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Tuesday, July 26, 2005



It’s the title of an oldie from The Shadows, splendidly covered by Olivia Newton-John.
But more than that, it’s a truism to me.
The idea of listening to the music I enjoy is a factor that helps me actually step out of my bed in the morning instead of just repeatedly hit the snooze button.
Once the engine starts turning, the music starts playing and my mood improves.
My car functions as private karaoke bar, as this is the one and only place I feel comfortable singing a long.
Nobody can hear, ergo no one laughs at me or cover their ears with their hands. And if it starts raining not a soul who knows I’m to blame.

I’m rarely “early” for Shul, yet sometimes even after I park the car, I let the song finish before I step out.
Music is my companion; it truly helps me in difficult moments.
It helps me release my many "unsung" frustrations when signing along high pitched voices.
There’s always a melody humming in my head, just waiting to be heard by my ears.
Traffic is my worst enemy, but with my favorite CDs at hand it’s so much more bearable.
It calms me, uplifts me, moves me and overall works wonders with me.
Thanks to those wonderful MP3-players, now I can enjoy my favorite songs at work too.
It’s small, unobtrusive and easy to carry on.
I have a 256MB one so I can fit roughly 65 songs on it, enough to keep me busy and happy for a workweek.

Like a few months ago, remembering the tragically deceased talmidim of Rabi Akivah, a.k.a the Sefirah, I’ll have to live three weeks without music again.
Please don’t even suggest I turn to those Sefirah tapes for solace. It’s not that I listen to instrumental music only, but it’s just no substitute.

I hate fasting; I find it very hard when I can’t put an arm around my wife when she’s sad, but this is hardest and the longest “Thou Shall Not”.
21 one long days I’ll just have to imagine the music in my head, weirdly sometimes it’s actually as if I hear it, but this manner of “thinking” quickly adds up to a headache.
Friends of mine have put forward the theory that music was banned during the three weeks, before the invention of recorded music.
Then listening to music implied going out, to a party or a big event performance and applaud to an orchestra.
Today however not all music listening necessarily involve “joy”, therefore, they argue that the ban on music is no longer applicable.
Unfortunately no Rov I know, with some credibility, has concurred with this theory so far.
I’m going to feel sad and lonely these next few weeks.
If anyone knows of a Heter I’d be delighted to hear about it.

There is hardly any "real" heter to listen to Jewish music with instruments during the 3 weeks. However the following music is acceptable to most poskim:

Chazanut with no musical instruments, Acappella, Non Jewish music according to many isn't considerd "Negina", and there are many jewish "singers" who according to many music lovers dont pass the grade for "music" ;-)

I feel your pain!!


NJ from NJ
it'll be a long three weeks, but when it's done, music will be that much sweeter. and the you should put on some phish. they do an amazing avinu malkenu and cover yerushalayim shel zahav. no joke.
During s'firah and the 3 weeks is the only time I listen to talk radio. You kinda get used to it after a little while.

Ok, Prag. Sorry for the delay. Now here are your 5 questions:

1) Name 10 of your favorite songs (you're not gonna complain that it's too many right? I mean, for a music lover like you, 10 faves is a joke!)

2) What's your idea of 'having a blast!'

3) Do you think blogs are more beneficial or detrimental?

4) If you could be one person for a day, who would you be?

5) How good are you at table tennis and are you up for a little friendly competition one day?
Normal-hey if non Jewish music isn't a problem then I don't have any(problem)!

Bec-you couldn't be more right. I appreciate music even more after this brake from it.

YM-thanks for the questions, this is very intriguing
As normal said "There is hardly any "real" heter to listen to Jewish music with instruments during the 3 weeks" I tried finding one too...
Ok, this was the "heter" I heard, but its more of a lomdishe krumkeit than anything else.
Apparantly, R' Moshe Feinestein said its ossur to listen to music all year long - except at a simcha. If that is so, then I (or you) who listen to music during the year are not holding of R' Moshe anyway; Who must be saying there is no difference between the whole year and the sefira / three weeks. So accordingly, I can listen to music during the 3 weeks.
I'm sure its wrong and no Rabbi said it, but thats what I heard.
Karl- you have a point, but the way you put it lomdishe krumkeit is priceless :)
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