Is there a prohibition against listening to a song (יה שמע אביוניך) sung by a Christian (who is Jewish by birth)? The lyrics are the original as written by Rav Yehuda Halevi. Is there a risk of avodah zarah if the singer may be worshiping with idolatrous intent?

Are Jews allowed to listen to music that is performed by non-Jew? : it's not clear to me that this falls under music performed by a non-Jew because 1. the artist is an apostate Jew and 2. the music is traditional Jewish music

  • If he’s singing it for avodah Zara then it’s assur sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Yoreh_De'ah.143?lang=he
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 1, 2023 at 15:27
  • Halachically, we see by bushul alum that food cooked by a Jewish apostate still counts as bushul Yisrarel. I suspect that this would be similarly permissible (though that doesn't mean it would be a good idea!) Jun 1, 2023 at 15:30
  • Of course @Shalom. And since kol akim is permitted, while stam yayin is not, I suspect this would be closer halachically to bishul akum or even more lenient Jun 1, 2023 at 15:58
  • @Deuteronomy I don't know - the answers indicate Igrot Moshe YD 2 prohibits non-Jewish religious music. How would a Jewish song performed by an apostate Jew be classified? Jun 1, 2023 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


I heard that the spirit of music is transmitted through listening. The lyrics, energy, beat and rhythm is transmitted through listening. I think the Christian who song it certainly song it with idolatry in mind. Christians do not make a difference between Hashem and Jesus. Jesus is God, literally. So if a Christian song it then he song it with JC in mind and more than likely to JC. He didn't sing it to "Hashem" but to JC. JC is Hashem to them and vice-versa so they do not need to verbally state their beliefs because it is inferred automatically. If he is an apostate then that too has implications. In any case this is an odd unique case that should be easily avoided. What if your daughter listens to it today, looks him up and since she thinks it's okay she starts to listen to his other music, learns about their beliefs and falls in love with a Christian boy then converts? It opens doors IMO. In theory you could also sing an Islamic jihad nasheed that doesn't mention Allah but discusses rather neutral though Islamically mailable lyrics -- This would be odd at best. I am worried about potential outcomes. Then again that's my own opinion. I wouldn't want my daughter to listen to and "admire" a song sung by an apostate and Christian.

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