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Iyar 5764 – Sefirah & Acapella

1 Iyar 5764

Sefirah & Acapella

L’chvod HaRav,

What is the halacha/hashkafa concerning listening to non-instrumental music tapes during sefira, created specifically for this purpose? (In other words, a tape with a professional group singing, no instruments.)
Thank you for your time.
Name & seminary withheld

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Dear Name withheld,

Thank you for your question. The custom seems to be to be lenient regarding this. The rationale is because the whole Gezeirah prohibitting music during the three weeks and Sefirah was only on live instrumental music, not on singing. Although we have accepted that even recorded instrumental music is Ossur, we don’t find that singing alone is Ossur, and therefore we can’t say it is forbidden to listen to a tape of singing only. If we would do so, we would have to say it is Ossur to listen to people singing live – since Halachically a recording is better than live – and this is clearly not the case.

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L’chvod HaRav:

What is the halacha regarding taking piano lessons and practicing during Sefira and the Three Weeks? Does it make a difference that my piano teacher is frum?

Thank you!
Name & seminary withheld

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Dear Name withheld,

Thank you for your question. The prohibition of listening to music during Sefira and the three weeks is only when it is done purely for pleasure. If it is done for practice, or to entertain children on a long trip, or for Parnassah, it is permitted.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler