Jewish music vs. not so-Jewish music

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    Just wondering,

    Not so long ago, when we were younger, the Yeshivas/ Beis Yaakovs discouraged listening to music like YANI.

    However, nowadays this type of music seems a lot more fine than a lot of the “Jewish” music out there. And so much “Jewish” music originates from not such good places anyways.

    So, is it O.K. to listen to YANI? Anything wrong with it?


    You are directly inspired by the music you listen to. The spiritual level of the composer affects your spiritualitly, as well. Music is a very powerful when it comes to our emotions. It’s worth being selective of the music you listen to.


    I think you should only listen to holy artists like MBD, who has been a tireless advocate for pure Jewish music.

    But not the music that he stole from Goyish sources, of course.

    on the ball

    Basket of Radishes:

    Simply to say ‘Don’t worry G-d made it all’ dismissively brushes aside the valid concern sammyp had. Music is very powerful way of bringing out emotions and feelings. It can uplift, make you more spiritual and it can also conversely bring to the surface the animal/unrefined element of any person.

    It all depends on the type of music. Rock, Jazz, Heavy Metal etc. may be enjoyable but their essence is to bring out the lower side of us. Studies have shown a causation link between the emergence of Rock’n’roll and the permissiveness that swept through the sixties.

    So yes, G-d made it all but G-d made lots of things that we as a holy nation have to keep away from. Obvious examples are the various forbidden food like pork, shrimp and forbidden relationships.

    But its not only things expressly forbidden. We are commanded to be holy, closer to G-d, to accentuate our spiritual rather than physical side (see the famous commentary of Ramban at the beginning of Parshas Kedoshim). That means not indulging in pleasure and being engrossed in its pursuit for its own sake (a difficult one), and keeping a distance from things that while technically permitted (and yes, created by G-d), push us away from Him.


    I never found anything wrong with Yani. You were discouraged from listening to it because of who made it. However, as you noticed, the music itself is a lot more Eidel than most of the “Jewish music” we have around today.


    Nothing wrong with Yani, or jazz. (Rap is another story)

    But I don’t see how you can compare goyish music to yiddish music. Listen to a song like Tzomo L’cha Nafshi from Mattisyahu and listen to Rocky Mountain High from John Denver, and see which one speaks to your heart (I know which one works for me)

    A Heimishe Mom

    I went to a pretty strict school in BP. Yani was always fine – it was even used in productions!

    I happen to agree with you that some of today’s “Jewish” music is really not very “Jewish” – and you will be surprised at where some “classics” took their music from! Simon and Garfunkel should be the worst of it!




    i once heard that the way yani’s music works is that they record horrific sounds such as a baby having surgery without anasthetic and lions eating wolves etc and they change it digitally to make it into a musical sound. such things are not what our neshomos can stand to listen to, so since i heard that im much more careful about what music i hear.

    on the ball

    skiaddict: I’d be very interested if there was a single reliable source for that claim. Sounds like an old wives’ tale. (Are you an old wife?) Anyway, lions don’t eat wolves but even if they did – why can’t our neshomos stand listening to it?


    skiaddict: I don’t know what music you’ve been listening to, but…

    If he would be recording those types of sounds, it would not be Yiddeshe mechanchim asking us not to listen to his music. Many international organizations would have banned it already!

    I am just having trouble understanding. If it is O.K. for productions, then why would it be bad for the car or home?!?


    sammy- I think its totally fine…i see no reason why it wouldnt be allowed..Ive also been in the BY systen where the preached the whole music affecting you nishama thing (WHICH IS TRUE) and how the song- here were talking music can penetrate you neshama- and I quote (my teachers) – why is it so bad to listen to even classical music? becasue we dont know what the machshavos were of the composer and if it was through machshavos raaos etc…then it can badly affect your neshama- I dont disagree but thats a VERY VERY VERY high level to live by….

    in all honesty using it for productions/backround music/ calming etc..i see no reason why classsical or even yanni should be issur/a problem!



    …and see which one speaks to your heart (I know which one works for me)

    In all seriousness, does Mattisyahu really speaks to you? The few songs that I’ve heard always struck me as a goyishe song that happened to have been written by a Jew and has Jewish themes.

    There are a lot of goyishe emotional songs, but I could never compare a Tzoma L’cha Nafshi from Mattisyahu (I’ve never actually heard it) to the one from Shloime Daskal.


    Maybe there needs to be a distinction between “kosher” Jewish music and “nonkosher” Jewish music. In my opinion just because the singer/composer is Jewish or even frum doesn’t automatically mean the song is a “kosher Jewish song”.


    “Mattisyahu really speaks to you?”

    Ok, maybe not the way Shloima Carlebach’s Shvartze Volf does, but in its own way, yes, I do like the way Matisyahu interprets tehilim. I have listened to the “Live from Stubbs” recording and the way he makes a shehakol (before taking a drink of water on stage) makes me wonder if my berachos could not stand a little fine tuning.

    Much the way Soulfarm’s havdalah makes me rethink how my davening lacks real soul. No, I’m not going to start davening that way for the amud, but it makes me think I might be missing something.


    “I’d be very interested if there was a single reliable source for that claim.”

    Kinda like the way people said if you played heavy metal backwards you’d hear disturbing messages.

    Then again, a valid point is this: Certain music does bring out the “darker” side of a person, so there is a reason to choose wisely. I’m less likely to speed when I’m listening to a shuir than I am when I’ve got Lipa’s 24/6 on full blast 🙂


    I’m not familiar with Shvarte Volf, Live from Stubbs or Soulfarm.

    But I understand that because each person interprets experiences differently, the choice of music that would be considered subjectively “hartzedig” for any individual might vary along a broad spectrum.

    I think that each person should determine which music/influence pushes him/her in the right direction -up- whatever that might be (within the acceptable standards of a LOR).

    Bob Squappstien

    My rabbi said that it makes no difference on the composer. Rather there are 3 things that matter: the words, the beat, and if it’s a female singer and you’re a guy.

    The words: if it has non-kosher words or concepts, you can’t listen to it

    The beat: if it’s a very wild beat that will make you want to dance like a member of an African tribe, then it’s a no-no.

    If it’s a female singer, and you’re a guy, it’s kol isha.

    But you should ask your own rabbi


    What if it makes you want to dance like a Yid at the Beis HaMikdash? Like Dovid HaMelech before HaShem?


    “make you want to dance like a member of an African tribe”

    This is a racist statement that should be deleted. I’ve seen far worse behavior among frum Jews on Purim than in any other ethnic group, and to make matters worse, people claim that the Torah requires it.


    “I’ve seen far worse behavior among frum Jews on Purim than in any other ethnic group”

    this is a racist statement that should be deleted.


    Crazy Train by Ezriel Osbourne gets people to move in some crazy ways. It is one the most popular “intros” played at frum chasunas these days.


    That kashers it?


    Crazy Train happens to be a great song to play on the guitar..very challenging, especially the solo. But it is way too over-used at weddings now. We need some new intros. How about- Welcome to the Jungle by GnR. Great intro.

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