August 26, 2011 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #598929klachMember
The MB states that it is assur to take the words of a pasuk and make them into a song. To be fair, there exists a heter according to some shittos where the song is a source for spiritual upliftment and inspiration. My rebbe, during a meal we were eating on friday night, some guys started singing the song “im lavan garti” and he made us stop, stating this halacha as the reason. So based on this, there are many songs now that would seem to fall under this category and thus be halachically problematic, as they are not all able to be described as “spiritually uplifting”.August 26, 2011 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #802879
It comes from the Gemara in Sanhedrin. The Gemara’s example is someone who sings a Pasuk out of Shir Hashirim. The Torah puts on a sackcloth and complains to Hashem, “Your children made me into a harp and an organ!” It is pretty obvious that the point is that he is using the Torah for his own pleasures, that he is singing that Passuk to a person. Sort of the way people write Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li. It is talking about Hashem and Knesses Yisroel, and it is used to a person. So, if you sing a Passuk like that, you are turning to the Torah for personal poetry and romance.
I don’t think it applies to singing out a Passuk from Tehillim or wherever for the sake of singing the Passuk.August 26, 2011 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #802880LSHMember
I like the song “It’s time to bring Moshiach” but I don’t know where the lines come from.August 26, 2011 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #802881MiddlePathParticipant
All of Tehillim were written as songs, anyway, by Dovid Hamelech. Therefore, I would say it would make sense to compose songs from Tehillim.August 26, 2011 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #802882
The Gemara has some very harsh words for someone who composes a song from a Passuk. R’ Moshe has a Tshuvah about it where he cites the Poskim that say this is only about Pesukim from Shir Hashirim. There is no Heter whatsoever to sing a song from Pesukim in Shir Hashirim. Personally, I erase those songs when I back up music from any CDs of mine onto my computer.August 27, 2011 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #802883ToiParticipant
sma2- R Baruch Ber composed “kol dodi dofek”, and as one of the gedolei hador i’m sure he had firm halachic ground to stand on.August 28, 2011 2:05 am at 2:05 am #802884brotherofursParticipant
i love songs that r pesukim! those are the ones that make me the most happy because i know what they mean and they uplift me when i sing them more than the english [Jewish} songs.. is that okay?August 28, 2011 2:10 am at 2:10 am #802885
Toi: That’s interesting. If he composed it then I am sure he did. I would love to hear the reasoning though.August 28, 2011 2:20 am at 2:20 am #802886
I addressed this recently in another thread. Just to note rashi in sanhedrin is clear that it does not mean just shir hashirim but even the entire tanach. look in THE TESHUVA FRom reb moshe yd2 242August 28, 2011 2:31 am at 2:31 am #802887
klach: Even granting that we pasken that way for all pesukim, could you please ask your rebbi why he extends that halacha to a Rashi? The answer would interest me greatly.
Haleivi: The gemara in Sanhedrin refers to singing shir hashirim “in a tavern” i.e. coarsely, removing the holy meaning from the words. That would apply to many songs whose tunes don’t fit the words in any way, merely using them to have something to set to the melody. I’ve been saying that Jewish songwriters should write their own lyrics for a very long time.August 28, 2011 2:44 am at 2:44 am #802888
Itche- firstly there are three words of torah shebksav and also the teshuva from rav moshe says yesh lhistapek btorah shebal peh- basically reb moshe is mesupak if it applies to the oral law. that may be the mekor of his rebbis shita. and the reason he piped up now and not by any other song is because rov haposkim are matir by songs that bring one closer to hashem etc. now you can have a whole discussion what that means but it does not include the im lavan garti song ( if i am thinking of that tune)August 28, 2011 3:05 am at 3:05 am #802889
Chacham: Firstly, I did not know partial pesukim fell under that rubric. That “yesh l’histapek” might be the reason, but I’d respectfully question if it’s a good one. Secondly, I am in 10,000% agreement with you on that song!August 28, 2011 3:38 am at 3:38 am #802891
Itche, I’m not sure if you mean to argue with me or not. What do you mean by removing the holyness? If he is using the Passuk as his own statement, that is the problem I mentioned. If he is singing the Passuk as a Passuk, the matching of the tune shouldn’t be the cause of the Issur. The problem is using the Torah as your instrument. The example from Shir Hashirim is not for naught. Im Lavan Garti might be a funny choice of Passuk to sing, but you aren’t singing it to your fiance, or even to your landlord. You are singing the Passuk about what Yaakov said to Esav.August 28, 2011 1:17 pm at 1:17 pm #802892klachMember
“klach: Even granting that we pasken that way for all pesukim, could you please ask your rebbi why he extends that halacha to a Rashi? The answer would interest me greatly.”
The problematic aspect of the song was the part that came from a passuk. Were the song merely Rashi, there wouldn’t be a problem at all. There are two problems with a passuk – song: 1 – Assur to use passuk of Torah or Shir Hashirim (and, acc to some, all of Tanach); 2 – There is a concept that we don’t like to say half a passuk of Torah, since Moshe Rabbeinu ended the passuk where it was supposed to end, and we therefore don’t deviate in our recitation of pessukim from that, pretty much regardless of context. So a song that either simply doesn’t go to the end od a passuk, or one where the words don’t fit exactly and some are repeated, is problematic.August 28, 2011 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #802893
HaLeivi: Kind of. Not always is saying it outside the context of the Torah removing its holiness. For example, “ani l’dodi” has a meaning kpshuto shel mikra as well, and in the context of one’s wife it is a holy statement which has adorned k’subos for centuries before it became fashionable to put it on jewelry.
klach: Regarding your second point, the gemara quotes partial pesukim all the time, as do all rishonim and acharonim.August 28, 2011 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #802894
Yes I never understood pshat lmaaseh what the klal of not splitting pesukim that Moshe did not split. Can somebody explain this inyanAugust 28, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #802895
The problem of being Mafsik where Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t, is by Krias Hatorah. Otherwise, as ItcheSrulik pointed out, you’ll barely find a whole Passuk quoted in Sefarim.
ItcheSrulik, the Issur is to sing it, not to write it. The Peshuto Shel Mikra of Shir Hashirim is not a reference to your wife, it is only meant to be understood as the relationship between Hashem and Knesses Yisroel. Singing it for your own purpose is the Issur.
I think you are implying that singing Chasdei Hashem Ki Lo Samnu with a bad tune or a bad place would be the problem. Why do you think it mentions Shir Hashirim if not for the fact that there is a reason people use it for a song?August 28, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #802896
HaLeiVi: I think because Shir Hashirim has the most potential of all of Tanach to be grossly misinterpreted. If there was an Issur on all of Tanach and Shir Hashirim is just an example, that would be why. And if the Issur is just on Shir Hashirim, the reason would be that Shir Hashirim needs this “protection” more than the rest of Tanach.August 29, 2011 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #802897miritchkaMember
this is interesting. i love music and as mentioned above, it does bring me to a higher spiritual standing when i listed to music that is composed from a passuk. i always read the words and what they mean when i buy a CD/tape (from teh paper that comes in teh tape or CD) and when the passuk is mentioned during leining or when i get up to it during davening, i really know what i’m saying and what it really means.August 29, 2011 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #802898ToiParticipant
wow. niskatnu hadoros. we know chumash from songs. Hashem ya’azor.August 29, 2011 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #802899
Haleivi: Not “only.” Obviously it made its way into tanach because the most important meaning for Jews in general is the relationship between God and knessess yisrael, but you can’t take a whole sefer of tanach and divorce it entirely from what the actual words say.
If you think “chasdei Hashem ki lo samnu” is a better example, use it gezunteheit. As for why I think shir hashirim was used, because saying things like that to your wife is holy. Saying them to a waitress is not.August 29, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #802900on the ballParticipant
tznius alertAugust 29, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #802901
Bittul Torah alert.
We are discussing the issue in the most refined way possible.August 29, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #802902
ItcheSrulik, are you saying that Shlomo Hamelech wrote Shir Hashirim for his wife!? It is one Sefer that the whole point of it is its Nimshal. Chazal say that to a worthy woman we say look who Shlomo Hamelech used as a Mashal for the Torah. Look at Rashi and the Ibn Ezra in the beginning of Shir Hashirim.
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