"Rav Moshe Feinstein (ibid.) writes that nowadays it is customary everywhere to sing verses, even from the Torah itself. Even when he was young, he writes, it was accepted to sing songs based on verses and Tefilos. However, he concludes, a Ba'al Nefesh should be stringent upon himself and not make songs out of verses in Tanach, Torah she'Ba'al Peh, or Tefilos."
"The YABI'A OMER (vol. III, OC 15:5)...We may therefore permit, l'Chatchilah, the singing of verses."
I hear, but Rav Pam zt"l says the following: If Shir HaShirim, which already is a song, cannot be made into a song, certainly one may not do so with any other passuk in Tanach. But, if you bring a group of non-religious children together for a JEP gathering and you want to bring them close to Hash-m, then the song is wonderful. If you are leading Pirchei children and you want to ignite the hearts of the kinderlach to bring them closer to Torah, wonderful. But if you take a guitar on stage and sing pesukim to entertain the audience, then the Torah dons sackcloth and complains to Hash-m, and this brings misfortune to the world."
What about playing songs on CD like "Baruch ha-gever" or "recheim"? Or singing pasukim in the Torah like "hamalach hagoel"? Same law, baal nefesh yachmir?
Simcha Feldman, Baltimore, USA
Thank you for passing that on, Reb Simcha.
I suppose songs on a CD or ha'Mal'ach ha'Go'el are the same as singing any Pesukim. If they are used to inspire Avodas Hash-m, it is probably acceptable - which seems to be Rav Pam's intention.