Would you let your children listen to non-jewish music?

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  • #1519969

    Shainameidel
    Participant

    Assuming that there was no social pressure, would you allow your child to listen to (clean) non-jewish music? why or why not? what other things that you hesitate to do due to social pressure (as in they are halachically acceptable) would you consider doing if that were to somehow disappear?

    DISCLAIMER: this is asked with the assumption that everything is within halachic boundaries. It is also a question that is simply based on my awareness that peer pressure is an attribute of all communities, including frum ones.

    #1519980

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Would you allow your child to eat a cheeseburger?

    Assuming that there was no social pressure, would you allow your child to eat a cheeseburger? why or why not?

    DISCLAIMER: this is asked with the assumption that everything is within halachic boundaries. It is also a question that is simply based on my awareness that peer pressure is an attribute of all communities, including frum ones.

    #1519995

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Yes, for the following songs:

    Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round* (*Adapted to the wheels stopping take a rest on Shabbat, though)

    Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Knees, and Toes

    Old MacDonald had a Farm* – (*Maybe change the name to something like “Rabbi Maggid”)

    #1520009

    Avi K
    Participant

    If something does not bother the Halacha why should it bother anyone? Children are not expected to keep middot chassidut. First a person should achieve, zehirut, zerizut and nekiut. Only then should he work on chassidut. The Gra said that Judaism is like a ladder. If you try to jump steps you will fall. Rav Kook said that this is because a person must always be balanced. Keeping an inappropriate (for one’s general spiritual level) chumra will lead to inappropriate kulot in other areas.

    #1520010

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Depends which music. Definitely no if it’s Wagner.

    #1520031

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Of course not. Non-jewish music is detrimental to the soul, even if it’s clean.
    I could care less about what anyone else is doing, why should that interfere with my ruchniyus and connection to Hashem?

    #1520093

    mentsch1
    Participant

    In my own extended family, which runs the gamut from MO to yeshivish , it is clear that those families that shielded their kids the most are enjoying the most Yiddish nachas from their children. Obviously it’s not true across the Jewish spectrum but it’s starkly true in my family.
    Let’s also remember the Gemara that says that one of the reasons acher (Rav Mayer’s rebbe) went off the derech is bc he was always singing goyish music.

    #1520110

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Yitzchokm

    “Would you allow your child to eat a cheeseburger?”
    So, im sorry tat you havent learnt this yet, but a cheeseburger is not “within halachic boundaries” its troubling that you don’t know that.
    Of course if said cheeseburger WAS “within halachic boundries” (eg the cheese and/or meat was pareve) then the coparison works, and is actuallly a really good one.

    “Of course not. Non-jewish music is detrimental to the soul, ”
    does this include wheels on the bus?

    #1520252

    Avi K
    Participant

    Shopping & Mentsch, were the souls of those who composed zemirot to non-Jewish tunes damaged? These are conjectures without basis. As for Acher, he also delved too deeply into Kabbalah and misinterpreted pesukim about the reward for mitzvot. It was everything together (and maybe the Greek songs were immodest).

    #1520290

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The Greeks were not known for modesty.

    #1520358

    Midwest2
    Participant

    “Non-Jewish” music covers a lot of ground. It runs from old-fashioned classical (Bach & Beethoven, through 20h century like Stravinsky and Debussy) through some of the obscenity-laced raps of people like Eminem and his mentors and the “white-supremacist” rock groups. Let’s get specific.

    Classical? Why not (excluding music intended specifically to be religious, like masses and whatnot).
    Old time popular (pre-rock)? Most of it is OK, even if it seems obsessed with (clean) romance. So it depends.
    Classical rock? Again, it depends on the song.
    60s rock? Many of the songs not, since they have pritzusdik lyrics. Still, some are OK.
    Metal, rap, etc.? Definitely not. Some of this stuff would have been considered unprintable/unplayable back in the day.

    Which brings us to modern “Jewish” music. Except for the words, which have been changed, a lot of it seems to have been simply lifted from secular sources. (Trust me – I’m an amateur musician myself.) In fact, some of the “Jewish” music played at chasunehs these days is musically more extreme than most rock. “Barbaric” is the adjective that comes to mind. Not to mention the ear-damaging volume. All of it, of course, with a rock back-beat behind it.

    So we really have to consider the inyan – “non-Jewish” according to what standards? So much of what passes for Jewish music these days isn’t really Jewish at all, we’ve got to think a little further than just whether the musician wears a yarmulke.

    #1520360

    Midwest2
    Participant

    RY23 – Oh yes, we can exclude Wagner too. He was a rabid anti-Semite when alive, so it’s really superfluous that the Nazis ym”s adopted him. He was bad enough in his own right.

    #1520361

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Whoops, forgot to read the OP thoroughly. As for children, I would allow them to listen to classical, well-vetted children’s tunes, and maybe a few of the “cuter” classical rock, Ron Eliran, etc. But I really would draw the line at a lot of what is currently considered “Jewish.” It’s terrible musically, Hebrew words or no words, and if you’ve ever watched the way some bochrim dance to it at chasunehs, I’m not so sure it’s good for ruchniyus, either.

    #1520378

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I hope all those who want to ban secular music also ban Hashem Melech, Bas Kol , Yidden and others

    All who are secular music

    #1520400

    Let’s also remember the Gemara that says that one of the reasons acher (Rav
    Mayer’s rebbe) went off the derech is bc he was always singing goyish music.

    Let’s also remember the Rashi on that Gemara, which explains it
    as being wrong because of the destruction of the Beis haMikdash.

    #1520421

    Opinions presented so far:
    1. Non-Jewish music is obviously as forbidden as a cheeseburger.
    2. It is a middas chassidus not to listen to non-Jewish music.
    3. All “non-Jewish music” is detrimental to the soul (but not technically forbidden?).
    4. Some non-Jewish music should be avoided.
    5. Music composed by non-Jews known to be anti-Semites is
    more problematic than music composed by other non-Jews.

    #1520551

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Random – good summary. Practical advice – consult your rav or mashgiach as to what is appropriate for you. And never, never let your kids listen to something until you’ve listened to it yourself. (This includes Jewish music too. As noted, some is just as bad as secular.)

    #1520563

    (I should have noted that no one posted a source for their opinion.)

    #1520574

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Shopping613 🌠Participant
    Of course not. Non-jewish music is detrimental to the soul, even if it’s clean.
    I could care less about what anyone else is doing, why should that interfere with my ruchniyus and connection to Hashem?
    ————————————
    According to your logic you shouldn’t be reading blogs and commenting ,even kosher ones. Why would you want it interfering with your ruchniyos?

    #1520576

    StuartW
    Participant

    I laughed when i read the OP because his kids are already listening to music composed by gentiles. Many tunes sung by the contemporary chareidi artists are ripoffs from mainstream pop and even rap.
    Even in the old country much of the music played at chassisish and other weddings were ripoffs of Ukranian, Polish, Russian and Hungarian tunes. Go to a Ukranian wedding today and you will think you are listening to a frum orchestra.

    #1520641

    Avi K
    Participant

    For that matter, Chabadniks sing to one of Napoleon’s marching songs – even though the baal haTanya supported the Czar.

    #1520655

    Athos
    Participant

    Yes

    #1520667

    Sammyonetwo
    Participant

    Music comes from the heart even when a goy creates the music so if thats the foundation you want on your kids to have a nonjews inspiration then you would if not the you would not

    #1520668

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Takes2-2tango: Music is the language of the soul, when you listen to it you literally fall into the world of whoever created the music, into their soul. I believe Rabbi Dessler (I don’t remember which Rabbi it was) has an entire explanation for how it works. Music is extremely powerful.

    If we are going to go the route that even though many Rabbanim say it’s horrible for your neshoma, some disagree, than first we have to cut out most of the rock and pop music. Any music that makes you feel like you should dance in a not tzniyus way.

    Music should be something that connects you to HASHEM. You should be able to listen to a song, and afterwards be able to daven 5 minutes later. Try listening to a non-jewish song and davening right after and see where your head is during davening. I’ll bet you many songs will put your head is not good places.

    Beyond that Midwest2 says you can listen to clean romance. According to many rabbanim any romance music, anything written from a man to woman or vise versa is assur. It violates the prohibition to listen or say nivul peh which according to many poskim is anything that is meant to be between a man and woman.

    There’s many opinions, and I cannot judge anyone here for whatever theirs is. I assume they had a start conversation with their Rabbi and are following his advice on what is allowed and what isn’t.

    #1520712

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    So you have a soul scanner that you use on any musician before you listen to their music?

    #1520722

    Avi K
    Participant

    Sammy, would you let your kids learn the Pythagorean theorem? That came straight from the head of a pagan. Rambam says in his intro to Shemoneh Perakim that one should accept the truth from whoever says it.

    Shopping, what if a man sings “Gd Save the Queen”?

    #1520736

    TGIShabbos
    Participant

    Shopping, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Most Jewish music is not enjoyable for me and many of the songs/music begin to sound so generic (and corny, if you will)- but that’s me, I understand some may agree and disagree. For me it doesn’t set me in the right mode for davening. Although when driving I much prefer the AM dial (for Savage, Hannity, sports, news), I really enjoy Big Band Music of the 1940’s including Nat King Cole, Bennet, Sinatra, etc. If after hearing “I left my Heart in San Francisco” causes me or my children to think of aveiros or non-Torah ideals, then we would be seeing both a Rav and a therapist.

    #1520800

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Sammy, would you let your kids learn the Pythagorean theorem? That came straight from the head of a pagan”

    I cant believe the mods let that through. Even mentioning such a name can have e profound effects on a neshoma. Studying the Pythagorex theorem is worse than a cheeseburger.

    Try studying it and davening right after and see where your head is during davening. I’ll bet you it will put your head is not good places.

    #1520807

    NOYB
    Participant

    To everyone saying that non Jewish music has a deeper effect on the neshama: That may be true, but many chassidish tunes and at least half of Jewish songs today are direct copies of non jewish songs. So the question is, do you just not listen to any music at all, since it is unlikely that you know which songs are goyish and which are not, or do you accept that some songs, even if they are written by non Jews, are ok?

    #1520906

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Plagiarism is a bigger issue.

    #1521021

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Btw i hope you all dont bring up your children a certain way just because you stubbornly have to follow thru with what you posted on a forum.

    Ive been flipping back and forth with where i stand in regarding the non-jewish music for many years. Recently my feeling has been, after experimenting for a while, that after listening to goyish music for a while (even rock/classic rock) i do present symptoms of thinking less jewish and caring about less jewish things (including but not limited to Vhameivin Yavin). That’s with avoiding overtly highly inappropriate songs. Here and there i may put something on to chill me out cuz im still in transition stage but really trying to limit the use.

    There really is a large selection and variety of jewish music out there today. Also, if u are a person that really connects to music and enjoy that connection, when you (i?) listen to a solid jewish song you will almost always be able to connect so much deeper to it. (I think i catch myself holding back from letting go and connecting to goyish music at times.) Thats a phenomenal phenomenon cuz u can literally gain a more emotional real connection to, and love of, ur jewishness and want for growth as a person. Without doing anything.

    For those of you that were brought up on strictly jewish music, you’l feel more at home and in ur zone with jewish music. Me and friends were searching for ourselves for some years, trying to get more real. Thought opening myself up to world in general and the world of non jewish music would help in that search. For now, my belief is youre most real when you are who u were brought up as. May not be cool, but being honest it’s the real deal. Furthermore, you are jewish, you aren’t not jewish, so be jewish and you’l be more in sync.

    Weird, think most of this was for myself, feel free to read. Gut’n chodesh.

    #1521315

    Shainameidel
    Participant

    Reading through some of these comments, a lot of people are bringing up one of the reasons I initially asked this question.
    Being as so many current jewish songs are plagiarized, can we truly say that their cores are as kosher/spiritual as we want them to be? As such, if we allow our children to listen to songs which clearly sound non-Jewish (an example which was brought up previously was Hashem Melech. while I enjoyed the song, it clearly sounds as though it would not be difficult to replace the pesukim with secular lyrics.- I am not sure about how original the tune was in the first place but that just accentuates my point), how is it much different than just allowing them to listen to clean, non-Jewish music?
    The only significant difference would be that frum music has pesukim in it but that is solved by the fact that most frum children are constantly hearing those pesukim in the first place so not hearing them in songs backed by goyish sounding music should not make much of a difference.
    If the intentions/ spirituality of the original composer is detrimental to deciding whether the song would affect the neshama negatively, doesn’t that also raise the issue that simply backing holy pesukim with non-frum music might be inappropriate? In this case, isn’t hashem melech just as treif as listening to Mozart or Sinatra?
    As we stand now, it seems that what is “frum” music vs what isn’t is simply a matter of what the community allows. (obviously within certain limits. In no way am I insinuating that clearly treif rap can be considered frum music) I know that many people do not allow their children to listen to the Maccabees as it is a well known that their songs are parodies of non-Jewish songs yet they allow their children to listen to songs that, while sung with frum lyrics and sung by frum people, have tunes of ambiguous origins.

    #1521487

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Parodies are legal because they fall under fair use. Simply using a tune is not.

    #1521562

    StuartW
    Participant

    Sheine maidel:

    When i was a boy of six i attended a chareidi yeshivish school. They had just purchased used benches for the beis medrash. I noticed that they had removed engravings of a tzelem from the benches. Even at that tender age, my intuition told me that it was wrong to have church benches in a beis medrash. So I asked my rebbe. Turns out my intuition had been wrong. It is in fact a mitzvah to uplift something from unholy to holy.
    Here is a video of the kaliver rebbe singing a song purchased from a gentile shephard boy:
    link removed -79

    #1521583

    laskern
    Participant

    There is a concept to be mekadesh the nigunim. The Kalever took a peasant song and converted it to one of the most famous hungarian jewish songs call szol a kakas mar referring to the geulah.

    #1521706

    1
    Participant

    This is very subjective. Really depends on how much said kid is eexposed to the outside world. I would say don’t restrict it but ddon’t invite said kid to listen. In the middle East, the Rabbonim new the Arabic music.

    #1521722

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There is no such thing as “frum” music. With modern computer AI software, you can link the musical fingerprints or audio DNA of portions of just about any nigun to a precursor song with goiyeshe origins. One of the prior posters said it best with regard the Kalever Rebbe, Z’TL endowing an old goiyeshe nigun with kedushah in his adopting of the old nigun.

    #1521814

    shimen
    Participant

    the question is ‘is one allowed al pi S’U’ and since Gadol… has his own S’U
    let him follow it and we ehrlicher shomrei torah have own we will follow….

    #1521886

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    There are those that say that big rebbes knew how to transform a non jewish song into a ruchniyusdke song.
    Also, some tunes by themselves can be kinda less kosher to even an unsuperpro ear. Without lyrics. There are tunes that are slightly better and with the help of added jewish lyrics dont have the same effect. This is only about the basic conscious not-too deep level.

    Besides that theres many different opinions people mention, here (lots of threads) and coffee rooms all over, about what can make a song bad. IIRC:

    A) composed by Less Kosher Person
    B) originally sung by LKP
    C) The above but not when redone by jew
    D) anything after 1950
    E) Dylan may be ok plus he’s really jewish
    F) Lyrics need soap
    G) Pushes a culture and way of life (especially for fans) which is off base
    H) A tune or beat that negatively effects a person
    I) One direction
    J) idk im tired

    People argue how to treat what they hold as non jewish if it gets used by a frum jew. Think that sums it up. For more info search the cr there must be at least 5 threads about this

    #1521912

    Non Political
    Participant

    A few months back I went to a fundraising carnival for a well known and respected organization. It was a family event and attended by all sectors of the frum community. The music was basically 90s house music. I actually played James Brown is Dead to few people to make the point clear (hearing is believing). This is not elevating non jewish music. Sorry. The music and the way it moves you is the same. Not similar. Not an adaptation. The same.

    #1521918

    Avi K
    Participant

    Shimin, what do “ehrlicher shomrei torah ” say about the Internet?

    BTW, it is well known that Rav Ovadia very much enjoyed listening to Egyptian singer Um Kulthum.

    #1521934

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    I really think it boils down to asking your Rabbi and following what he says is halachically allowed, and after that seeing how the music makes you feel.

    According to my Rabbi any song written about a relationship between man and woman is oiver on the issur of nivul peh. But I guess maybe other rabbi’s with disagree.

    About feeling, I know some of you were making fun of me for saying it’s about how you find yourself dancing or what thoughts you have and how Jewish “copies” can do that too. Most of the people I know who cut out secular music from their lives have cut out various other music that is Jewish for this reason. I know people who won’t listen to Shwekey for this reason, simply because they find themselves dancing inappropriately.

    In any case, music is supposed to connect you to Hashem.
    It’s like an elevator, it’s either down or up. Either it helps your ruchniyus or makes it worse.
    Each person needs to look inside and judge for themselves..

    #1521980

    Avi K
    Participant

    Shopping,
    1. Anything? If he praises her intellectual achievements? If he sings of his devotion and loyalty to his family?
    2. I do agree about the “beat”. On the other hand, BTs often need a “halfway house”.

    #1521988

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    No, music does not have to be spiritual. Music that gets you dancing helps keep you physically healthier. It can be completely mindless. Just like eating healthy food that is kosher and improves your health but doesn’t have special spiritual properties.

    #1522244

    rational jew
    Participant

    There is an important aspect of the problem some have with non Jewish music that many people don’t seem to realise. Ultra orthodox Judaism is based largely on the idea that in order to prevent Jews becoming irreligious, it is necessary to preserve the culture as much as possible. This includes a dress code, various traditional ideas such as anti Zionism and the great stress on the importance of spending time in Yeshivah regardless of actual success, depending on the community and the level of barriers erected to prevent Jews from leaving the community.
    The same idea applies to music. This is why many will find no problem with Jewish singers, but non Jewish singers with the same song or even classical music will be considered as wrong and somehow inappropriate. Some will even justify this with kabbalistic concepts of of somehow purifying the “soul” of the song through the holiness of the Jewish singers who may need to be a great rabbi, depending on your beliefs. You may believe that, and there is no way to disprove it, since holiness is such an elusive concept.

    #1522291

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Avi K. I did not really go into specifics with my Rabbi since I do not like listening to romance songs in any case.
    For what I understood he said anything that is privately shared between man and a woman, so anything that expresses that bond or relationship…

    Feel free to ask your own Rabbi.

    #1522525

    laskern
    Participant

    The lyrics should uplift you not so much the music.

    #1522532

    huju
    Participant

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Much so-called Jewish music is neither Jewish nor music. Music is very important, and it would be a shame to limit frum children to that junk called “Jewish music.”

    #1522557

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Laskern, not all music has lyrics.

    #1522725

    Avi K
    Participant

    RJ, anti-Zionism has nothing to do with keeping Jews frum. It is inertia and psychological denial and the belief that people have the right to tell Hashem how to bring about the Geula. Maybe also a subconscious happiness about being in exile. It spares frum Jews from having to go about running a state.

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