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What kind of music could I listen to?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Question:

Could I listen to any music so long as it is not vulgar, doesn't break modesty laws, and its lyrics aren't antithetical to Torah values?

Answer:

When a Jew needs an answer about an issue that is not clearly stated in Halachah, one must pose the following questions: 'Will this enhance my Divine service or detract from it?', and 'Can this eventually lead me to inappropriate things?'

In this case, the question about music would be 'Does this inspire me in Divine service? - or is this something that makes me feel "hip" etc.?'

Another question would be, 'Does this give me a taste for music which I should not be listening to? Will I want to explore this type of sound played in a way that is antithetical to Judaism?'

Being that it is very difficult to be truly objective when analyzing oneself - a personal mentor or Maspiah/Rabbi should be consulted - as the Mishnah Pirkei Avot tells us 'make for yourself a Rabbi'.


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
Avot
"Ethics of our Fathers." A tractate of the Mishna (original rendition of the Oral Law) which discusses Jewish ethics and piety.
Mishnah
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.