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Music During Sefirat HaOmer

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Sefirat HaOmer & Music ๐ŸŽถ


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Question:

May one listen to music during Sefirat HaOmer?


Answer:

One should not dance during the omer period. [1] Some have the custom to avoid dancing even after Lag BaOmer. [2]

Similarly, many poskim write that one should not listen to music, even if it is recorded (which is the common practice). [3] However, one may listen to chazzanut, in which Hashemโ€™s praises are being sung. [See footnote 4 regarding Accapella music]

Nonetheless, one may dance and listen to music at a seudat mitzvah (for example, a sheva berachot, bar mitzvah, brit milah, pidyon haben, siyum mesechet, or hachnasat sefer Torah).

[5]


Adapted From Rabbi Yonatan Nacson's "Laws Of The Holidays"


Sources:

[1]. Eliyah Rabbah 493:2; Shulchan Aruch HaRav ยง1; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 120:9; Mishnah Berurah ยง3; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 258.

[2]. Eliyah Rabbah ยง2; Pri Megadim, Eshel Avraham, 1; Shaar HaTziyun ยง4; Kaf HaChaim ยง9. See also Hilchot Chag BaChag, Sefirat HaOmer, 7, footnote 37, which adds that in a case of need, one may be lenient, as since all the halachot of the omer are only customary, one may rule leniently in a case of doubt.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 258; Yechaveh Daat 1:45; ibid., 6:34; Halichot Olam, vol. 2, p. 139; Igrot Moshe, vol. 1, O.C. ยง166; Minchat Yitzchak 1:111. See also Halichot Shlomo, Pesach 11:20, which says that even though one should not listen to music during the omer period, if someone who is not so observant is listening to music, one does not have to tell him to turn it off, and should rather remain quiet. This is because the general custom of not listening to music does not have an explicit source; therefore, there is room to be lenient. See also Halichot Shlomo 11:14, which adds that because of this reason, one may even listen to classical music, since it serves as a way to calm one down, and does not necessarily bring one to simchah or dancing. However, music that will cause one to dance should be avoided. See Shevet HaLevi 8:127; Az Nidberu 8:58; Tzitz Eliezer 15:33; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, p. 433; and Igrot Moshe, vol. 1, O.C. 168.

[4]. Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 258. Regarding acappella music: if the sound of the acappella is identical to regular music, in which the sounds of the people singing are digitally modified in a way that would otherwise be humanly impossible, it should be avoided, since this would be no different than listening to actual instrumental music. See also Shevet HaLevi 8:127; Az Nidberu 8:58; Tzitz Eliezer 15:33; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, p. 433; and Igrot Moshe, vol. 1, O.C.168.

[5]. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 17:1, in the footnote; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 258; Yechaveh Daat 6:34. However, Halichot Shlomo, p. 362 states that if the bar mitzvah party is not made at its proper time, those attending may sing in honor of the bar mitzvah boy, but may not play music. If one wants to play music at the party, a siyum mesechet should be made.


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