Music during Sefirah


It is forbidden to hear music during Sefirah.[1] It is forbidden to listen to music, whether live or recorded.[2] The widespread custom even amongst G-d fearing Jews is to permit listening to cappella[3] music.[4] However there are Poskim[5] that are stringent to prohibit listening to music even of such nature.


May one listen to recorded music on a tape; CD; Ipod; MP3 and the like?

No, as recorded above.


May one hear music during a Bar Mitzvah; Bris, Pidyon Haben, Sheva Brachos?

It is permitted to play music during a Seudas Mitzvah, such as by a Bris, Pidyon Haben.[6] However there are Poskim[7] that rule it is forbidden.


May one practice music during Sefirah?[8]

It is permitted to practice music during the days of Sefira for Parnasa purposes.[9] It is forbidden to do so for mere pleasure.


May a musician play music during Sefirah as part of his occupation?[10]



May a music teacher continue teaching during Sefirah?

If the teacher is doing so for his Parnasa and the student is also learning for Parnasa purposes then it is permitted to teach during Sefirah.[11] If however the student is not learning for purposes of Parnasa then seemingly it is forbidden for him to be taught. However some Poskim[12] are lenient even in such a case, so long as the teacher is doing so for Parnasa purposes.


May music be played by a children’s rally?

Some[13] write that if one makes a Siyum Mishecta by the rally then it is allowed to play music.


May one sing during Sefirah?[14]

The custom is to allow singing during Sefirah, however there are those that are stringent.[15]


[1] Aruch Hashulchan 493/2

[2] Igros Moshe 1/166;  3/87;  Minchas Yitzchak 1/111; Kinyan Torah 2/99; Yechaveh Daas 3/30; Mishneh Halachos 8/128; Az Nidbaru 10/23; Piskeiy Teshuvos 551/13; 493/4

[3] Music that is not accompanied by instruments of any sort and is merely vocal.

[4] Sheivet Halevi 8/127

[5] Sheivet Halevi 8/127 [ in his personal opinion]; Az Nidbaru 8/58; Tzitz Eliezer 15/33

[6] Regarding dancing: Implication of Admur 493/1; M”A 493/1; M”B 493/3 that the prohibition only applies by “Seudas Reshus” and so rule: Keren Ledavid 119; Igros Moshe 2/95 and in Even Haezer 1/97; Mishneh Halachos 6/109; Yechaveh Daas 6/34

[7] Mahrsham 493 in name of Daas Kedoshim; Minchas Yitzchak 1/111; Shraga Hameir 2/13

[8] Igros Moshe 3/87; Kinyan Torah 2/99

[9] The reason: As when doing so for Parnasa purposes it is not considered a matter of Simcha for this person. [ibid]

[10] Igros Moshe 3/87; Kinyan Torah 2/99

[11] The reason: As although the teacher is permitted to hear music being that he does not receive pleasure when doing so for Parnasa, however the student does not have such an allowance.

[12] See Nitei Gavriel 53/6 that does not differentiate regarding the students; Halichos Bas Yisrael 24 footnote 5 [brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 493 footnote 37] that teachers of a class may prepare the class for a play or skit even if it involves playing music for them as part of the play or skit.

[13] Hiskashrus based on Likkutei Sichos 37 p. 122 “In order for the rally to be permitted according to all it should be connected to a Siyum  Misechta” The Rebbe does not make clear as to whether this is done to allow live music, recorded music or simply singing and dancing.

[14] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 493/4

[15] See Leket Yosher that the Terumos Hadeshen did not sing during Sefira. See also Yosef Ometz p. 128; Nitei Gavriel 10 footnote 2; Rav SZ”A is quoted [see Piskeiy Teshuvos 493 footnote 35 to rule that songs which involve Avodas Hashem [slow Niggunim] may be sung while those songs that involve simple joy which lead to dancing may not be sung.

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