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DAF DISCUSSIONS - GITIN 7

Y. Kalish asked:

In the last several blatt, including Sota, the topic of music being assur has arisen. I was wondering what the modern day poskim say about such sha'alos. Is it assur to be a musician, go to a concert, have music at chasunas...etc.?

Thank you.

The Kollel replies:

See our Insights to Sotah 48 for a discussion of this topic and a summary of the Halachah.

Music at a Chasunah is permitted for the reason mentioned below, that it is for the sake of a Mitzvah and the music is for the sake of singing praise to Hash-m. Regarding a concert, a concert which is not for the sake of praising Hash-m would, apparently, be prohibited, although some Poskim (She'eilos u'Teshuvos Maharshag 2:155, Shevet ha'Levi 6:69) rule that listening to music is permitted to lighten one's from depression, and thus one who is depressed might be permitted to attend a concert (but when attending merely for the sake of entertainment, it would seem to be prohibited).

Regarding becoming a musician, the Tzitz Eliezer discusses this question (15:33:1). He concludes that it is permitted, because (a) one may certainly rely on the Rema who says that the Isur is only for listening to music for the sake of pleasure on a frequent and consistent basis, and (b) even according to the Shulchan Aruch, the Isur is only "l'Same'ach ba'Hem," but to study music for the sake of earning a livelihood is not considered listening or playing music for the primary purpose of rejoicing (for this reason, the Poskim permit an Avel who is a musician to work at his profession while he is an Avel). The Tzitz Eliezer cites the Pri Megadim (in Eshel Avraham, OC 551:1) and Maharil Diskin (Kuntrus Acharon, #196) who permit the profession of musician for this reason.

Of course, one must bring any specific and personal question to a competent Halachic authority.

Y. Shaw