I have my daughter's batmitzva scheduled on Sunday, May 22. Many of her friends are religious (e.g. Chabad). And the party will be attended by kids mostly.

My ex-wife says that those kids will not be able to come and listen to music on that day because of Sfirat Haomer.

Can someone shed some light on whether what my ex-wife is saying is true?

P.S. For reference, the music I was planning was just a DJ playing mostly Jewish songs that you would hear at any Jewish event.

P.P.S. Update. So the batmitzva happened. The DJ played mostly acapella music like this that is indistinguishable from non-acapella, but I don't think anyone knew. No one complained - the party went off well.

  • 2
    Probably best to contact the local Chabad rabbi who may know more about the specific families' customs.
    – Double AA
    May 9, 2016 at 15:34
  • VTC as this sounds like a psak request. There is an array of opinions regarding which customs are observed during which sections of the 49 days. And, there are different customs regarding the usage of music - at all / with or without instruments, etc. You're basically asking what you should do re the Bat Mitzvah. I recommend deleting the last par., here. Your personal opinion about your ex doesn't affect anything & is irrelevant.
    – DanF
    May 9, 2016 at 15:49
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    @DanF I dont see how this is a Psak request. The OP isn't asking what music is allowed. They're asking if people will come. AFAWe know the OP doesn't care about Halakha at all (they might; it just doesn't matter to the question if they do).
    – Double AA
    May 9, 2016 at 16:38
  • 1
    I second @DoubleAA 's comment "Probably best to contact the local Chabad rabbi who may know more about the specific families' customs" and am commenting only to add that that rabbi may also be able to advise you regarding party planning (what kind of party would comport with those customs), in terms of music in particular but also in other respects.
    – msh210
    May 9, 2016 at 17:02
  • 2
    NeedAdvice, just want to welcome you to Mi Yodeya, and to thank for the interesting question! I hope you find more Q&A of interest and stay learning with us!
    – mbloch
    May 9, 2016 at 18:55

4 Answers 4


I recommend that you read this article to understand the source and gamut of opinions on the music subject during Sefira. I'll condense some of the main points presented:

  • The biggest issue regarding the prohibition of listening to music is the type of music that engages dancing. Since you mentioned usinga DJ at a Bat Mitzvah, it seems quite clear that the purpose is to dance. (I highly doubt that you would have a group of teen girls just sit to the music without dancing at all.)

  • The other issue, is that May 22 falls before Lag Ba'Omer. There are 2 main customs regarding Sefira observance. Either beginning from Pesach until Lag Ba'Omer, or from Rosh Hodesh Iyyar until 3 days before Shavuot. Lag Ba'omer (insome fashion - some include night time; some only day) is usually an exception to the mourning. The point is, that regardless of which of these 2 customs one followed, the Bat Mitzvah date is definitely within both customs.

IMO, your wife has raised some valid points. The prohibition of listening to this type of music may discourage the kids from coming. If attendance is the main issue and there are no other pressing factors, you may want to consider postponing the affair, or not having the DJ.


What the chabad rabbi will most probably tell you is

1- since you are getting a DJ so you can play Jewish songs that have no instruments it's called a capella they make music with their voice and it sounds great I personally have been to many chabad bar mitzvas during sefira where they did just that and it was awesome

2-also many have the custom to commemorate the mourning period for two weeks so they would have no issue chabad however does till shavoes

3- so bottom line if your planning on having chabad people or the like they will most probably come and just leave when the music starts.

  • A Cappella is correct spelling, BTW. There is a dispute as to whether one can listen to a cappella or even taped music, anyway. Regardless, I've never seen a DJ do a cappella, which means that there are no instruments. Also, as mentioned in my answer, as well as what I infer from OP's statement of "Jewish songs that you would hear at any Jewish event" such as a Bat Mitzvah - people, esp. teenage girls are there to dance. Even dancing to a capella music may be problematic. If they were just listening to a cappella music, you may find the most leniency. Then, why hire the DJ for that?
    – DanF
    May 9, 2016 at 18:44
  • If I'm not mistaken in my answer I wrote what a chabad rabbi will say. they are not concerned with using taped music
    – menachem
    May 9, 2016 at 19:05
  • @Menachem and others When I say DJ, I mean the guy brings his laptop, plugs it into the speaker, clicks Play on some program on the computer. If some girls want something else, he'll download it from somewhere and then play that. There are no live instruments.
    – NeedAdvice
    May 9, 2016 at 22:56
  • Very well so perfect he can download any of this a Cappella to play just no real instruments that is what the chabad rabbi will say mazel tov
    – menachem
    May 9, 2016 at 23:26

I found this online

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.


As a chabad chassid, I'll say what the generally accepted minhag chabad is. We don't listen to music from after Pesach until the shloshes yemei hagbalah (the 3 days before shavuos; not inclusive). The exception is lag bo'omer.

As for acapella, some people from chabad listen to it, while others won't. If it's just singing without making noises to resemble instruments, then most, if not all, are fine with that.

Many, but not all, chabad chassidim are fine with listening to chassidic niggunim even with instruments as it's purpose is to bring people closer to G-d.

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