Apr 3, 2008

Interesting psak from Rav Steinman - non Jewish tunes with jewish lyrics

This past week's Mishpacha newspaper reported that Rav Steinman was giving a talk in a Yeshiva on Purim night and he said, "Using tunes of people that are not "people of Torah", even if the words are not assur, could possibly be considered to be like "enjoying from the meal of Ahashverosh"".

Rav Steinman was explaining the difference between Simcha and Hollelus. He warned to beware of coming to the point of enjoying from the meal of the Rasha by enjoyment not within the spirit of the Torah. Rav Steinman said, "The fact of their participation [in the party of Achashverosh] alone was problematic, even if they had not eaten anything that was non-Kosher. The same is true with enjoying things that are not within the spirit of Torah even if they do not have anything specifically assur about them. The same is with using tunes of people who are not living lives dedicated to Torah... even if there is no actual Issur involved. It is worse than any specific issur, because everybody knows to stay away from an issur. The moment non-Jews act in a certain way, we must stay far away from it so as not to be as if "enjoying from the meal of that Rasha [Achashverosh]."

9 comments:

  1. OK

    SO HOW FAR DOES THIS GO? WHAT TUNES SPECIFICALLY? WHO DECIDES? WHO DOES THE RESEARCH?

    (and - does anyone really care - I mean, who's gonna change?)

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  2. Almost all "jewish" tunes are of non-jewish origin.

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  3. Rafi,

    Things that are said during a shiur do not typically enjoy the status of "psak". Are you sure that he meant this as an official ruling?

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  4. I do not know if it was or was not an actual psak, but the article called it one.

    I have begun to notice a trend that psaks that come from Rav Steinman are more on the field of the style of mussar and less in actual halacha.

    So, in this case for example, a yeshiva guy who was trying to raise his level of spirituality/ruchniyus, would stay away from more modern music (which he probably would have avoided anyway)

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  5. I have to respectfully disagree with Rav Steinman. While Rav Steinman is clearly entitled to his opinion and how he wishes his follwoers to act, his view does not seem to be accepted by most halachic authorities.

    See for example:

    Shut Krach Shel Romi 1, Mishna Berura 53:82, Tzitz Eliezer 13:12, Yabia Omer 6:7, Yechave Da'at 2:5

    -Ari Enkin

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  6. Ari - he himself said that it is not an actual issur, but he said therefore you have to stay even further away from it. It seems to be from a mussar point of view appropriate maybe for a Yeshiva bachur.

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  7. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

    Children are being tortured left and right of Rav Steinman and all he can think to talk about is music?

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  8. Ok. And we also should not drive cars because non-Jews do so (and even invented them). We shouldn't use electricity because non-Jews do. We SHOULD wear robes and not normal clothing. We should not eat in restaurants. We should not eat Oreos or M&Ms or any other non-Jewish type food because they're just not Jewish.

    Where exactly do these idiotic chumrahs end?

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  9. This sounds like a Purim Torah. It is also important not to eat hamentaschen because they are a foreign type of baked confectionary. The consumer of these cookies might become unwittingly accustomed to and shaped by the non people of the torah who shaped the cookie. While not prohibited. It is worse than an issur to eat them.

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