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The Halacha is ( אורח חיים הלכות תשעה באב סימן תק''ס סעיף ג) That since the Destruction of the Temple we may not listen to any Music. How is it that most people do listen to recordings?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The SHU"T MAHARSHAG(חלק ב' סימן קכ''ה) answers since people use it to rid themselves of depression it is allowed.

Reb W(V)osner the Shevet Halevi(חלק ח' סימן קכ''ז) says that a tape in his opinion is like a regular musical instrument and therefore would seem to be assur the whole year,and he says this includes Accapella as the tape itself turns into an instrument. He ends off he doesn't know why but people are not careful with it and he quotes the reasoning of the Maharshag.

The Chelkas Yackov (אורח חיים סימן ס''ד) says we are relying on the opinion of Rashi and Tosfos (גיטין ז' א' ד"ה זמרא) that this Issur applies only in a Beis Hamishteh with wine. Per the language of the Ramah, people who are used to going to sleep with music and waking up to music is also problematic.

The Sefer Birurei Halacha (סימן ס) says he heard from the Divrei Yatziv another defense of the current laxity: he says since in the time of the original Halacha this technology did not exist you can not apply the Issur to it. Even if you say it is similar to the electric guitar which also did not exist this is different as it is not even similar in form, meaning there is no musician and you don't see the physical band. A second defense or an extension is that tapes can be used for Shiurim hence it can not be a musical instrument, but he ends off he knows theses are weak answers and there are many ways to disprove them.

To summarize:

  1. The answer is you are depressed and using music as treatment!?

  2. It only applies at a Beis Hamishteh with wine (going to sleep and waking up with music still a problem according to this answer)

  3. New technology -- no Issur (halachicly a very slippery slope)

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I think R' Moshe Feinstein addressed this question as well. –  Isaac Moses Jul 16 '10 at 11:49
For an in Depth treatment (including Reb Moshe) of this topic and more on Halachaic music see here:… The funny part the recent desicin is 1989 –  SimchasTorah Jul 16 '10 at 18:25
@IsaacMoses It should be noted that in spite of his psak, Megged Giv'os Olam records that R. Moshe had music playing in his own house! –  mevaqesh Aug 25 at 16:36
"A second defense or an extension is that tapes can be used for Shiurim hence it can not be a musical instrument" I am not sure about questions on the proof, I am not aware how this is even remotely resembles a logical argument. –  mevaqesh Aug 25 at 16:38

According to Rabbi Yitshak Yosef in Yalkut Yosef recorded music that brings the heart closer to God has al mi lismoch. Many Ashkenaz posekim bring other Heterim.

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We're just rehashing this question.

In summary:

  • Some Rishonim read the Gemara as prohibiting all music year-round; others say only music at drinking parties.
  • The Rambam, Mechaber, and R' Moshe Feinstein say it's all music.
  • For whatever reason, common practice has been to be lenient like the other Rishonim. Rabbi Welcher referred to this ruling of R' Moshe as in the spirit of "gzeira sh'ayn hatzibur yachol laamod ba", an enactment the people just couldn't withstand.
  • Common practice has been to observe the ban of Rambam/Mechaber/R' Moshe during Sefira and the Three Weeks.
  • There's much discussion as to what's covered by the ban, whenever it's in effect. R' Moshe himself included recordings, but again, some are lenient.
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which rav moshe? –  Avraham Oct 21 '11 at 9:47
@Avraham, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. –  Shalom Oct 23 '11 at 17:42
Mechaber? where does he say it, i thought thats just one awnser why he doesnt mention issur of listening to music by laws of sefira. But others learn that during mechabers time they only played music during weddings which he assured. –  user4784 May 2 '14 at 21:42

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