I remember reading a tashubho from the Rambam where he clearly states that music can treat depression and therefore it is ok to listen to if you are depressed. However, I can't seem to find it at the moment. Can someone help me out?

  • So if you are not depressed you cannot listen to music and look at nice buildings and gardens?
    – larry909
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


In the introduction to his commentary on Masekhet Avot (Shemonah Peraqim), chapter five, the Rambam says (in Shmuel ibn Tibbon's translation):

והוא הדין מי שהתרגשה עליו מרה שחורה, ועמד והסירה בשמיעת הניגונים ובמיני הזמר, ובטיול בגינות ובבניינים נאים, ובישיבה עם צורות נאות וכיוצא בדברים שמרחיבים הנפש ומסירים הרהוריו הקודרים ממנה.‏

In an English translation (from Wikisource):

Similarly, one who suffers from melancholia may rid himself of it by listening to singing and all kinds of instrumental music, by strolling through beautiful gardens and splendid buildings, by gazing upon beautiful pictures, and other things that enliven the mind, and dissipate gloomy moods.

Regarding understanding the Rambam as saying that it's O.K. to listen to music in such a case (and in other cases as well), see "דעת הרמב"ם והגאונים לענין שמיעת כלי זמר ושירה בזמן הזה" (PDF).

  • you sure he doesn't bring this somewhere in a tashuvoh? Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 13:27
  • 1
    @MoriDoweedhYaa3qob he does; it may not be printed in some versions but it's in Shilat's collection of Letters. In Blau ed. its teshuvah 224 Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 14:45
  • @Matt In Teshuvah 224 in the Blau edition, I don't see it mention using music for treating mental problems, or permitting listening to music on account of it improving the mind or soul (in cases where it otherwise would have been forbidden). If you do, please quote, or cite, where in the Teshuvah it says so.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 16:01
  • @MoriDoweedhYaa3qob I didn't say that there weren't any Teshuvot mentioning this, and am not sure that there aren't.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 16:09
  • @tamir I might have stumbled upon it in a tashubo of in the peirush. Just making sure if is not both lol Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 16:42

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