Non-Jewish Jewish Music
- This topic has 126 replies, 41 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 8 months ago by oomis.
May 31, 2010 5:31 am at 5:31 am #591712
can someone give a list of Jewish songs that are actually based on or are not Jewish tunes so those who don’t listen to non Jewish music even with Jewish words won’t be misled?May 31, 2010 6:26 am at 6:26 am #688411fabieMember
Baruch Hagever is the first that comes to mind, i.e., Crockodile Rock.May 31, 2010 8:14 am at 8:14 am #688412
anyone else?May 31, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am #688413nnnnnnMember
for starters every Country Yossi song out there is taken from NonJewish musicMay 31, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #688414mchemtobMember
yiddin was also taken from some european 70’s group dgenghis khan i think was the original songMay 31, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #688415fabieMember
I think you should actually start the other way around. Almost all of the more modern music is taken from non-Jewish sources. try Googling Ephraim Luft.May 31, 2010 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #688416smartcookieMember
Abi mlebt from lipa. (Popular goyish song- in the jungle…)
What a sad world. Songs are supposed to inspire us because they should come from the songs in the bais hamikdash. If they’re from a non jewish source then the purpose of the whole koach neginah is being defeated.May 31, 2010 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #688417philosopherMember
I think Shalheves’s songs are all original songs composed by Yitchok Rosenthal.
Anyone knows if Anovim is an original composition by Yossi Green or is from a non-Jewish source?May 31, 2010 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #688418
Can anyone supply a mekor for not listening to tunes composed by aino Yehudim? Otherwise, I trust my Neshoma to tell me which songs I should listen to since there are numerous tunes composed by Yehudim that sound just like the ones we shouldn’t listen to.May 31, 2010 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #688419philosopherMember
That’s true. Some tunes composed by by Jews sound more crazy and wild than the some composed by non-Jews.May 31, 2010 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #688420
tomim, you’re right that of course you should also avoid spiritually damaging music composed by a Yehudi that is inappropriate (and unfortunately there is much of that), in addition to avoiding tunes composed by aino yehudim — that surely are spiritually damaging.
Music entail great subtleties and most frequently one can not realize the damage at first glance.May 31, 2010 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #688423charliehallParticipant
Some music written by non-Jews is beautiful and inspirational. The “Va, Pensiero” chorus from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” sounds like it could have been written by David HaMelech and in fact it was inspired by “Al Naharat Bavel”. Verdi was not a Jew but he loved the Jewish people and sympathized with our struggles.
Here are the words, by Temistocle Solera:
Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate;
va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l’aure dolci del suolo natal!
Del Giordano le rive saluta,
di Sionne le torri atterrate…
Arpa d’or dei fatidici vati,
Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
ci favella del tempo che fu!
traggi un suono di crudo lamento,
o t’ispiri il Signore un concento
An English translation, from the Wikipedia site:
Fly, thought, on wings of gold;
go settle upon the slopes and the hills,
where, soft and mild, the sweet airs
of our native land smell fragrant!
Greet the banks of the Jordan
and Zion’s toppled towers…
Oh, my country so lovely and lost!
Oh, remembrance so dear and so fraught with despair!
Golden harp of the prophetic seers,
why dost thou hang mute upon the willow?
Rekindle our bosom’s memories,
and speak of times gone by!
Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem,
either give forth an air of sad lamentation,
or else let the Lord imbue us
with fortitude to bear our sufferings!May 31, 2010 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #688424A600KiloBearParticipant
(leaving out Schlock Rock and Gershon Veroba):
MBD – Yidden, Yidden, Daddy Dear, Ksheyavo HaShalom, Hine Lo Yanum
Lipa – yes, Abi MeLebt. Rumors about Hentelach are just that.
Tzlil VeZemer – a couple are taken from Enrico Macias, a Jewish singer from France. I’m blanking out on which ones because they are old.
Yom Tov Ehrlich – too many to count but the one that comes to mind is the one about the Kol Nidre in Odessa.
90% of koidesh songs from North Africa and the Middle East are set to popular tunes of the 50’s and 60’s that refugees brought with them to the US, EY, etc. The more recent ones are often set to Turkish music.
Reb Aizikel meKalev – Sol Kokos Mar, Golus vi lang bist di.
I just found out that both the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA (Nyet Nyet Nikavo) and Yom Tov Ehrlich (heard it too early this morning to remember the words) used the same old Russian folk song for kodesh.
The problem only arises when there is disrespect or when the tune is just too wild. We just don’t have the resources to compose all of our own music, and a respectable arrangement is indeed elevating the profane to kodesh.
A more problematic situation is wedding bands using secular music to announce the chosson and kallah, often unbeknownst to them or their parents.May 31, 2010 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #688426smartcookieMember
Hey, 600kilo, nice to hear from ya’!May 31, 2010 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #688427A600KiloBearParticipant
BSD Thanks. A short visit but also note – Maoz Tsur (the traditional tune) is a church tune from what I understand but it is not clear whether it was just a secular tune used for both or what the situation really was.
Oh and I forgot:
Afili Agida zois kefira
Veketz lakol koifrim
Kedishe zu rak Netirye Karta
Yerushalayim Shel HaTachat
Velo yhyeh la shum nachat
Ad shekol rechovayich
Yihyu leMea Sheorim
Beyom hahu sorfim hadegel
Vepachei zevel gam
Im ata lo soref itanu
Ata lo ben adam
The above is a Creedmoorer nigun, composed by Reb Dovid’l Creedmoorer (Schmoigerman) himself to the tzionish Yerushalayim shel Zahav which its author Naomi Shemer confessed to having lifted in part from a Basque song. Since the Basques, like Dovid’l’s Hamas buddies, like to blow things up, he used this tune for his composition despite its tzionish origins.May 31, 2010 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #688428
I’m so happy this subject was brought up!
yitay- I dont know about al pi halacha but i know that fyi throughout all the doros the style of music was taken from where they came from. Persians have their music many chassidim that stem from russia – have russain sounding nigunim… the tune ko echsof which was made up i think by one of the Karliner rebbes – he heard a shephard singing it longing … but it all CAN be implemented in the right way. today unfortunately american music is all jazz and rock with no taam whatsoever. and many of the Jewish singers just go along with it all using words from most kodesh places with JAZZ!!! it really gets me upset when the words simply don’t match the tune, i mean you can have nice leibidige music that DOES have a yiddeshe taam, it doesnt have to be a contradiction, unfortunately some think otherwise.May 31, 2010 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #688429
Even when it is permissible to take a tune from secular sources, it must be done with caution. You cannot take the trash spewing forth and reuse it.May 31, 2010 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #688430oomisParticipant
Take a secular tune and elevate it with some tehillim, I always say.May 31, 2010 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #688431mr. wheelchairMember
I agree that the situation is getting out of hand, but posting plain LASHON HARA on every single artist that does this type of thing is not going to change anything, so please take this topic down.May 31, 2010 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #688432cb1Member
i am a composer and i’ve composed songs for quite a few singers already many of my tunes are original but i do have some tunes which i took from non-jewish songs and after i played it to my rav he said it sounds like very holy music so what i’m trying to say is not all non jewish songs are bad!May 31, 2010 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #688433kapustaParticipant
With all due respect, (this question is sincerely curious. if that makes any sense) could someone please explain the purpose of this thread to me?May 31, 2010 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #688434
To know what to avoid, perhaps.May 31, 2010 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #688435
mr. – this is tachlis. i don’t want to be trashed with non jewish music. all discussions of how we can or can’t put jewish words to non – jewish music, if i don’t have to i don’t want to be listening to this stuff. and i don’t want non – jewish music at my wedding (iy”H soon by me… 🙂 ), and so the yidden one was very helpful, thank you bear.
cb 1 – i know not all non-jewish songs are bad, but i don’t know which ones aren’t, so i prefer to stay away from as many as i can.June 1, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am #688436shtiegingMember
believe it or not…
the popular (classic) “mishe nichnas adar” is also take from a goyishe source.June 1, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am #688437gradaMember
epis just dont listen to to any music at all to solve this problem. what do you need to listen to music for, ur bored?…. learn torah. JUst got back from a long day at yeshiva?…… read a nice jewish novel.June 1, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am #688438
First of all most frum, ehrliche people who hear a song that is actually classified ‘rock’ or ‘jazz’ would probably think it is either 1) very nice or 2) incomprehensible, just as classical music is not understood by many people who are just used to simple jingles. The styles you probably really mean are heavy metal, hip-hop, and the like.
That’s just semantics. But you are wrong anyway. I am going to guess that you aren’t Syrian. Have you ever been to the kosel and heard their tune for slichos? To a regular Ashkenazic Jew it sounds really funny, the tune sounds like a bunch of kids singing a nursery rhyme. Yet they are so inspired by the tune, as you probably get inspired by koh echsof. You hear the tunes the Arabs play over the loudspeakers in their mosques, and they sound dull and boring. Yet they are inspired by that in the very same way that we are inspired by u’nisaneh tokef. And it isn’t just the Arabs; the music of Jews from Arabic regions sounds the same.
My point is, who gave you the right to judge an American singer composing tunes for an American crowd, by saying the songs don’t match the words? They don’t match the words TO YOU, because YOU are used to the music of the society and community YOU grew up in. Of course the American-style Shema Koleinu won’t inspire you and the American-style Al Naharos Bavel won’t make you cry, because you were brought up with a different kind of music. But to someone more American-oriented, the songs are more-often-than-not on target and in line with what would seem to be the original intent.
There is no good or bad style of music, and I challenge anyone to find me a makor in halacha (shas/poskim) that proves otherwise.June 1, 2010 2:58 am at 2:58 am #688439charliehallParticipant
I spent a Shabat at the old Sefardic synagogue in Philadelphia, in continuous operation now for 270 years. Most of the nigunim were in the style of popular music of colonial America! Nobody there had any knowledge of 18th century popular music, so they had no idea!!!June 1, 2010 5:36 am at 5:36 am #688440
yitayningwut – wow, take a chill. Now no one said music isn’t by taste and it has to do with waht you’re used to however, i beg to differ – there are many songs that if you thought into them a drop mamish don’t fit the tune. I have many examples but I really don’t want to start with that and bash anyones song. i’m no posek but i don’t know if your familiar with the Medrish about how the Torah comes to Hashem in sackcloth and Tells Hashem how “Your children have made a laag out of me” it’s spking about Shir Hashirim being used in songs… and the mefarshim add that in general pesukim from Torah… the whole sheila of music to begin with stems from there. I know of a posek who told me he asked many gedolim where the heter to stam listen to music regularly comes from for a few halachic reasons and didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Nowadays many came out against concerts – lezecher chorban …all i can say is that music is a sticky subject and there are many things that have to be taken into consideration. BTW i am a “pure” born and bread american.June 1, 2010 8:29 am at 8:29 am #688441
grada – what if i’m a girl? what if i have a reading problem? what if i’m a composer and a music lover and if i don’t listen to music it’s really depressing?
but that wasn’t the point of the thread.
yitayningwut – i’m not challenging people’s tastes. but if you want halachic view on music (this is just one that i can think of off the top of my head), read harav elya weintraub’s zy”a responsa on non – jewish music, where he mentions a few famous tunes that an erliche yid should not be listening to.
sofdavarhakolnishma – i totally agree with you about certain songs.June 1, 2010 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #688443squeakParticipant
Perhaps GalPaz should only sell CDs that have a hechsher.June 1, 2010 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #688444iWatasMember
I think the power of music is like anything else – it can be used for holiness, or the opposite. To me, the test is simple enough: what does the music inspire in the listener? If it is evocative of beauty, and grace, and elevated attributes, then it is a Good Thing, no matter the source of the words or notes (listen to Amazing Grace, for an example). Music should touch us emotionally.
On the other hand, if music inspires merely physical urges without an elevated spiritual component, then it is merely a gateway to behaving more like animals and less like Hashem’s people.
Today’s wedding bands cross the line a lot, probably because the “lower class” music works on a broad range of listeners who often don’t know much about music. But having been told by my wife of a great many weddings in which the women revert to highly suggestive, overtly sexual, dance, it seems sensible to dial it back. Simcha should not come at any price at all, and when wedding music brings things out in public that should only be private, it has gone too far.June 1, 2010 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #688445
While I have respect for daas Torah, R’ Elya Weintraub is not a halachic source. Show me somewhere in shas or poskim – as in Rishonim or someone widely regarded as a halachic authority.
The gemara about shir hashirim is clearly talking about any song, not any genre of music. The rishonim and poskim don’t disagree.June 1, 2010 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #688446June 1, 2010 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #688447anon for thisParticipant
charliehall, that’s interesting. What does colonial American music sound like anyway? “The Star-Spangled Banner” comes to mind but I don’t think that’s right.June 1, 2010 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #688448
Many of the tunes sung to the Tefillos in a Yekkishe shul were composed by Germans, yet davening there can be quite uplifting, perhaps aided by the precision and decorum.June 1, 2010 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #688449WolfishMusingsParticipant
Music tends to bleed through cultures. I’m fairly certain that just about every piece of popular Jewish music today either derives from non-Jewish music or else was influenced by non-Jewish music in the surrounding environment (whether it be the USA of 2010 or Eastern Europe of 1850).
The WolfJune 1, 2010 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #688450☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
You’re certainly correct about most of today’s music.
I’m told by an expert if the field of (genuine) Jewish music that the instumental style popular fo Jewish music in pre-war Eastern Europe was a uniquely Jewish style (known today as klezmer, but today’s neo-klezmer is obviously not the same).June 2, 2010 1:05 am at 1:05 am #688451
no one’s denying that music comes from the surrounding cultures. they can have real quality beautiful music we just have to make sure it’s the type that awakens us to be closer to Hashem. Music has a tremendous koach – letov ulera for good and bad. lets just channel it correctlyJune 2, 2010 1:20 am at 1:20 am #688452lesschumrasParticipant
Here we go again. If there were such a thing as Jewish music, with no input from goyim, why does the music of Eastern European Jews, Sfardim, Bukharin Jews, etc sound much more similar to he music of the surrounding goyish culture rather than that of other Jews?
Jews born 50 years from will think today’s music is Jewish music since they won’t know the music it was adapted from, in the same way todays commentors have no knowledge of the Russian tunes of 150 years that were modifiedinto Jewish musicJune 2, 2010 2:06 pm at 2:06 pm #688453noitallmrParticipant
Can someone here please post the original songs of Gershon Veroba’s Variations 3??? And if possible also from “The Jewish Version”!!
ThanxJune 2, 2010 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #688454Mayan_DvashParticipant
The sources of the parodies are on the CD insert.June 3, 2010 12:33 am at 12:33 am #688455mosheroseMember
Of course theres real yiddeshe music. Do you think Hashem would allow a tzadik to mistakenly sing a song inspired by todays rock “stars” or the menuvaldik goyim in Europe?June 3, 2010 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #688456
Yes I do think so, because there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s like asking do you think Hashem would let a tzaddik use long division even though the method was made up by a goy who probably didn’t have high moral standards. Music might be an art, but it isn’t something you make up. It’s mathematical, you just figure it out. It makes no difference who ‘discovered’ the tune, if it’s nice it’s nice and if it’s not it’s not.June 3, 2010 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #688458
IOW, “Chochmah bagoyim ta’amin.”June 3, 2010 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #688459
exactlyJune 3, 2010 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #688460
Well yes i know of for sure one niggun made up by a rebbe who heard it from a guy singing it with words … lets just say not a very kaddosh things…. it has to be channelled the right way.June 3, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #688461
THAT IS NOT THE SAME THING!! tell me, do you get emotional from long division?? the music puts into even if you don’t feel it, the kochos of the composer.
this is really beyond my ability to fully comprehend let alone explain, but i can tell you one thing. personally when i hear modern not jewish music, it makes me feel completely grossed out and nauseous (coming from someone who used to listen to this stuff regularly) and i don’t want that in my life anywhere.
if you want something from the gemara, (i’m a girl, i can’t give you sources) in discussing the reasons why acher went off, rashi brings that acher was accustomed to listening to non – Jewish music.June 3, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #688462
First of all, your source is not accurate. Rashi in fact is a proof to me. It’s the gemara that says that Acher went off because he sang Greek music (Chagigah 15b) and Rashi explains the problem by referencing that by the churban there was a g’zeirah not to sing/listen to music. Rashi conspicuously says nothing about there being an inherent problem with non-Jewish music, as you claim there is.
Secondly, I am very familiar with the situation you are describing yourself in. However it does not prove anything, and I will explain why:
When you listened to non Jewish music you were probably at a stage in your life you feel you grew past, that then you weren’t doing good things and now B”H your on the right track.
Many times we here something, see something, or even smell something and it reminds us of someone, or of another point in our life. Sometimes we don’t even know that we are reminded, it’s subconscious, but the reminder is noticeable when for no reason we start displaying emotions similar to those we would display if we were consciously reminded.
It is possible that the non Jewish music isn’t what bothers you at all. It’s the subconscious memories that come along with it. Memories you might even be completely grossed out and nauseated by.
I’m not trying to psychoanalyze you after reading one blog post. No one could do that. All I’m trying to do is show you one possibility why you might feel that way other that due to your assumption that the music is inherently evil, because I do not believe it is.
The reason I do not believe it is because I have not come across a single source in the gemara, rishonim, SA, or any literature written by someone universally regarded as a great posek that says it, and I have asked my rav and my rebbi, both of whom have shas and poskim on their fingertips, and they said the same thing.
However I do wish to note that songs which have not-nice words are definitely problematic. But that is not an issue with the music, and if you were to sing or play the song with different words and no one would be reminded of the not-nice things there wouldn’t be a problem.June 4, 2010 7:44 am at 7:44 am #688463
yitay – i’m very sorry, i strongly disagree. maybe in that specific case the music brings up other memories, but as for me, an ffb, when i hear goyish music it DOES have an effect. some pple are more sensitive to it then others, but it is coming from a tumadike source and it has a great effect.
and if you say you have asked your posek, maybe ask again. The Koach of music is quite frightening.June 4, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am #688464
Well perhaps you associate the music with elements of society you do not wish to be connected to, and that makes you feel like there’s tumah in the songs.
Again, in the halachic sources relied upon by all major poskim – that is, in shas with the rishonim and the SA, the concept does not exist. This makes me very skeptical of your claim that there is something evil inherent in the music composed by a bad person.
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