11

The Lubavitcher Rebber writes that Television is forbidden because: It is so immodest, that even non-Jews started campaigning against it. It incites people to violence. (Watching movies with people killing each other causes one to think about murder). One will not be able to tell his children to watch only "kosher" material, as they will answer back "but ...


11

The laws of Shabbat apply only to Jews, so someone who isn't Jewish is doing no wrong whatsoever when they watch TV on Friday night. For Jews, as pointed out in the comments, there is a difference between turning on a television and watching it. Turning on the TV directly activates a flow of electricity, which mainstream halachic opinion (certainly as I ...


10

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: “...


8

Rav Moshe held it was assur (forbidden) to go to movies and theaters. Rav Nebontzol (Rav of the old city of Yerushalayim and Talmid (student) of Rav Shlomo Zalman) writes in his Mishna Brura (B'Yitzchak Yikrah) in chelek 6 in the back (hanhagos v'minhagim number 3) that Television is assur. If you can get your hands on this ,it provides close to a hundred ...


7

I think the question is the phrase "crying for chinam". My suspicion is it's not "you cried about something unimportant", rather it's "you cried when there was every reason not to." G-d had promised them they'd enter the land, and here they were crying "oh boo hoo we won't enter the land", there was no reason for them to be sad. Whereas if my favorite team ...


7

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 ...


6

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 years (1926-...


6

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 ...


6

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 ...


6

The Jewish laws regarding "work" on the sabbath are complex and their application, especially into areas of modern technology require much study and the help of a local well educated teacher or mentor. However, one thing to remember -- in Judaism there is no concept of "do X and go to hell." Not only is the Jewish notion of post-death "punishment" ...


6

The Mishnah Brurah (549:1) explains that the main point of a fast is to do teshuvah, and not the fast itself: By Ninveh, concerning G-d undoing the decree to destroy them, it says "And G-d saw their actions," not "And G-d saw their fast." The fast is merely a preparation for the teshuvah. He continues, quoting the Chayei Adam, that those people who spend the ...


6

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 ...


5

1) No 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 ...


5

According to this answer on a question about performing such music, Igrot Moshe writes (Yoreh De'ah 2:56) that it is asur (forbidden) to listen to music that has avodah zara/Christian intent in it. Assessing intent is not always clear-cut and other sources may be more lenient in ambiguous cases, but both the lyrics and the images in the video you linked ...


5

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ...


4

The source is in Mishna Sota 9, 11: מִשֶּׁבָּטְלָה סַנְהֶדְרִין, בָּטְלָה הַשִּׁיר מִבֵּית הַמִּשְׁתָּאוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה כד) בַּשִּׁיר לֹא יִשְׁתּוּ יָיִן וְגוֹ':‏Bartenura דִּכְתִיב (אֵיכָה ה) זְקֵנִים מִשַּׁעַר שָׁבָתוּ בַּחוּרִים מִנְּגִינָתָם, בַּזְּמַן שֶׁבָּטְלוּ הַזְּקֵנִים הַיּוֹשְׁבִים בַּשַּׁעַר שֶׁהֵם הַסַּנְהֶדְרִין, בָּטְלוּ ...


3

It is a clear prohibition of Moshav Leitzim (a gathering of scoffers/ session of scorners), Mishneh Berurah 307:59 (Translation from the Feldheim Edition) “Because of the prohibition against participation in a gathering of scoffers.” One certainly transgress this prohibition if he goes to theaters and circuses [which are places of amusement [שְׂחוֹק] ...


3

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 ...


3

Rosh Hashana is a two-day holiday. If Wednesday night begins the first day, as noted by Ari Brodsky in a comment on the question, then playing on Thursday, either before or after sundown, doesn't help -- it's still Rosh Hashana, moving into the second day. If Wednesday night began the second day of Rosh Hashana (which isn't actually possible according to ...


3

In Siman 122 the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch allows a Jewish Musician to continue playing music for non-Jews until Rosh Chodesh Av. יִשְֹרָאֵל שֶׁפַּרְנָסָה שֶׁלוֹ בִּכְלֵי זֶמֶר, מֻתָּר לְנַגֵּן בְּבֵית אֵינוֹ יְהוּדִי בִּכְדֵי פַּרְנָסָתוֹ עַד רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ. אֲבָל מֵרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ עַד אַחַר הַתַּעֲנִית, אָסוּר. וְיוֹם שִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר בְּתַמּוּז עַצְמוֹ גַּם כֵּן ...


3

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-נא ( )...


3

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 ...


3

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.


2

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 ...


2

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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible