Whistling

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  • #604523

    Chortkov
    Participant

    My Rebbes and my father always told me not to whistle – “Nisht a yiddishe zach”.

    Does anybody know of any gedolim who say so and any sources, please? I only have one source – the Shulchan Aruch in Hilchos Shabbos Siman 338/9, where it says ‘Muttar’ [with relevance to hashmoas kol]. I haven’t seen anybody on the page who argues.

    #891480

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I was once whistling in yeshiva, and the mashgiach told me: “If you whistle, you are not a goy. But a goy whistles”.

    I said, “what”?

    He said it is linked to gaava.

    #891481

    shlishi
    Member

    What about folding your hands together (fingers of one hand between the fingers of the other hand)?

    I heard that is a goyishe zach also. Is that actual halacha or something like gaaiva also?

    #891482

    Sam2
    Participant

    Both of these are brought down as things not to do in Kabbalistic sources. Pashtus is that we hold like the Gemara in the last Perek of P’sachim on these types of Inyanim.

    #891483

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I like to whistle, and people always tell me not to because it attracts sheidim…

    #891484

    mewho
    Participant

    its pritzuis

    #891485

    oomis
    Participant

    Tell that to Shlomo Carlebach Z”L, who often whistled (and so beautifully, with such heart) when he sang in public. Goyim eat and sleep, too. Should we give those things up?

    As to the hand folding – I have heard it is how the Goyim hold their hands when they are in church, so I could see that, I suppose. I will say this, when I went to Crown Heights Yeshivah over 50 years ago, our morahs and rebbies always taught us to sit up straight with our hands like that during quiet time or when someone choshuv was coming into the room.

    #891486

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Sam, that might only apply to Zugos. If I remember correctly this is indicated in Be’er Hagola of the Maharal.

    In a letter againt Avraham Chiyun, the Baal Smichas Chachamim complains that in the night he whistles, a known practice among Sheidim worshippers.

    #891487

    takahmamash
    Participant

    Whistling is chukas hagoyim.

    #891488

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Goyim also breathe so let’s hold our breath. Who makes this stuff up or cares?

    #891489

    Englishman
    Member

    What they do for avoda zora (whistling/sheidim worshippers, hand folding/church) is indeed assur.

    #891490

    Sam2
    Participant

    HaLeiVi: Yes, but nowadays it’s known that people whistle for other reason than worshiping Sheidim (of course I agree that worshiping Sheidim is completely Assur). And if I recall correctly, the Maharam Al-Ashkar in a Tshuvah brings down that idea for more than just Zugos.

    #891491

    Sam2
    Participant

    Englishman: That’s not quite correct. It’s only Assur Mishum B’chukoseihem if they invented the practice for their worship. Not if a human action existed and they just co-opted it. Otherwise it would be an Issur of Chukas Hagoyim to bow or even to eat/drink or go to the bathroom because all of those actions were used for Avodah Zarah at one point.

    #891492

    lesschumras
    Participant

    As I’ve said elsewhere, China’s is never cited to assured misuse food stamps, Medicaid or Section 8. If anything, it’s justified. ” but the goyim do it!! “

    #891493

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    I always whistle, because people tell me it attracts sheidim.

    #891494

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I always whistle, because people tell me it attracts sheidim.

    So when you are camping in the wilderness, you are always a bit wary of bears during the night, and that’s why you don’t keep any food or smelly stuff in your tent.

    But there are always funny noises during the night, that sound like footsteps near your tent, or rustling in the bushes. So I just tell myself it is probably a sheid and go back to sleep.

    #891495

    lesschumras
    Participant

    I meant Chukas goyim, not china

    #891496

    Sam2
    Participant

    And if whistling is Assur because of Sheidim, then those who whistle can probably rely on the Gra that Sheidim no longer exist.

    #891497

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Lol popa

    #891499

    yidyid
    Member

    whistling in hebrew is spelled ???? wich is aleph beis backwards which represents midas hadin (tur hislchot tefilas shabbos)thats why attracks shedim goim…. and not puting fingers crossed is mention in a medrash koheles

    #891500

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Like I said – muttar.

    #891501

    TheGoq
    Participant

    In the Yeshiva where i work many of the boys whistle or sing loudly while roaming the halls it is very annoying, singing is great but there is a time for everything they do it so loud it is disturbing the peace.

    #891502

    WIY
    Member

    I dont know of an issur but there is an issue that nobody mentioned.

    I remember hearing that the Nazis used to whistle specifically Mengele yimach shemo vezichro may he never leave gehennom used to whistle and act in a very care free relaxed attitude while making his selektion of who goes where. That is why many holocaust survivors are anti whistling and find it repulsive. This likely seeped down to their children and they got the idea that whistling is bad but not necessarily with the why so many assume it is halachic but it isnt a halacha to my knowledge.

    #891503

    ReuBrew
    Participant

    This might be a bubba maisa but my Grandmother used to say that whistling only attracts sheidim if done by children on Shabbos.

    #891504

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    What they do for avoda zora (whistling/sheidim worshippers, hand folding/church) is indeed assur.

    So I take it that you hold that it’s assur to sing? Or clap your hands? Or play an organ? Those are done in churches too.

    The Wolf

    #891505

    apushatayid
    Participant

    probably because you were annoying the heck out of your grandmother with your whistling. it was nicer than asking you to zip it.

    #1495449

    Menachem11
    Participant

    This is stated clearly in Shulchan Aruch HaRav Hilchos Tefila 91:6

    #1495530

    lesschumras
    Participant

    I think this qualifies as a minhag shtus

    #1495527

    Toi
    Participant

    Holy epic thread bump, batman!

    I believe R Akiva Eiger has a tshuva somewhere where he says that although the minhag in earlier times was to pray with hands folded/interlocked, we stopped doing it when the christians started doing it too. Much like bringing trees in to shuk on Shavuos.

    #1495561

    gavriel613
    Participant

    Here’s the most relevant mekor:
    וידוי של רב ניסים גאון
    ואת אשר טהרת טמאתי… את אשר התרת אסרתי… את אשר הקלת החמרתי

    #1495562

    gavriel613
    Participant

    Even if there would be some sort of inyan not to do this, I’ve heard stories of Rebbes who go completely over the top with this. Its like a Rebbe going ballistic because a boy started walking with his left foot instead of with his right foot.

    IMHO making a big deal over something like this to a boy from someone who in their eyes represents Yiddishkeit, runs the risk of making the child think Yiddishkeit is all simply a list of their Rebbes whims

    #1495718

    TheGoq
    Participant

    In my experience as a cashier it is my opinion that those who whistle know it is annoying to others and that is why they do it.

    #1495766

    Avi K
    Participant

    Whistling is extremely annoying and nerve-wracking. I was told by one of his talmidim that Rav Gustman would yell at someone who whistled in the yeshiva. As for it being an obnoxious goyish custom I think that it comes from the kinot: שְׁרִיקוֹת וּתְרוּעוֹת, לְקָלוֹן וּזְוָעוֹת בְּצֵאתִי מִירוּשָׁלָיִם. You can google “I hate whistling”.

    #1495782

    sabba8
    Participant

    If whistling is assur on shabbos that would suggest that it is muttar during the week, no?

    #1495848

    avreichamshlomo
    Participant

    Omg sabba8

    The shulchan aruch/ mb says whistling is mutar on shabbos!

    My near non religious grandmother only mentiones one halacha ththat her father told her, which is wrong, that it is asur to whistle on shabbos.

    It is mutar to whistle on shabbos, which implies that it is mutar to whistle during the week! Zeh hi!

    #1495850

    laskern
    Participant

    There is a story where a man did not know how to pray, so he whistled. It was praised how this whistling was accepted above because it came from the full heart. רחמנא ליבא בעי what comes from the heart is the most important.

    #1495861

    gavriel613
    Participant

    @avi K
    “I was told by one of his talmidim that Rav Gustman would yell at someone who whistled in the yeshiva.”
    As in the Kuntresei Shiurim? What reason did he give? Did he literally “yell” because thats quite hard to believe. Perhaps it was someone whistling in the middle of seder?

    “it comes from the kinot: שְׁרִיקוֹת וּתְרוּעוֹת, לְקָלוֹן וּזְוָעוֹת בְּצֵאתִי מִירוּשָׁלָיִם. ”
    Whats the connection between whistling which shows their happiness in your sorrow and the Golus, and whistling because you’re happy. Are Tru’os also ossur according to you, please let us know before Rosh Hashono

    “You can google “I hate whistling””
    I did, and what came up seemed to suggest its a form of Sensory Processing Disorder and a condition called misophonia. (BTW you can also google “I love whistling”)

    #1495918

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Christians do NOT pray with their fingers interleaved. They put their hands flat against each other.

    Interleaving the fingers is forbidden al pi kabolah, because the five fingers on the right represent the five chasodim and the ones on the left represent the five gevuros, and they must not be mixed. This is brought in many sifrei kaboloh, including the Ari Zal.

    There is no issur on whistling, even al pi kabolah, but it’s traditionally regarded as goyishe behavior. It’s a cultural thing, not a halochic or kabolic thing; a sheigetz whistles, so a yid doesn’t.

    #1495946

    laskern
    Participant

    We should hide our thumbs when davening.

    #1495947

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Asur or mutar – there’s still a major problem with whistling. How many people know how to whistle in tune? Most whistlers are flat, sharp or both at once. I suspect that these are also the people that can’t carry a tune singing. If you’re at all musical, and are being subjected to someone’s inept whistling, you might be tempted to hit them with your music stand. Or, if it’s Shabbos and the person is attempting to sing zemiros, suddenly yell, “Let’s bentsch already!” And some of the worst offenders are also the most enthusiastic whistlers, since they can’t tell they’re out of tune anyway.

    Shlomo Carlebach a”h may have been able to whistle like a nightingale, but I’m afraid the majority sound like a tin whistle crossed with a kazoo.

    #1495949

    icemelter
    Participant

    Dont some believe by Kabbalah that its actually good to whistle? Wasnt there a lot of whistling by Farbrengens? Whats the reason for it?

    #1496109

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Since when do we pasken according to kabbala?
    Interleaving is assur? Hide your thumbs? Is my rabbits foot assur?
    Goyim breathe when they pray so I guess we have daven holding our breath.

    #1496281

    Milhouse
    Participant

    “Since when do we pasken according to kabbala?”

    Since the kaboloh was revealed. Kaboloh is an integral part of Torah sheb’al peh, and denying it is kefirah. And yes, the Ari Zal, whom klal yisroel has accepted as a definitive posek whose torah came directly from Eliyohu Haovi, paskened that interleaving the fingers is forbidden.

    #1496221

    Avi K
    Participant

    Less, paskening according to Kabbala is a big discussion. As for your rabbit’s foot, it is definitely darchei Emori (a goyish superstition probably based in avoda zara). It certainly wasn’t lucky for the rabbit. Breathing has a logical reason. Therefor it is permissible. However, in general during davening one should stand as one would in front of a king or important official. Rav Moshe and Rav Soloveichik both stood stock still. Perhaps a soldier in the US Army should stand at parade rest (in fact, I have noticed that many frum men walk with their hands folded on their backs).

    As for the OP’s question, Rav Eli Mansour says “The Halachic authorities rule that whistling was not included at all in the decree against producing sounds on Shabbat, and one may thus whistle a tune on Shabbat. We should note that irrespective of the laws of Shabbat, whistling in public, such as while walking in the street, is improper and unbecoming of a Torah Jew. But if at home one wishes to whistle as background to the singing of Pizmonim (hymns) at the Shabbat table, this is certainly acceptable and permissible.” Of course, if one has a guest who is annoyed by whistling and wants him to continue coming around one should refrain. It is simply a good midda.

    #1497358

    gavriel613
    Participant

    @avi-k
    “whistling in public, such as while walking in the street, is improper and unbecoming of a Torah Jew”

    Sounds like he means whistling in a very loud attention-attracting way, like when people put their fingers in their mouth to attract the attention of someone halfway down the street. So I suppose its not tzonua, just like screaming really loud in the street.

    But whistling a tune to yourself on the street at a normal volume is no different to humming a tune to yourself. Of course those who suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder would disagree as they personally don’t like it, but would struggle to find a coherent explanation of why one shouldn’t do it (as can be seen from this entire thread)

    #1497383

    laskern
    Participant

    To be blunt, whistling is asur because it is a means of gaining attention of girls so it is not done by yeshiva boys.

    #1497431

    Avi K
    Participant

    Milhouse, Rav Moshe says hat any posek can disagree with the Arizal.

    Gavriel, “whistling to yourself”? Do you mean like a dog whistle? BTW, according to the Independent “In a survey by YouGov, the proportion people finding the pastime annoying has increased with 47 per cent of people polled saying they found it irritating.
    That figure rose to 53 per cent among 18-24 year olds suggesting fondness for whistling may slowly die out as the years pass.” So either SPD is becoming common or that is just one reason. People are becoming more refined and whistling is a sign of lack of refinement.

    #1497433

    gavriel613
    Participant

    yes I think everyone understands that “gaining attention of girls” is inappropriate. Are you suggesting that it is therefore always inappropriate to whistle, is this a gezeira or lo plug something? as I’m confident yekke2 wasn’t asking about that type of whistling

    #1497462

    gavriel613
    Participant

    @avi-k, I think you may be confused between your personal dislikes, and things which frum Jews shouldn’t do for a halocho, hashkofo, or mussar reason. The OP asked about the latter; most of your posts relate to the former (“extremely annoying and nerve-wracking”, “found it irritating” etc).

    Its a bit like someone asking is it OK to use the eruv in a certain town, and someone replies “you shouldn’t do it because I get annoyed when I see someone carrying”. I agree that if you’re near someone who you know particularly dislikes whistling that it would be good middos to stop. However that isn’t the main niddon here, but whether its OK per se

    #1497527

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Whistling is probably the least effective way of gaining attention of girls.

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