'jewish' songs with non jewish tunes
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- This topic has 51 replies, 26 voices, and was last updated 12 years ago by themissingyears.
March 17, 2011 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #595770Huyde LaHashemMember
i personally always was repulsed by it until the maccabeats came out. i heard it once and was like “this is so goyish!” but then i heard it alot and got used to it. is it better to listen to that than non jewish altogether?March 17, 2011 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #752185Feif UnParticipant
Rabbi Yaakov Bender said in a shmuz years ago that it is not better. He said it’s better to listen to non-Jewish music and know what it is you’re listening to than to try and fool yourself into thinking it’s something ok.March 17, 2011 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #752186cleverjewishpunMember
Answers on this will fall into 2 different catagories
1: Music is intensly spiritual and sometimes you can take a tune and elevate it with jewish words and themes
2: Using a secular tune and trying to kasher it with words from tehilim is nothing short of drawing a hechsher on a package of bacon.
Personally I’ve seen this written before in the Coffee Room about how the notion of Jewish Music is kind of a fallacy due to the fact that everything from the “alter heim” was influecned by what was popular in their culture at the time.
Unless someone has a bootleg recording of what the Le’Viim sounded like while they were on stage in the Beis Hamkidash, the only definition of “Jewish Music” we will have is which ever definition we create.March 17, 2011 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #752187candy613Member
there are some people who dont mind listening to these type of songs. I have a teacher who talks about this music in a way that would give anyone goosebumps! It kind of makes you wonder and think about what is really the line that we dont allow ourselves to cross. If we are ok with non jewish tunes, what’s gonna become ok next???
>O<613March 18, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #752188Elisha-ben-avuyahMember
Have you ever listened to klezmer music? Do you think that music is ordained by G-d?
recently, I read a book on Jewish music from Eastern Europe that showed that Jewish musicians often played at Ukrainian non Jewish weddings, and that non Jew Musicians would play at Jewish weddings. Listen to klezmer music and you can hear the Turkish, Slavic and other musical influences. A Jew can listen to Mozart and Beethoven and even to Miles Davis and not be at risk of eating pork.
editedMarch 18, 2011 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #752189smile66Member
It’s alllllllll about sensitivities people.
Sometimes we Jews tend to get a bit too caught up in muttar/assur’s. I think it’s the yetzer hara’s way of keeping us from ever becoming chassidim for Hashem (and I don’t mean shtreimels, I mean going above the letter of the law) – and forever keeping us on the most basic level of yiddishkeit.
To each his own level and his own pace, but you at least have to be aware that these sensitivities are true and valid, and hope to one day feel them enough to keep them.March 18, 2011 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #752190zahavasdadParticipant
Dont listen or sing Maoz Tsur, Its 12th Century Germanic Church Music.
Dont get Married, The usual song when the Chosson and Kallah come out is Baker Street or Final Countdown
Dont be a Chabadnick, One of their Niggunim is La Marseillaise (The French National Anthem)March 18, 2011 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #752191StuffedCabbageParticipant
In eleventh grade my teacher gave us this lesson about music that i will never forget. girls wanted to know what was wrong with listening to non jewish music and she told us like this. when a person makes up a song its a reflection of there neshama. this refers to the music itself and the lyrics. and when you listen to music a part of the composers neshama goes into yours. if its a ehrlich composer your good to go but on the most part, non jewish music is made up by the dregs of society. do you want part of their neshama in yours? so about the non jewish tunes with jewish words, personally, the song still has that goyishe “taam” and i dont consider it jewish.March 18, 2011 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #752192shuliParticipant
but the french changed their anthem after chabad took it, so is it still bad?March 19, 2011 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #752193600 Kilo BearMember
This has been done to death.March 20, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am #752194oyveykidsthesedaysMember
this is a very big topic and i dont think anyone on the coffeeroom is entitled to their own psak on this. However, there is a discussion about this among the poskim, and everyone should follow his/her rav. What I do know, however, is that Rav Hershel Schachter is of the opinion that it’s problematic, and that non-jewish tunes should not be listened to, even with torah words in it.March 20, 2011 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #752195
There’s a lot to be said on both sides of the issue. Some wild Rock, Hip-Hop or Jazz songs should not be sung even with the (converted) Jewish lyrics. Others, Especially from Classical Music are inspiring. And, with the changed lyrics (where it applies) are fully acceptable. There is a legend about a song with the (original) lyrics in Hungarian that is very popular in some (Here’s an oxymoron.) Chassidic circles. Or, the original tune to MBD’s song “Yidden” is from a German Rock Band.March 21, 2011 1:15 am at 1:15 am #752196gradaMember
my rebbi said that rock ‘n roll instills the animalistic features in a person and its not for a yiddisheh neshama. take from that whatever you wantMarch 21, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm #752197
until the maccabeats came out.
Rav Hershel Schachter is of the opinion that it’s problematic, and that non-jewish tunes should not be listened to, even with torah words in it.
How do these two go together? Don’t the maccabeats follow RHS’s opinion?March 21, 2011 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #752198Raphael KaufmanMember
My Rosh HaYeshiva said that all nigunim are kosher except those associated with non-Jewish religious practice I.E. don’t use the melody from “Silent Night” for L’Cha Dodi. The fact is that most if not all Jewish music, with the exception of the shirei haleviim and, possibly, chazonus, is derivative of the contemporaneous popular music and folk tunes. There is often a problem, however, when the melody of a nigun is immediatly recognizable as a currently popular secular song. Not be cause of an intrinsic issur but because of possibly concentrating on the secular song instead of the new religious message.March 21, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #752199
How many times do we have to do this?
First of all, if there is not a single Gemara which says a certain thing is frowned upon, you will have a hard time convincing me that it is problematic. And certainly if it is not mentioned in the rishonim or in the Shulchan Aruch. So please, somebody, show me a source that says that ‘converted’ non Jewish music, or even the real thing, is inherently a problem.
Second of all, there are sources that indicate the opposite. The Gemara in Chagigah says that Acher went off because his mother used to listen to the music of the Greeks. But wait, Rashi goes out of his way to explain that the problem was that she was violating the takanah not to listen to any music out of mourning for the churban. Why didn’t he just say of course, the goyishe music has a ta’am that is metamtem the lev??
Also, let me quote myself, from about 8 months ago, regarding using non Jewish songs in davening:
“The Mishnah B’rurah (53 s.k. 82) says it is mutar unless the song is meyuchad specifically for mass. Therefore if it is a song that is sung both outside the church as well (l’havdil, parallel to the tunes chazzanim use for l’cha dodi and mimkomcha etc., not the actual nusach) then it is fine. He is quoting a Bach (Shu”t Bach haYeshanim 127) and though I don’t have one offhand I distinctly remember that the Bach’s reason that such a song is problematic is because of uv’chukoseihem lo seileichu, (which applies to anything meyuchad for avodah zara, not because of any inherent tumah) which does not apply to regular songs of non Jews specifically because of what I mentioned above that music is a chochmah, and he quotes the gemara in Avodah Zara that “lav minayhu gamrinan”, i.e. the goy didn’t “make it up”, he just thought of it.
The same halacha is found in Birkei Yosef of the Chida, if I remember correctly it’s in 560 by the g’zeirah not to listen to music after the churban.”
For the rest of that discussion, see http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/non-jewish-jewish-music/page/2March 22, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am #752200
Yitayningwut;As I mentioned in my previous post that there is a song that, according to legend the Rebbi of “Kalev”, a town in Hungary, who lived approximately 150 years ago, “Bought” this song with the original lyrics from a local shepherd. It is a highly inspiring song. A lot of the Modzhitzer songs are original compositions. But most other tunes in the Jewish repertoire of l
Liturgical music were captured from the Czarist Russian Military band and other famous (Non-Jewish) composers. Speaking of contemporary music. The song “Yidden”,by MBD, which happens to be a very inspiring song,is taken (Lock, Stock and Barrel) from a song by a German Rock group.March 22, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am #752201
“How do these two go together? Don’t the maccabeats follow RHS’s opinion?”
True, listening to secular music (assuming there’s no problem of kol isha) is not halachicly assur. However there may be hashkafic problems, as smile66 and StuffedCabbage explained above.March 22, 2011 12:35 am at 12:35 am #752202☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
I agree with you about “Szol a Kokosh Mar”. Not about Yidden. And it’s not about who wrote it, it’s about the way it sounds. As a certain R”Y told the band playing at his child’s chasunah (as legend goes) “I hate Yidden and I don’t want Moshiach!”March 22, 2011 1:03 am at 1:03 am #752203
Copied from a previous thread on this topic:
Music is an expression of the deepest feelings and attitudes of the composer. Now, often goyish music will have a neutral, or even positive attitude; however, all too often it conveys prust, animalistic feelings and attitudes. This is not an attitude that any Jew should be exposing his or her soul to.March 22, 2011 1:29 am at 1:29 am #752204
Daas Yochid; I happen to appreciate a good line (or a pun.) but I disagree with the prejudiced opinion of that R”Y. Excluding songs on the basis of who sings them (or the crowd that adopts it) is prejudice. We sometimes keep up machlokes and differences that have long ago lost their reason of existence. The reason for the schism between Chasidim and Misnagdim has long evaporated. Even the regional differences between populations of Eastern Europe have (or should have) disappeared. The (Prejudicial and derogatory) terms “Poylisher”, “Ungarisher”, “Galitzyaner” & “Litvak” have (Hopefully) lost their meaning. We all live in close proximity to each other and marry from each other’s group. So, it’s time to throw away the old stuff. We’re ALL “Yidden”.March 22, 2011 2:21 am at 2:21 am #752205
True, listening to secular music (assuming there’s no problem of kol isha) is not halachicly assur. However there may be hashkafic problems, as smile66 and StuffedCabbage explained above.
I am sorry but as a kalte litvak you are going to have to do more than that to get me to believe there’s a problem. Eib es steit nit steit nit.
Indeed, that has been mentioned on previous threads.March 22, 2011 2:37 am at 2:37 am #752206
yitayningwut; Specifically what? The useless residue of prejudice from previous generations?! IMHO. There’s no room for it . And no excuse for it. Years ago we lived Far apart. And there were strong cultural differences and minhagim and expressions in each and every different geographic location. There was some understanding (Not justification) for prejudice. But today. What’s the excuse?! Ignorance.March 22, 2011 2:48 am at 2:48 am #752207
Sorry, I was simply referring to your other post; the one directed to me.March 22, 2011 2:51 am at 2:51 am #752208
“I am sorry but as a kalte litvak you are going to have to do more than that to get me to believe there’s a problem.”
Please see my previous post.
“Eib es steit nit steit nit.”
Ah pashuta sevurah doesn’t need a source.March 22, 2011 3:07 am at 3:07 am #752209
Ah pashuta sevurah doesn’t need a source.
Agreed. Problem is, I don’t agree with the svara.
But besides, if it’s so pashut, then why do the Bach and the Chida both issue a blanket heter regarding a ba’al tefilah using non Jewish music? And why doesn’t Rashi explain the Gemara about Acher that way, if it’s such an obvious svarah?March 22, 2011 3:28 am at 3:28 am #752210
The Bach and the Chida are talking about the halacha; we’re talking about hashkafa. Les man di’palig that listening to non-jewish music is halachicly muttar, the question is if it’s good idea.
The kasha from Rashi is also not a kasha; listening to non-jewish music is bad, but not bad enough to turn somebody into a complete rasha.March 22, 2011 3:42 am at 3:42 am #752211GrandmasterMember
but not bad enough to turn somebody into a complete rasha.
On its own. But who knows what path it may lead one down.March 22, 2011 3:56 am at 3:56 am #752212
the question is if it’s good idea
Still, I have a hard time accepting that something is hashkaficly problematic without a source in the Gemara or Rishonim.
It seems like we agree, and I just don’t hear the svara that you’re tayning.March 23, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am #752213brotherofursParticipant
are you allowed to play piano tunes that are from non Jewish composers?March 23, 2011 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #752215BasYisroel94Participant
Hmmm, thats an interesting one brotherofours, I’d be interested if someone answered. That would include all songs in music books when you’re learning how to play an instrument, such as Bach, Beethoven and Suzuki.
Also, I’d like to know what is the purpose of taking such very inappropriate sonds and putting Jewish words to it? It doesn’t seem to fit.
Sometimes when a CD is playing, I don’t even know that a tune to a Jewish song is really from somewhere goyish, and someone walks into the room and tells asks me why I’m listening to “such” music, before they realise that it’s actually not the song that they thought it was. The thought disgusts me- I don’t know what the original songs were, but when you can hear just the music, it could be sort of maras ayin, dont you think?March 23, 2011 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #752216
it is soo WRONG! WHY ARE THE MACABEATS EVEN LISTENING TO SUCH VULGAR SONGS!They havto listen to it in order to convert it into jewish words and trust me these songs are taken from the lowest of the low!!March 23, 2011 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #752217
trust me these songs are taken from the lowest of the low!!
Why should we trust you? Especially when you paint such broad generalizations about such a diverse group of people?
The WolfMarch 23, 2011 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #752218
Diverse? Who cares they are frum yiddin singing music that is coming from the most discusting lowlives!?!? Which part dont you understand. Please enlighten meMarch 23, 2011 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #752219mytakeMember
Clearly, you’re not familiar with just how low things get out there…
Look, no offense, but the original songs that the Macabeats used aren’t exactly about Torah and Kedusha, but you don’t have to make them sound like some sheigetz for listening to (what I believe is) a pathetic attempt at music and a dizzying blur of meaningless lyrics instead.March 23, 2011 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #752220
trust me these songs are taken from the lowest of the low!!
I disagree. I would define vulgar in this context as a song which talks explicitly about things which one should be tzanua about, i.e. … ??? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ??????. These songs are dance/pop songs but they aren’t prust in nature at all. The only possible vulgarity is that the unedited version of the songs they adapted contain one or two ‘bad words’, (which you don’t hear on the radio or if you download the edited version) but the idea and content of the songs are not vulgar, and simply fun dance songs.March 23, 2011 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #752221zahavasdadParticipant
Do you know the Maccabeats got 5 MILLION hits for the Chanuka Song and 500,000 hits for the Purim Song on You tube
They were on national TV during Chanuka WITH their Kippot.
Can you think of a better Persume Nisah than that.March 23, 2011 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #752222
I won’t debate whether or not they are disgusting lowlifes as you say. My question is, would you have any objection to using tissues made by the same person? How about to using a mathematic principle formulated by such a person? Maybe this is a surprise to you, but the halacha treats music the same way! In halacha (see the sources I cited above) there is no such thing as inherently bad or non Jewish music, inasmuch as there is no such thing as non Jewish tissues or a non Jewish math problem.
Granted, there are those who claim that there is a ‘hashkafic’ problem (which I do not agree to). But with no halachic source to say it is assur, and in fact explicit sources which are matir, how can you pass judgment on people who simply rely on Shas and Poskim?March 23, 2011 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #752223
Diverse? Who cares they are frum yiddin singing music that is coming from the most discusting lowlives!?!? Which part dont you understand. Please enlighten me
My problem is your very broad classification of non-Jewish musicians as “lowest of the low.” Musicians are a very diverse group… and if you can’t differentiate between them and can group all of them as “lowest of the low” and “discusting (sic) lowlives” then I question whether or not I should trust you on such matters.
The WolfMarch 23, 2011 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #752224
I understand that they made it into a more refined song but your all missing the point. Fact is its from a guyim and we are copying just that. We are doing just the opposite of what we are supposed to do which is doing the opposite of guyim.March 23, 2011 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #752225GrandmasterMember
yitay: “one or two ‘bad words'” is no big deal?March 23, 2011 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #752226
Interestingly enough, the “goyish” song I’m listening to right now is one that the yeshivish crowd believes in:
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other
Love and marriage, love and marriage
It’s an institute you can’t disparage
Ask the local gentry
And they will say it’s elementary
Try, try, try to separate them
It’s an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can’t have one without the other
The WolfMarch 23, 2011 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #752227☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Wolf,March 23, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #752228
The Mishne Beurah in Shaar Hatziun (560 note 25) quotes the Shelo who says mothers should not sing their baby to sleep with non-Jewish lullabies since it creates a bad nature in the childMarch 23, 2011 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #752229
“one or two ‘bad words'” is no big deal?
Bad words are not nice and not the way a person should speak, because a person should only speak ???? ????. However, when said out of the context ??? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? it is pashut that they aren’t the ????? ?? the Gemara (that I mentioned above) talks about.
The Mishne Beurah in Shaar Hatziun (560 note 25) quotes the Shelo who says mothers should not sing their baby to sleep with non-Jewish lullabies since it creates a bad nature in the child.
Correct. However, first of all ?????? the Shlah is talking al pi kabbala. Nobody brings a source in halacha, in fact the Mishnah Berurah himself as I quoted above is matir using non Jewish tunes in davening. But more importantly, his words are ???? ?????, romantic songs, so for all I know pshat in the Shlah and the Shaar Hatziyon is that such songs likely contain messages in the lyrics which could be damaging.March 24, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am #752230brotherofursParticipant
hi, anyone know the answer to my question from before?March 24, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am #752231
so for all I know pshat in the Shlah and the Shaar Hatziyon is that such songs likely contain messages in the lyrics which could be damaging.
Additionally, the MB says specifically, that love songs are assur anyhow.. Which strongly implies that its the tune that is damaging.
If you’d like to suggest people not heed the Chofetz Chaim’s and the Shelo’s advice, which they say will create a bad nature within [even] a baby, fine. But please be upfont about it.March 24, 2011 2:10 am at 2:10 am #752232
If you are correct, then:
1) Why does he davka say ???? ?????? Why not ???? ??????
2) You are willing to say that the tune inherently carries with it a bad ???. Isn’t it just as, if not more ?????? that ????? ?? does too? I see plenty of people covering their babies ears when someone says a not nice thing, perhaps it is a shtus, but why do you think it is more ?????? that the bad ??? is coming from the tune than from the words?
3) Regarding what R’ Chaim supposedly said, I am intrigued. There is a famous Yerushalmi* that says that R’ Yehoshua ben Chananya’s mother would bring him as a baby to the Beis Medrash in order that he should absorb the sound of Torah learning. How would he answer that?
I already demonstrated that the Mishnah Berurah himself is matir using non Jewish tunes in davening, and over there he does not bring this problem of ???? ?????. This too leads me to believe that it was the words that he held is a problem. And even if not, from the fact that he doesn’t bring it l’halacha over there and instead simply quotes the Bach that it is mutar, is clear proof in my opinion that he did not hold of it as a halacha.
As for heeding the advice of the Shelah and the Chafetz Chaim, first of all I don’t even know that they gave the advice you claim they did, and second of all being that even on the tzad they did, it was not said l’halacha, so of course, no, one is not mechuyav to heed their advice. That’s why it is called advice, and not halacha.
*I don’t have the exact makor, but it is quoted here: link to citation removed, sorry.March 24, 2011 2:33 am at 2:33 am #752233jonasMember
How in the world is Baker Street played at Jewish weddings. this makes no sense. This was a total secular goyishe song of 1970s Google the song. This is one confused world.March 24, 2011 8:38 am at 8:38 am #752234
but why do you think it is more ?????? that the bad ??? is coming from the tune than from the words?
I’ve explained that clearly.
so of course, no, one is not mechuyav to heed their advice. That’s why it is called advice, and not halacha.
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