Template:Listening to Music during Sefira

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  1. It is forbidden to listen to music during the Sefira [1] Some poskim say that even if it's not live music, [2] and this practice should be kept until at least the 34th of the Omer. [3] Some poskim even prohibit listening to a Capella music. [4]
  2. According to some poskim slow music that would not lead to dancing such as slow classical music can be listened to. [5]
  3. If not listening to recorded music will result in depression, even the stringent authorities would permit it. [6]
  4. If one is reliant on playing live music to make an income, he is permitted to. [7]
  5. One can listen to music on the 33rd of the omer at night even according to sepharadim. [8]
  6. Some poskim permit listening to music during a workout. [9]
  7. Some poskim allow music during sefirat haomer in celebration of a pidyon haben because it is for a mitzva[10]
    1. Iggerot Moshe OC 1:166, YD 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 434), Maamer Mordechai of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Sefirat HaOmer #40),
    4. * 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.
    5. Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz quotes Sefer Eleh Heim Moadai quoting Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and Rav Eliyahu Schlesinger.
    6. Hilchot Chag B’chag p.63, Halichot Shlomo, Moadim 2:11:14.
    7. Iggerot Moshe OC 3:87.
    8. Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov page 258
    9. Piskei Halacha of Rav Yisrael Belsky pg. 106
    10. Yalkut Yosef Sova Semachot vol. 2 pg. 333

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), Lithuanian Rav who became one of the leading authorities of his generation in North America, author of Sh"t Iggerot Moshe, Dibrot Moshe on Gemara, and Darash Moshe on the Torah.

    Rabbi Yechiel Michel Halevi Epstein (1829-1908). He was a community rabbi and a posek in Novardok, Lithuania.

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (1920-2013), born in Iraq lives in Israel, former sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, one of the foremost sephardic halachia authorities, author of Sh"t Yechave Daat, Sh"t Yabia Omer, both halachic responsa and Chazon Ovadia with halachot of Shabbat and the holidays. Father of Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Rabbi David Yosef.

    Rabbi Avraham Gombiner Halevi (1637-1683), Rav in poland, author of Magen Avraham on SA OC.

    Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (1902-1989), ashkenaz dayan and posek, Rav and Av Beit Din in Romania, then in Manchester, England. Headed the Eidah Charedis in Yerushalayim, author of Sh"t Minchat Yitzchak.

    Rabbi Binyomin Zilber (1906-2008), ashkenazi posek and member of the Moetzet Gedolei Hatorah in Bnei Brak, Israel. Author of Sh"t Az Nidberu (14 volumes), Brit Olam on Shabbat (6 volumes), Beit Baruch on the Chayei Adam (3 volumes) and more.

    Rabbi 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.

    Rabbi 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.

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (1920-2013), born in Iraq lives in Israel, former sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, one of the foremost sephardic halachia authorities, author of Sh"t Yechave Daat, Sh"t Yabia Omer, both halachic responsa and Chazon Ovadia with halachot of Shabbat and the holidays. Father of Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Rabbi David Yosef