Listening to Music

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Is there a rabbinic prohibition of listening to music in commemoration of the destruction of the temple, and, if so, how does it apply?

Background

Source

  • The Gemara in Gittin 7a states that after the Churban Bayit, Mar Ukva forbade singing, playing, and listening to music. That applies whether the music comes from people singing or whether it comes from musical instruments. The Mishna in Sotah 48a also says that after the dissolution of the Sanhedrin, singing songs became forbidden at parties.

Dispute of the Rishonim

  1. Rashi (Gittin 7a s.v. Zimra) and Tosfot (Gittin 7a s.v. Zimra) understand that the prohibition of Mar Ukva only includes music at feasts or parties as in the Mishna above. Tosfot adds that one should be strict to cases similar to that of the Yerushalmi (Megillah 5:3) of a person who goes to sleep and wakes up to music. Many Rishonim including: the Smag (Tisha BeAv pg 123b), Chiddushei HaRan (Gittin 7a), Tosfot HaRosh (Gittin 7a), Hagahot Mordechai (beginning of Gittin), and Meiri (pg 20) agree with Rashi and Tosfot.
  2. On the other hand, the Rambam (Taniot 5:14) writes that it’s forbidden to play musical instruments in any case, and singing is only forbidden at a feast with wine. Tur 560:3 quotes the Sh”t HaRambam 370 who forbids listening to music whether it comes through instruments or people singing and whether it’s at a feast or not.

Understanding behind the dispute

  1. Rabbi Aharon Kahn (RJJ journal #14 (pg 7-48)) suggests that the Rambam understood the prohibition as a way of refraining from joy after the destruction of the temple. This is clear from the language of the Rambam. [This is also reflected in the placement of this Halacha by the Rambam in Hilchot Taniot and Tur and S”A in the Siman of Zecher LeMikdash.] However, Tosfot (see Meiri (Gittin 7a)) understood that the prohibition was enacted because of vulgar songs and ths is was only applicable after the Sanhedrin lost it’s authority because it was then that people lost respect for the rabbis, and began to sing improper songs at weddings.

Halachic discussion

  1. Shulchan Aruch 560:3 rules like the Rambam in Yad Chazakah (Taniot 5:14). RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 560:3 brings the opinion of Tosfot as the Halacha (the prohibition of music is limited to a party or feast with wine.) Additionally, it applies to someone who regularly listens to music when going to sleep and waking up as is the practice of kings.
  2. The BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz. 560:3 holds that all music is forbidden whether it’s sung by people, played on instruments, is at a feast or isn't at a feast as the Sh”t HaRambam (see above) holds. Furthermore, the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz. explains that this is also what the Rambam meant in his Yad Chazakah. This stringent opinion is brought as halacha by some achronim including: Magan Avraham 560:8, Shlah (Tanit pg 60d), Bear Sheva (Sotah 49a), Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources 560:13, and Sh”t Az Nidabru 8:58(1). Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 writes that a righteous individual should be strict for the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz., and Sh”t Az Nidbaru 8:58(1) holds that the minhag to rely on the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. is a weak minhag.
  3. Some Achronim side with the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA., such as: Sh”t Igrot Moshe (1:166) (but he does add that a Bal Nefesh (one who cares for his soul) should preferably be strict in accordance with the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz.), Rabbi Moshe Karp (Hilchot Uminhagei Ben HaMesarim pg 24), and Sh”t Tzitz EliezerRabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (1915-2006), ashkenazic posek and dayan in Yerushalayim, posek of Shaare Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim, author of Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer, a set of halachic responsa. (15:33) (who says that the minhag shouldn’t be questioned). [The Sh”t Sheilat Shlomo (7:59-60) mentions that even though many Achronim follow the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz., the Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources doesn’t bring up any objections against the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA., so one can surely rely on the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA.. However, this is difficult to understand because the Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources 560:13 (also Bear Hetiev 560:6) quotes the objection of the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz. in reference to the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA..]

Specific cases

Religious music

  1. Rambam (Taniot 5:14) adds that the minhag is to be lenient about listening to songs that include praise to Hashem. This leniency is based on the RifRabbi Yitzchak Alfasi (1013-1103), one of the earliest Sephardic rishonim and halachic deciders, known by the acronym of his name, Rif, author of Halachot published in the back of the gemaras. (Brachot 21b, fifth perek) in the name of Rav Hai Gaon who writes that whereas singing songs of romance is forbidden, songs praising Hashem are permitted, even at parties. This is brought down by: RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur. (Brachot 5:1), Ramban (Hilchot Avel Yishana pg 89a), Sefer HaEshkol (1 pg 23), Sefer HaMeorot (Brachot 31a), Ravyah (Brachot Siman 91), Chiddushei HaRan (Gittin 7a), Ritva (Gittin 7a), Rabbenu Yerucham (pg 186c), Kaftor VePerach (6 pg 110), and Orchot Chaim (Hilchot Tisha BeAv 14).See Ish Matzliach's comment on Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources holds like the Orchot Chaim.
  2. The Meiri (Gittin 7a) and Otzer Geonim (Gittin 7a Siman 18) both permit songs of praise with musical instruments. However, the Orchot Chaim (Tisha BeAv 14) limits the leniency of songs of praise to people singing without musical instruments. Most Achronim hold like the Meiri including: the Maharikash (560e), Tzafnat Paneach (Devarim pg 156c), Sh”t Shoel VeNishal (O”C 6:45), Shemen HaMishcha (Tanit 560), Sh”t Sharei Tzion HaCohen (O”C 38), and Chazon Ovadyah (Arba Taniot pg 434).
  3. Even songs of Torah and thanks to Hashem must be sung with the proper attitude and seriousness. Similarly, the Magen AvrahamRabbi Avraham Gombiner Halevi (1637-1683), Rav in poland, author of Magen Avraham on SA OC. 560:10 writes that the Torah weeps before Hashem when Jews make a mockery of it by singing its verses. See Piskei Teshuvot and Ish Matzliach on Mishna BrurahRabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838 – 1933), known popularly as The Chofetz Chaim from his book on the laws of [[Lashon Hara]], was an influential Lithuanian Rabbi, author of the Mishna Brurah as well as the Beur Halacha which is in more detail and the Shaar Hatziyun which quotes sources who write that the Magan Avraham only forbids one who doesn’t have pure intent.

Classical music

  1. Halichot Shlomo (pg 412) quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman who permits listening to music that doesn’t lead to (or accompany) dancing (whether it’s sung or played by an instrument). For example, classical music would fall into this category. It’s proper not to listen to such music during the three weeks as a sign of mourning. Similarly, Rabbi Shlomo Dechovsky (Techumin, Vol 21 pg 67) quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein as permitting listening to classical music as one works because it’s unrelated to dancing (the primary prohibition of simcha is dancing, as in Magen AvrahamRabbi Avraham Gombiner Halevi (1637-1683), Rav in poland, author of Magen Avraham on SA OC. 551:10). Others including: Rabbi Yosef B. Soloveitchik (quoted in RJJ Journal vol 14 pg 34) and Aseh Lecha Rav (3 pg 16) agree. Lastly, Peninei Halacha (pg 145) permits songs that don’t lead to or involve simcha and, all the more so, sad songs. [Sh”t Shelat Shlomo 7:60 says that classical music should depend on the dispute between Rashi and Rambam.]

Weddings

  1. Tosfot (Gittin 7a s.v. Zimra) writes that for a Tzorech Mitzvah, such as to make the Chatan and Kallah happy, one may certainly play songs with musical instruments. This is brought by many rishonim including: Meiri, Chiddushei HaRan, Tosfot HaRosh, Smag, Hagahot Mordechai, Hagahot Maimon (Taniot 5). The RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 560:3 also brings this down. This is brought down for Sephardim as well in Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45. Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 168 permits all types of festivities of mitzvah and says that perhaps even a tzadeka banquet can be included. Similarly, Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45 includes: a Brit Milah, a Pidyon HaBen, a Siyum, a Purim Seuda, and Chol HaMoed Dancing.

Weddings in Yerushalayim

  1. There is an old gezerah that the rabbis of the second half of the nineteenth century established, declaring that there should be no music from musical instruments played at weddings in Yerushalayim. Rav Elyashiv in Bet Chatanim (pg 160) says that the gezerah was restricted to the Old City, while the Torat Chesed held that it applies even outside the Old City. See RJJ journal #14 pg 23, Shalmat Chayyim 1:77, 4:34, 5:40, Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 6:69 and Sh”t Tzitz EliezerRabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (1915-2006), ashkenazic posek and dayan in Yerushalayim, posek of Shaare Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim, author of Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer, a set of halachic responsa. 15:33.

Listening to the radio

  1. According to Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 and Sh”t Tzitz EliezerRabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (1915-2006), ashkenazic posek and dayan in Yerushalayim, posek of Shaare Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim, author of Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer, a set of halachic responsa. 15:33:2, listening to music through a radio or tape-recorder is considered by most to be the same as listening to the music live. The same goes for recorded music of instruments. ***However, Sh”t Chelkat Yacov 62:2 (also quoted by Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45, 6:34) argues that since the music comes from an instrument that didn’t exist in the time of Chazal, it should be considered forbidden under the gezera of Chazal***(check citation for clarification) However, Sh”t Az Nidabru 8:58 and Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 8:127 argue that recorded music is always considered music from musical instruments even if it was recorded from people singing. He explains that it emanates from an instrument and produces an artificial sound. [See Shalmei Moed who quotes Rav Elyashiv as agreeing with the Igrot Moshe.]

Sefirah and three weeks

  1. Many Achronim (Aruch HaShulchan 493:2, Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166, 5:87. 6:21:4, Sh”t Yacheve Daat 6:34, Sh”t Kapei Aharon Epstein 52, Yalkut YosefRabbi Yitzchak Yosef (b. 1952), sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, son of Rav Ovadia Yosef and brother of Rabbi David Yosef, is the author of Yalkut Yosef, which is a encyclopedic work of Sephardic halacha. Moadim pg 434, Maamer Mordechai of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Sefirat HaOmer #40 and Torat HaMoadim 5:2) write that even those who are lenient to listen to music during the rest of the year should refrain from listening during the Sefirah and three weeks. The Igrot Moshe 1:166 and Sh”t Yachava Daat 6:34 hold that only instrumental music is forbidden during the Sefira, while Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 8:127, and Sh”t Tzitz EliezerRabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (1915-2006), ashkenazic posek and dayan in Yerushalayim, posek of Shaare Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim, author of Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer, a set of halachic responsa. 15:33 forbid even recorded vocal music.

Halachot

  1. According to Ashkenazim, some say that it is permitted to listen to music year-round except at a feast with wine. [1] According to Sephardim, however, many hold that it is forbidden to listen to musical instruments anytime, and even vocal songs are prohibited at a feast with wine. Nonetheless, many Sephardim are lenient to listen to recorded music or music over the radio. [2]
  2. Many authorities hold that classical music is not included in this prohibition. [3]
  3. Listening to music to prevent depression is permissible but this leniency should be used restrictively and preferably only after consulting a local Rabbi. [4]
  4. It is permitted to listen to music while driving late at night to prevent one from falling asleep. [5]
  5. A person should refrain from waking up everyday to music (even if that’s the alarm). However, if that’s the only way that a person wakes up, there is what to be rely on. [6]
  6. If the singer of a recorded song is a wicked person it is forbidden to listen to his music. [7]
  7. If a certain singer was religious and then rejected religion, it is forbidden to listen to his music that he produced when he was religious unless the singer’s name is removed from that music and it’s not recognizable that it’s from that singer. [8]

Three Weeks

Live Music

  1. It’s forbidden to listen to music from musical instruments during the three weeks. [9]

Non-live music

  1. Many authorities forbid listening to recorded music (music with instruments) during the three weeks. [10]
  2. If one is driving and is scared of falling asleep, he may listen to music. [11]
  3. Programs or other occasions where the musical accompaniment is incidental to the main event may be attended or viewed. [12]

Live a cappella (singing without instruments)

  1. Some say that one may listen to vocal music (voices singing) during the three weeks but not the 9 days. [13]
  2. Many say that it is permissible to sing with one's mouth during the three weeks. [14]

Non-live a cappella

  1. Some say that listening to recorded vocal music is forbidden, while others permit. [15]

Singing on Your own

  1. Singing with one’s mouth is permitted during the three weeks. [16]

Brit Milah

  1. Some permit music at a meal for a Brit Milah during the three weeks. [17]

Siyum

  1. Some permit music at a meal for a Siyum of a Gemara (or the like) during the three weeks. [18]

Pidyon HaBen

  1. Some permit music at a meal for a Pidyon HaBen during the three weeks. [19]
  2. A shehecheyanu should be recited for the pidyon haben. [20]

Bar Mitzvah

  1. Some permit music at a meal for a Bar Mitzvah during the three weeks. [21]

Sheva Berachot

  1. Some say that at a sheva berachot during the three weeks may not have dancing or music, [22] others permit dancing but no music, [23] and others permit both dancing and music. [24]

Tzedaka Banquet

  1. One should be strict not to play music at a tzedaka banquet during the three weeks. [25]

Learning Torah

  1. It is permissible and a mitzvah to learn Torah with a tune and niggun even during the three weeks. [26]

A Music teacher or Musician

  1. Someone who’s profession is to play music before non-Jews or to teach music (and there would be a loss of money if he stops teaching music) may continue until the week of Tisha BeAv but it’s better to be strict from the beginning of the nine days. [27]

Music Lessons

  1. Some poskim permit taking music lessons if they are not for pleasure and one will forget some skills in his time off. [28]

Sefira

  1. It is forbidden to listen to music during the Sefira [29] Some poskim say that even if it's not live music, [30] and this practice should be kept until at least the 34th of the Omer. [31] Some poskim even prohibit listening to a Capella music. [32]
  2. According to some poskim slow music that would not lead to dancing such as slow classical music can be listened to. [33]
  3. If not listening to recorded music will result in depression, even the stringent authorities would permit it. [34]
  4. If one is reliant on playing live music to make an income, he is permitted to. [35]
  5. One can listen to music on the 33rd of the omer at night even according to sepharadim. [36]

Chol HaMoed

  1. The minhag is to be lenient regarding playing and listening to music during Chol HaMoed for simchat HaChag. [37]

Wedding and Sheva Brachot

  1. One is allowed to play and listen to music at a wedding. [38]
  2. Some permit playing music at a Sheva Brachot meal during the three weeks, while some forbid. [39]

Links

Sources

    • The Gemara in Gittin 7a learns from Pesukim in Nach that it is forbidden to sing songs or play musical instruments. Tosfot (Gittin 7a s.v. Zimra) understand that the prohibition includes only music at feasts of wine, as in the Mishna Sotah 48a. Tosfot add that one should be strict in cases similar to that of the Yerushalmi of a person who goes to sleep and wakes up to music. The Rambam (Taaniyot 5:14), by contrast, writes that it’s forbidden to play musical instruments in all cases, and mere singing is forbidden only at a feast with wine. Strangely, the Rambam in his responsa (# 224) seems to forbid listening to music whether it comes through instruments or people singing and whether it’s at a feast or not.
    • Shulchan Aruch 560:3 rules like the Rambam in Yad Chazakah. The Rama 560:3, though, quotes the opinion of Tosfot as normative, while the Bach 560 holds like the Sh”t HaRambam. Many acharonim, including the Magen Avraham 560:9, Mishna Brurah 560:13, Kaf HaChaim 560:26, and Sh”t Az Nidbaru 8:58 cite the Bach and seem to hold like him. Kitzur S”A 126:3 clearly holds like the Bach. Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 rules like S”A but adds that a righteous individual should be strict for the Bach.
    • On the other hand, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33, Rav Belsky in Shulchan HaLevi 16:2, Hilchot Chag BeChag (p. 24), and Sh”t Sheilat Shlomo 7:59 accept the position of the Rama.
  1. * According to Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 and Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33:2, listening to music through a radio or tape-recorder is considered to be the same as listening to the music live. Sh”t Chelkat Yaakov 64:2 argues that since the music comes from an instrument that didn’t exist in the time of Chazal, it should not be forbidden under Chazal’s prohibition. On the other extreme, Sh”t Az Nidabru 8:58:3 and Sh”t Sheivet HaLevi 2:57 hold that recorded music is always considered music from musical instruments, even if it was recorded as “a capella”, because it emanates from an instrument (i.e. the music player).
    • Rav Ovadyah in Sh”t Yachava Daat 1:45 rules like the S”A. He is lenient, though, to listen to recorded music of holy content, based on the Chelkat Yaakov. Rav Chaim Dovid HaLevi (Aseh Lecha Rav vol 3 p. 16) seems to agree. Or Letzion (vol 3 30:3) even writes that although it’s proper to follow the S”A, the Sephardic minhag is lenient like the Rama.
  2. Rabbi Chaim Jachter (Gray Matter vol 3 p. 5) quotes Rav Soloveitchik as saying that classical music was not included in the prohibition of Chazal altogether. Sheilat Shlomo 7:60 agrees. Similarly, Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo 11:14 and 14:3) permits listening to music that does not lead to dancing, even if it contains musical instruments, even during the three weeks and sefirat ha’omer. He adds, though, that for the three weeks, it is proper to be strict. See also Rabbi Dichovsky’s essay (Techumin Vol 21 p. 67) where he quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein as permitting listening to background music as one works, learns, or drives during the three weeks because such music is unrelated to dancing.
  3. Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 6:69 permits listening to music so as to prevent a person from becoming depressed. Sh”t Maharshag 2:155, Chelkat Yaakov 1:62, Sh”t Mishna Halachot 6:106, and Sh”t Az Nidabru 5:58:2 also permit music to prevent depression, however, Sh”t Az Nidabru warns not to use this leniency too loosely because it could lead to uprooting the entire Halacha of listening to music; therefore, a person should ask a local Rabbi about their situation.
  4. Kovetz Hilchot Leyemeh Ben Hametsarim (pg 95) writes that one can listen to vocal music while driving to prevent falling asleep and Nechmat Yisrael (pg 34 note 30) says that seemingly even musical instruments should be permitted.
  5. For background on the issue, see above notes.
    • Gemara Gittin 7a states that after the Churban Bayit, Mar Ukva forbad singing, playing, or listening to music whether the music comes from people singing or if it comes from musical instruments. Tosfot Gittin 7a limits this to music at a party/feast and music played for kings who go to sleep and wake up to music. Tosfot explains that it’s forbidden because they have an aspect of added pleasure from music. Rama 560:3 brings this Tosfot as Halacha. Even if the music is a recording it still the status of played music (see above from Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33:2).
    • Halichot Shlomo (Tefilah 13:18) in name of Rav Shlomo Zalman and Torat HaYeshiva 1:7 rule that yeshiva students who wake up to music is included in the prohibition of chazal. See Kuntres Halichot VeHanhagot in name of Rav Eliyashiv.
    • Reasons to be lenient: (a) However, Torat HaYeshivot 1:7 says that a person won’t get up with another way, one can be lenient because one’s intention isn’t in order to get pleasure but rather to facilitate waking up. Torat HaYeshivot also quotes Rav Chaim Kanievsky in Shilhei DeKaytah who agrees. This leniency is similar to the leniency of classical music (see above).
    • (b) Additionally, Torah HaYeshivot argues that perhaps the prohibition only applies if one goes to sleep and wakes up but waking up alone might not be an issue. [The Pri Megadim says that one should protest against those who eat a meal everyday next to those who play music. Mishna Brurah 560:12 brings this as Halacha. It’s very clear from the language of the Pri Megadim and Mishna Brurah are discussing is that of having music of a feast, but regarding having music regularly isn’t an issue. This is even more explicit in the Shaar HaTziyun 560:23 who says that one shouldn’t protest since they have the Hagahot Mordechai to rely on who says that a music at a meal only an issue of a meal of only wine or wine before eating, however drink together with a meal isn’t an issue. Accordingly, it seems that the Mishna Brurah holds that listening to music daily at midday isn’t forbidden unless there’s an issue of a feast. Similarly, the Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 6:69 writes that those who listen to music on the radio morning, at a meal, and night are definitely violating an isser, implying that regularly listening music means multiple times a day. However, Sh”t Az Nidabru 8:58:4 writes that to him it seems that listening everyday at lunch is considered listening to music regularly like the listening of the kings, nonetheless, regarding protesting others who should be lenient (like the Mishna Brurah). Sh”t Az Nidabru concludes that this issue of listening regularly depends on the minhag. Accordingly, someone who just wakes up to music has what to rely on in that it’s that it’s not called listening regularly.]
  6. Sh”t Mishna Halachot 6:108. See also Chabad.org.
  7. Sh”t Mishna Halachot 6:108
  8. Sh”t Kapei Aharon 52 writes that it’s clearly forbidden to listen to music during the three weeks. Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 and Sh"t Yechave Daat 6:34 agree. Nitei Gavriel 15:1 writes that this law is missing from S”A and early poskim because there’s a general prohibition of Listening to Music and so there was no question about the three weeks. [There is a hint to the prohibition in the Pri Megadim and Maharam Shik who discuss playing music for an income during the three weeks.] However, because many are lenient like the Rama (unlike S”A and Bach) and are lenient regarding music all year, this question became relevant and it’s unanimously accepted by contemporary poskim that music is forbidden during the three weeks because it brings with it simcha just like dancing (explicitly forbidden by Magen Avraham 551:10). See next notes.
  9. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim, 5748 edition, pg 554), Nitay Gavriel 15:1, Penieni Halacha (pg 144), Sh"t Shevet Halevi 6:69 and 8:127:2, Tzitz Eliezer 15:33:2, Divrei Shalom 3:118, Az Nidberu 8:58 and 10:23:2, Rivevot Ephraim 4:177, Halichot Shlomo Moadim 2:14:3 note 4, Or Litzion 3:25:2, Sh"t Iggerot Moshe OC 1:166 and 3:87, Torat Hamoadim 5:2, Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:34 and 3:30, Chazon Ovadyah (Arba Taniyot pg 151), and Rabbi Mansour in Daily Halacha hold that recorded music is forbidden during the three weeks. See also Sh"t Igrot Moshe YD 2:137, Minchat Yitzchak 1:111, Shalmat Chaim 29:1, Mishnat Sachir 2:145, Sh”t Ohel Yisachar 39.
  10. Or Litzion 3:25:2, Shevet Halevi 8:127:2.
  11. Rav Moshe Feinstein quoted in Ohalei Yeshurun page 128. Rav Mordachai Eliyahu (Mikraei Kodesh 7: note 14) was asked about listening to news which begins with a small tune, or waiting on hold with a tune in the background and he responded leniently. He added though that those who refrain even from listening to this shall be blessed.
  12. Mekor Chaim 551:1 and Or letzion 3:25:2 write that during the 9 days one shouldn’t listen to even vocal music. This is brought as halacha in the Halachot UMinhagei Ben HaMesarim (by Rabbi Moshe Karp pg 25) and Nachmat Yisrael 3:3. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 151-4) and Torat Hamoadim 5:2 are lenient with vocal song that are praise to Hashem (especially for Shabbat including Shabbat Chazon).
  13. Mekadesh Yisroel (pg 20), Chut Shuni (Shabbat, vol 2, pg 325), Sh"t Shevet HaLevi 3:15, Halachically Speaking (Vol 5, Issue 13, note 46)
  14. Sh”t Shevet Halevi 6:69, 8:127:2, Nitei Gavriel 15:1, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33, Piskei Shemuot (pg 54) quoting Rav Elyashiv and Rav Karlitz, and Nechmat Yisrael 3:4 forbid listening to a recorded vocal song. However, Sh”t Igrot Moshe YD 2:137 and Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:34 permit (regarding Jewish music). Halachically Speaking quotes Rav Yisrael Belsky and Rav Efraim Greenblatt who forbid listening to singing which is meant to simulate actual music such as A capella because it creates the same musical experience. Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz writes that most permit listening to recorded voices singing. Halichot Shlomo Moadim 2:14:footnote 5, Shalmei Moed page 478, Mekadesh Yisroel 21 permit listening to a CD of chazzanut without music even if one finds it enjoyable. Rav Shlomo Daichovsky techumin 21, argues that there is no source to prohibit music, whether during the Three Weeks, the Omer, or during the twelve month mourning period after losing a parent, and concludes that any music which will not lead to dancing is permitted.
  15. Mekadesh Yisrael 20, Shevet Halevi 3:157. However, Orchos Rabbeinu 2: page 95 is stringent except for on Shabbat.
  16. In general, Rama (551:3) permits music for a dvar mitzvah like a wedding. However, the Yavetz in his siddur (Amudei Shesh; quoted by Yafeh Lelev 560:7) writes that a simcha of a Brit Milah there should be no music. Eliyah Rabba 551:26 writes that the minhag is like the Yavetz. Regarding the three weeks Chida in Sh”t Chaim Shal 1:21 writes that the (Sephardic) minhag is to be lenient to have music at a meal of a Brit Milah. Ikrei HaDaat (Y”D 36:23), Sh”t Maaseh Avraham (Y”D 48), Moed Kol Chai (10:20), Ot Chaim VeShalom (the Munchatch Rebbe; 265:29), Torat HaMoadim 5:4, and Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45 write that the Sephardic minhag is to be lenient by the meal of a Brit Milah. (It seems that Shirei Knesset HaGedolah 551:33 who’s strict regarding the party for a Milah at night, but would agree concerning the meal right after the Milah. Additionally, it seems Sh”t Igrot Moshe 1:166 would agree as he even discusses a tzedaka banquet regarding music the rest of the year.)
  17. Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45 writes that music is permitted for a seudat mitzvah including a siyum. Torat HaMoadim 5:4 and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim, 5748 edition, pg 554) extend this to even during the three weeks.
  18. Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45 permits music at a suedat mitzvah such as a Pidyon HaBen. Torat HaMoadim 5:4 and Yalkut Yosef (Moadim, 5748 edition, pg 554) extend this to even during the three weeks.
  19. S"A 551:17, Moed Likol Chai 9:25
  20. Sh"t Yachava Daat 6:34, Yalkut Yosef (Moadim, 5748 edition, pg 554), and Torat HaMoadim 5:4 permit music at a simchat Bar Mitzvah during the three weeks. However, Darkei Horah (Dinei Ben Hametsarim pg 17, by Rav Asher Weiss) and Natai Gavriel (Ben HaMetzarim chapter 16:3) forbid. Halichot Emet 7:12 writes that the sephardic minhag is to be lenient and ashkenazic minhag is to be strict. Halachically Speaking writes that some are lenient.
  21. Sh"t Shevet Halevi 3:157, Orchos Rabbeinu 2:page 128:9, Moadim Uzmanim 8:338.
  22. Rav Moshe Feinstein quoted in Moadei Yeshurun page 129:11, Rav Elyashiv quoted in Avnei Yushfei 1:113, Sh"t Mishna Halachot 6:109, Chazon Ovadia Taaniot page 153
  23. Lehoros Noson 10:49.
  24. Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 166 permits all types of festivities of mitzvah and says that perhaps even a tzadeka banquet perhaps can be included. However, the Sh”t Igrot Moshe concludes that during the three weeks we are more strict regarding music and therefore there is almost nothing to rely on to play music at a tzedaka banquet.
  25. Sh”t Mishna Halachot 6:107, Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:34, Torat HaMoadim 5:2, Sedei Chemed (Peat Sadeh, Ben HaMetsarim 1:10),
  26. Chazon Ovadyah (Arba Taaniyot pg 156), Nitei Gavriel 15:6, Shearim Metzuyanim Bihalacha 122:1. See also Yalkut Yosef (Moadim, 5748 edition, pg 554), Beiur Halacha 551:2 "mimaatim", Iggerot Moshe OC 3:87, Rivevot Ephraim 6:291:1, Torat Hamoadim page 123, Betzel Hachochma 6:61, Kinyan Torah 2:99.
  27. Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 16:19. Kaf Hachayim 551:41 writes that preferably it should not be done, and even if one is lenient it should only be sad songs. Miyum Hahalacha 1:83, Emes Liyaakov 551:footnote 506 also say that it is preferable not to. The Pri Megadim Eshel Avraham 551:10 writes that parallel to the concept of davar ha'aved on chol hamoed, the rabbis permitted somebody who needs to dance or play music for livelihood to do so.
  28. Iggerot Moshe OC 1:166, 2:137, Minhag Yisrael Torah 493:8, Aruch Hashulchan 493:2, Yechave Daat 3:30 based on a Magen Avraham 493:1 that prohibits dancing during sefira because the two come together. Mishneh Halachot 8:118, Yachava Daat 6:34, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Maamar Mordechai 20:40), and Hilchot Chag BeChag (p. 67) agree that during sefirat ha’omer, it is forbidden to listen to musical instruments. Kapei Aharon 52 contends that although listening to music certainly is forbidden during sefirat ha’omer, the three weeks, and the 12 months of mourning for a parent, it was never mentioned by Shulchan Aruch or the commentaries because it is forbidden to listen to music all year round. Minchat Yitzchak 1:111 adds that even if there is no proof for this ruling, the minhag is to be strict.
    • Rav Mordechai Willig quoted by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz says that music is not necessarily forbidden, the prohibition was only placed on things that lead to excessive joy, which music doesn't necessarily accomplish. Similarly, Rabbi Jachter (Gray Matter vol 3 p. 5) quotes Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, who in turn cited Rav Soloveitchik as saying that music wasn’t prohibited at all during sefirat ha’omer or the three weeks, but most poskim do not accept this position.
  29. Az Nidberu 8:58, Iggerot Moshe OC 1:166, Sh"t Yechave Daat 6:34, Tzitz Eliezer 15:33, Yalkut Yosef Moadim page 434, Maamar Mordechai of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Sefirat Haomer #40. Chelkat Yaakov 1:62 argues that a device which didn't exist at the time of the decree cannot be included. In his article at [1] Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz says that this argument can only be made for music in general, but during sefira this would not apply because there was never a formal ban placed on music specifically during sefira. See http://halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Listening_to_Music for the discussion about music during the year.
  30. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 434), Maamer Mordechai of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Sefirat HaOmer #40),
  31. * see matzav.com that Rav Yisrael Belsky (see also Shulchan Halevi 13:6 of Rav Belsky) and Rav Shlomo Miller differentiate between different types of a cappella, only permitting choirs which simply sound like a group of people singing and nothing more. Rav Binyamin Zilber in Az Nidberu 8:58 discussing music during the year says that a recorded voice is considered like an instrument.
    • Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 2:57 and 8:128, however, considers recorded vocal music like a musical instrument, which he says is forbidden all year round. Additionally, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 15:33 writes that even though he considers recorded vocal music like vocal music, it is forbidden during the three weeks and sefirat ha’omer based on the minhag not to dance. Nitei Gavriel 15:1 agrees.
  32. Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz quotes Sefer Eleh Heim Moadai quoting Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and Rav Eliyahu Schlesinger.
  33. Hilchot Chag B’chag p.63, Halichot Shlomo, Moadim 2:11:14.
  34. Iggerot Moshe OC 3:87.
  35. Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov page 258
  36. Sh”t Mishna Halachot 8:188 leaves it in a tzarich iyun. Az nidabru 10 :23:2 says it’s clearly permissible as does Sh”T Yachave Daat 1:45.
  37. Tosfot (Gittin 7a s.v. Zimra) writes that for a Tzorech Mitzvah such as to make the Chatan and Kallah happy, one may lechatchila play songs with musical instruments. This is brought by many rishonim including Meiri, Chiddushei HaRan, Tosfot HaRosh, Smag, Hagahot Mordechai, Hagahot Maimon (Taniot 5) and ruled into Halacha by Rama 560:3, and even Sephardic achronim including Sh”t Yachave Daat 1:45.
  38. Torat HaMoadim 5:4 writes that a simcha of Sheva Brachot would permit music during the three weeks. (It seems that Sh”t Igrot Moshe 166 and Sh”t Yechave Daat 1:45 would agree.) However, Rav Vosner in Sh”t Shevet HaLevi 3:157 writes explicitly that for a simcha of Sheva Brachot music and dancing are forbidden.