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Apr 20, 2020

Interesting Psak: music during Omer during Corona

Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef has paskened that this year, because of the situation caused by CoronaVirus, people can be meikil and listen to music even though it is the days of Omer when we normally do not listen to music.

Rav Yosef was asked that with people in isolation, people stuck in their homes, some people being sick, people kept away from shuls and batei medrash, with everything closed up and sealed shut, and kept at home with the children. We have to keep the children busy and can play recorded music for them. Also, people feel the need to somewhat get rid of the pressure and even depression and loneliness. People want to know if all this pressure and trouble is a good reason to be allowed to listen to music.

Rav Yosef explains that not listening to music during Omer is not in the Shulchan Aruch. What it does say is that during these days we do not marry women, and from that we deduce that we do not do things that bring us to joy, and music is included in that.

Rav Yosef clarifies that vocals, aka a capella, is always allowed, every year, and definitely is allowed this year. Singing with your mouth was neever prohibited, as long as it does not lead to dancing (even not mixed :-) ). Poskim have allowed music this year. People in isolation feel it necessaty o have music as it is difficult to be alone for so long, and the music will make it a bit easier for him to cope.

Live music with instruments is not included in this leniency. Rav Yosef explicitly said that is not included and he is only referring to recorded music. Parents can play music for their children, to keep them busy and engaged.

As well, if a person is home with children, they get bored quickly and might drive their parents crazy.

Rav Yosef further qualifies that a strong healthy person who is not suffering should not be lenient in this. he could be lenient with vocals, a capella music and music that will not lead to dancing, but not with regular music.
source: Kikar

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