The Aruch Hashulchan (75:8) discusses the prohibition of a man hearing a woman singing, which is based on the statement of Shmuel in the Talmud (Berachot 24a)1:
קול באשה ערוה שנא' (שיר השירים ב, יד) כי קולך ערב ומראך נאוה
A woman’s [singing] voice is considered nakedness, [which he derives from the praise accorded a woman’s voice,] as it is stated: “Sweet ...
For me, spirituality and having fun are one and the same. The commandments (mitzvos) are ladders upwards and transcendence is super; its the same when I watch movies, play tennis, cook, write etc., although doing commandments has certain unique qualities. My suggestion is to have fun and let the fun enrich your spirituality. While the 'expert Jews' who you ...
In terms of magic to begin with Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe YD 4:13.) Seems to allow it. But later versions of Iggros Moshe seem to indicate he was hesitant to issue a Heter.
However, the Chochmas Adam (89:6) forbids the practice. Chochmas Adam writes, "...those badchanim (merrymakers) who perform achizas einayim at weddings are transgressing a ...
The original Heberw text can be found in קריינא דאיגרתא volume 1. Here is my translation.
1 Nisan 5735
See the Rambam z"l in Hilchos Avodah Zarah, Chpt 2, Halacha 2 who explains the prohibition to read books which have material relating to avodah zarah (idol worship) and also that it is prohibited to see the pictures in them, for the verse says "Do not ...
This doesn't really answer your question definitively at all, but I thought it might interest you. I was reading through some of the autobiographical essays of R. Isaac David Essrig (1893-1976), who was a well-respected rabbi (although he wouldn't be considered a "gadol") originally from Israel but who moved during WW1 to America. For about seven ...
Personally, I've gotten many hours of enjoyment out of music, both before and after becoming a ba'al teshuvah. Playing piano, going to practices of a Jewish choir, trying to learn guitar, et cetera. Maybe one day I'll join my city's Jewish barbershop chorus.
I also might sometimes enjoy cycling, hanging out with friends, or doing the occasional crossword ...
R. David Stav wrote an entire book on this subject, called בין הזמנים - תרבות בילוי ופנאי בהלכה ובמחשבה (Between Times: Culture, Leisure, and Recreation in Halacha and Thought) in 2012. The book analyzes the talmudic discussions of wasting time that is meant for Torah, and then considers contemporary forms of cultural entertainment. He breaks down these ...
R' Shlomo Aviner takes a strict approach and writes unequivocally that the answer is no (#17 from the top).
סטנדאפ בבין המצרים
ש: מותר ללכת למופע סטנדאפ?
Standup during the 3 weeks: Q: Is one allowed to go to a standup show?
ת: ודאי אסור. אסור כל השנה בגלל מושב ליצים. ע"ז יח ב. קל וחומר בין המצרים
A: Definitely forbidden. [Going ...
From a responsum of R. Yitzchok Abadi (Ohr Yitzchok vol. 1 YD §26) it would seem to be prohibited on the basis of an opinion in the Talmud with regards to images forbidden to gaze upon (Meg. 28a). Additionally, according to his presentation of Rambam (AZ 10:4) it would certainly be prohibited to watch combat sports which is behavior that goes against Jewish ...
Try to find outlets which in some way lead to spiritual growth. For example, the shaar bechina recommends studying nature to see the marks of divine wisdom.
Rabbi Avigdor Miller used to take a daily stroll and reflect on nature.
Try to find ways to help people.
One has to be careful though that perhaps his activity will lead him astray, so it is best to ...
This is not really a good answer as this isn't an actual non "story" source (as requested by the question), but I'm putting this down as the text below seems to be shared in a number of places, mentions the Yiddish Theater as the source and the cast of characters is slightly different (VG+SA instead of CC+CO). If anyone comes up with a better source, I'll ...
If it involves bowing to an idol or like, I'm pretty sure the answer is still no.
The subject of doing it "just as an act" appears in the Bible: II Kings 5:17--20:
כי לוא-יעשה עוד עבדך עלה וזבח, לאלהים אחרים--כי, אם-ליהוה. ב ה,יח לדבר הזה, יסלח יהוה לעבדך--בבוא אדני בית-רמון להשתחות שמה והוא נשען על-ידי, והשתחויתי בית רמן, בהשתחויתי בית רמן, יסלח-...
In a Shi'ur I attended many years ago, Rav Binyamin Tabory of Yeshivat Har Etzion once expressed his opinion that the custom is to refrain from activities that are public experiences that enhance joy. To the extent that this is true, he felt that going to movies (which is something many people avoid during Sefirah) is perfectly acceptable from the Sefirah ...
This story is brought in the biography of R' Baruch Ber (pg. 130-131) by Rabbi Yitzchak Edelstein whose father was a student of R' Baruch Ber. He himself knew R' Baruch Ber when he was young and also attended his funeral, which took place during the Holocaust. As he puts it:
סיפר: בבריסק, בימי כהונתו של הגרח"ס, קיים חוג מסויים הצגת חוכא וטלולא על הנושא ...
in the morning blessings, we read a section from Peah, which translates as , "these are things we do without limit..." It's like a manual on how to go about life. It enumerates actions that one can do: Giving Charity, Deeds of Kindness, Escorting the Dead, dowering the bride, studying Torah. There is always community service that can be done and it is ...
Mr. Shoenberg most likely specified Ashkenazic pronunciation of the Hebrew because until the Holocaust, Poland/Lithuania/Eastern Europe was the center of the Ashkenazim Jewish population, and he wanted accuracy in that detail. There's lots more info in the Jewish Virtual Library's and Wikipedia's entries on Ashkenazi Jews.
The Sources say that you may lie to
-save a life [Yoma 84b],
-keep the peace [Yevamot 65b; also Bava Metzia 87a],
-make people feel good [Ketubot 16b-17a],
-appear humble and modest [Bava Metzia 23b-24a], and
-protect yourself from loss or harm [Mishna Nedarim 27b-28a; Sotah 41b; Yevamot 65b and 63a; Sukkah 46b].
In all other situations, lying is ...
This article from Yivo seems pretty thorough. Excerpts:
Various sources, particularly the Talmud (BT Meg. 7a–b, 9a; Sanh.
64b), mention entertainment at such celebrations associated with the
reading of the Scroll of Esther, including pantomimes, parodies of
liturgical texts, the custom of the carnival rabbi (Purim rov), and
plays performed in the ...
If one can’t take a job unless he doesn’t wear a Kippah at work, one
doesn’t have to forfeit his job for this mitzvah. If they allow one to
wear a regular hat one must wear such a hat. Also, when one enters
another room or the marketplace one must put back on a Kippah even if
one will be mocked as long as there is no concern of losing ...
Reading Kosher books/newspapers, watching (obviously Kosher) movie/TV shows, listening to music, going for strolls, social networking, cooking, shopping, playing musical instruments, "schmoozing" with mates, eating out, the sudoku/crossword/candy crush are all ways in which one can relax and 'switch off' in their leisure time.
Entertaining oneself in their ...
JewishMusic.FM has a whole list of [Jewish] acappella music.
My personal recommendations from there include the Maccabeats and Lev Tahor. I'm familiar with AKA Pella, Six13, Beatachon, and the Chevra's acappella album -- some is good, some not. But hopefully there's enough in this list to last through sefira for you.
Here are a few options
Aaron Razel (Yonatan's brother)
Guy Tzvi Mintz
If I had to pick 3 I would pick (in order) Yitzhak Meir, Aaron Razel, Yosef Karduner.
It may be a chilul Hashem if someone who works there sees you trying to save money at their loss, especially if there is a no food from outside policy. He may think, “I knew it! Jews are cheap” even though we are not. But with all due respect going to the theater itself may be the greater chilul Hashem, as the Gemara in Avodah Zarah (19b) clearly states that ...
There is a simple and easy alternative by which to avoid any questionable behavior. Namely, don't eat snacks during the movie, and enjoy them before or afterward. It's certainly better under halacha to avoid potential violations when possible.
When you enter the theater you are agreeing to abide by their rules as their guest. Bringing in food, is a ...
I heard on a daf yomi shiur
, The reason that music is forbidden is that it is not good to rejoice after the Bais hamikdosh was destroyed, the reasons it is permitted is it is used for good things (wedding) or it has torah in the lyrics (so by singing or listening you are leaning)