be first in line to get a copy!
    Rivka T.

  • 8. Anonymous wrote:

    I am crying .. they are singing and I am crying.

    vas iz gevarim mit unz?

    I love fun, I love music and I love when its obvious that we are yiddishe kinder.
    when it’s not obvious who we are then it is not good for klal Yisroel.

    keep up the music but please keep it truly Chassidic.

    • 9. 8th Day wrote:

      Oh stop crying. 8th Day is a hasidic rock band and they seem to be pretty accepted. Why when a few women do it you cry?? 8th day is gezha so you don’t have an issue with them? Look into yourself and find where the discontent is…….

    • 10. K wrote:

      “they are singing and I am crying” – a person singing is able to serve Hashem. A person crying – cannot.

      Ivdu es Hashem b’simcha – they do it, you don’t.

      As far as speaking bad and baseless criticism of other fellow yidden, I will quote you: It is not good for klal Yisroel…and that is not chassidish either.

      Those who speak against other yidden are not obviously yiddishe kinder because their veins carry the blood of Essov sonei l’yaakov and Yishmoel pera adam.

  • 13. chassidic-women-rocker wrote:

    the rebbe was very adament about who can call themselves a chossid
    it is never considered appropriate/eidel or chassididc for that matter for a women to try to get themselves (media) attention of this sort, let alone for being a “rock star”

    • 14. avraham wrote:

      once a man went to the Rebbe and told Him I would like to be your chosid but I”m not ready to wear a black hat and a kapotte
      the Rebbe answering him when you wake up in the morning and say I would like to be a better person,and make a difference in this world YOU are my Chosid

    • 15. K wrote:

      Point to a source when the rebbe (not only hinted or mentioned but) “was very adamant” against women “this sort” of attention. Was it in a sicha, letter or a dream you had?

      We do know that the rebbe WAS adamant to empower women and give them a prominent role in shlichus, running organizations, publication and in the media spotlight.

      So unless you have a source, you are welcome to keep your fairy tales in the bubbe mayse book, but instead of invoking the rebbe’s name, use a more appropriate one, like the Tooth Fairy .

    • 19. K wrote:

      Good question. I think you need to ask Miriam. She was the women’s band leader at kriyas yam suf.

  • 20. Leo de Toot wrote:

    My reading of history and tradition suggests that music is an integral part of ‘chasidic’ worship, observance and lifestyle. That these young women have chosen to express themselves through the medium of music simply follows this tradition particularly when one considers the nature of the songs, their dress and insistence on only playing to female audiences. Congratulations on your album and best wishes for a sold-out tour! (Looking forward to Terry Gross interviewing you on Fresh-Air!)

  • 21. Talent Yes. best Venue? wrote:

    The fact that they are blessed with musical talent is a gift from Hashem

    When we realize that our talents are only a gift from Hashem, then the natural sequence is:

    How do we utilize this talent to honor Hashem with a Kidush Hashem

    As these talented young folks proclaim that they are Chassidic Jews, then obviously their talents must be used in accordance with Chassidic tradition

    1+1 = 2

    as a Chossid, If one is musically talented, then it is only logical that Chasdidishe Rabnonim (including the issue of Tznius and all its ramifications)

    Mashpi’im should guide and direct your steps.

    Not bias self decided opinions

    I for one am not the one to make these judgment calls

    But every mature intelligent mind understands that many factors must be taken into consideration

    Here are possibly just some of the issues to take into consideration:

    1) first and foremost : is this with the Rebbe wants?

    2) is this rock band creating a Kiddush Hashem , acording to Chassidic standards

    3) will this helpother young women and girls and inspire them to follow a life of Chassidus, or are we inspiring a young impressionable generation to seek a life of “rock music”

    4) Is the true honest motivating factor here:
    a) honoring Hashem. Or b) self-serving platform

    5) in the long term: will this strengthen Chassidic life and especially amongst the young generation, or will it heaven forbid have the opposite effect and mislead many innocent souls and to the filthy world of rock music. Including the potential unintended negative influence that this can have on their own children

    6) can there be a more appropriate and Kosher Chassidic dignified way for these talented young musicians to utilize their gifts in accordance with the Mesiras Nefesh of the many Chassidim who sacrificed their lives including those who died Al Kidush Hadhem

    7) A talent given from Hashem is a talent that should be used!

    With proper guidance from Rabbonim and Mashpi’im , surely there is a way for these young and talented musicians to utilize their gift and bring honor and respect to the traditions of Chassidus and A Kiddush Hashem

    • 22. Milhouse wrote:

      What makes you suppose that they aren’t guided by rabbonim and mashpi’im?

  • 23. Citizen Berel wrote:

    As far as I understand, they perform for female only audiences.
    The lead singer is a family friend and a dedicated frum woman, who tragically lost her husband years ago, and is singlehandedly raising 5 boys (if I’m not mistaken). She is a hero in my book at this point in time.
    So is this chassidic music? –Well I can’t really know but strongly suspect that … meh.
    But given what I know of who is involved, I also strongly suspect that this isn’t any sort of anti-establishment nonsense either.

    It’s simply a group of women who have musical talent and poor taste in music (had to slip it in … sorry) who are doing their best to use it out in a kosher–shulchan aruch way, playing to female audiences exclusively, in hopes of making a living from it.

    Thought experiment time: Is 8th day or similar garbage chaddish music? Hardly. But there is no outcry. It’s a shame that there is market for yalllllllllilli, but that is a symptom rather than a cause of the modern idiocracy. Is it because they are female? Well they play to female only audiences. Still not good? Well what about all the female only drama productions, leminehem, that say right there on the box, that men can’t watch. Same outcry?

    Don’t get me wrong: that hip hop guy with the chanuka name, like totally, jumped shark, and there is that fear here too. And there are also lots of wicked modern winds blowing, especially in connection with so called feminism and regressive progressiveness, so there is that fear here too, so I am far from dismissing anyone’s concerns … you may turn out to be on the money.

    It’s just that since things worked out here, that the people involved are family friends, I wanted to put out some of the mitigating factors.
    I hope I am right, but as with all things new and foreign kavdehu vechashdehu.

  • 24. Just saying wrote:

    Look at these women. They are all tznius and wearing full shaitels. They mean no harm. On the contrary, what a beautiful example in today’s modern world. You can be fum and tznius and also musical! I am sure they will be of the first to sing and dance to greet Moshiach!

  • 27. Rebbe, Rebbe, Rebbe wrote:

    Mir shreit “Rebbe!!” every time we see something that offends our sensibilities. Judging someone you know nothing about, doing something you know nothing about, in a very public place, no less… THAT’S what the Rebbe wants?!

    Put down the pitchforks, zug a niggun, learn a Jewish word, and try to make the world a better place. V’ahavta lerei’acha kamocha, zeh klal gadol ba’Torah.

    • 28. Citizen Berel wrote:

      No you are very wrong. These matters are already public. These opinions — even and perhaps especially the reactionary opinions are healthy. I will never forget the role these websites played in bringing down the toot toot cult. That cult made it’s way into Ohelei Torah and nobody was any the wiser.

      So if you see something, say something.

  • 29. Anonymous wrote:

    So does wearing a “full shaitel” mean everything’s ok?
    What does “full shaitel” mean anyway?

    • 30. K wrote:

      It means that all the hair is properly covered k’da’as yehudis. Which, btw is better far coverage than the Crown Heights “average”.

  • 31. Chabadnik wrote:

    We don’t use our talents by trying to copy goyim
    We use our talents to bring more kedusha into this world to spread chassidus in Yiddishe chassidishe ways. Would they or we feel comfortable giving that picture to the Rebbe and saying this is the Lubavitcher women ‘rock band’? I don’t think so…
    Let’s use our talents in beautiful ways like the Rebbe taught us and bring Moshiach now!

    • 32. K wrote:

      I have seen dozens of brochures from Chabad House events imitating goyim, one example: Simchat Torah with the Men In Black (which I am told is a name of a movie R”L).

      Yes, we imitate goyim because we are surrounded by them. You will wear shoes that goyim say it is stylish (notice the pointed men’s shoes – like a sharp pencil, did they were those in Rostov?)

      Would we go in front of the rebbe with such shoes or show him such brochures – you bet!

      But you decided that it is okay to import Hollywood movies into Chabad events and wear designer clothes – even in front of rebbe, but you aren’t comfortable with “that picture”. Why? Hergesh? Since when is Chabad (moach – intellect) governed by hergesh (lev – feelings and emotions)?

  • 33. Who said yoim hashmii is better? wrote:

    Most truly Chassidishe homes ban that too, and all non- nigunim music. And I wouldn’t want my daughters with that motorcycle gang look. And I am sure that before Gimmel Tammuz all of this wouldn’t happen.
    Once again, our Rabbonim -everyone included- are not stepping up to the task.

    • 34. K wrote:

      Have you been on Kingston Ave lately?

      The “motorcycle gang” look is the least worrisome when compared to the ….

      Your Rabbonim can’t deal with the erev-rav in your midst.The schools can’t control their talmidos (and the mothers and morahs). The workers in the local stores are dressed inappropriately.

      Yet, you point the finger at them – who do wear proper halachic attire, but not approved by your taste in fashion?!!

  • 35. no objections wrote:

    no objections per she to women making their own music and col hacavod for playing only to women- but their expressions worry me- they look tough ad cool

    • 36. K wrote:

      You don’t like “the look”? You are worried about their “expression”?

      Do you have nothing else to worry about?

      If you nebech have nothing to worry about, here are some ideas:

      Worry about kids Off The Derech!

      Worry about the rising divorce rate?

      Worry about Chabad-Lite?

      Worry about the people in your community that eat insect infested vegetables?

      Worry about the deterioration of Torah Learning and Shmiras Mitzvos?

      But instead you are worried about their “expression”?!!

      I am worried about YOU!

  • 37. Milhouse wrote:

    These are four wonderful chassidishe women providing a living example of how a proud Jew makes her way in the world with complete loyalty to Hashem and His law. They’re an inspiration to their audiences to follow their example and improve their observance a little bit.

  • 38. omg STOP ALREADY WITH THE CRITISIM wrote:

    WHAT ARE WE ANIMALS???omg give the women a little credit they worked so hard and this is what you get stop JUDGING ALREADY!!! Evreyone used to make there comments about matisyahu and now look were he is? For some poeple that is there stantederd, you rather them call themselves jewish and not fri out, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN THERE IS ABOUT 15 NEGETAVICE comments i mean a little self respect, this is perfect for a certain crowd i just listend to about 5 of there songs and it is beyond GREAT!!!! You rather your children to listen to this music then non jewish music like so many othere teens are today so BULLET PROOF STONGINGS KEEP UP THE AWSOME WORK AND KEEP ON ROCKING THAT GUITAR I WANT TO HEAR MORE WOULD LOVE TO SEE AN ALBUM WERE CAN I FIND THAT.. ROCK ON BULLET PROOF STOCKINGS!!!!!

  • 40. I love them, they are great. wrote:

    BPS is such a cool band, and I say that as an aficionado of cool bands.
    Frigid City-that’s the one.

  • 41. K wrote:

    Here we have a group of talented people that are actually doing something with their lives.

    We also have a group of people that write negative comments on this site against these talented people because the writers have NOTHING going on in their miserable lives.

    Such writers cannot stand to see others rise up and accomplish. Music is the language of the soul but these negative writers are deaf to this language because they are soulless.

    Such writers are miserable and try to make everyone else miserable too.

    While these talented people share music, beauty and inspiration with others, the writers share wretched misery, depression and discontent.

    I admire the talented group for their accomplishment and pity the critics who are truly miserable.

  • 42. ARE YOU KIDDING????? wrote:

    THIS IS CHABAD!? For a sec i thought i jumped to youtube!!! THEY ARE NOT CHABAD!!! WITH THOSE TRYING TO BE HOT FACES!!!!!!! WE ARE TRYING TO SAVE THE YOUNGER GENERATION!!!! COMMON!!!

    • 43. K wrote:

      Are you the official quality controller in Chabad, deciding who to accept and whom to reject?

      Before you disqualify them, let me tell you something: Lubavitch means “city of brotherly love” – a qualification that you sorely lack.

      You say “we are trying to save the younger generation” – from whom? Certainly we need to save them from your baseless hatred!

  • 45. Bubbe wrote:

    I have closely followed the journey of Bulletproof Stockings – these ladies embody kiddush HaShem in their music and their commitment to Torah in the home and out in the world.

    Before one criticizes, one should listen to their music and READ the lyrics – in every word in every song one will easily identify Torah and Chassidus. One song is even about keeping Shabbas in a concentration camp; another is about Yonah! Just like in Megillas Esther, HaShem’s name does not appear, but at the same HaShem’s presence and direction is clearly evident – Bulletproof Stockings is totally amazing, their shlichus is important. May HaShem bless them with tremendous hatlacha, may many neshomas be reached and open themselves to serving the Abister with all their talents, heart and soul.

  • 46. Zeydie wrote:

    Wow! This is the classic schism in Judaism.
    Yosef vs Yehudah
    sons of Rachel vs sons of Leah
    outer beauty vs inner beauty
    olom hazeh vs olom haba’ah
    outreach/mivtzoyim vs inner reach/Torah study
    losing oneself in the world vs losing oneself in isolation
    Moshiach Yosef vs Moshiach Yehudah
    see Rav Matis Weinberg: “Patterns in Time: Chanukah” for full explanation.

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