In the modern era, is it still against to set an alarm so that one wakes to music? Does it make a difference if it is a radio station or a cd?

Answer:

The question doesn’t specify when: On Shabbos, or during the week.

During the week, there is no problem with waking up with music.

On Shabbos, one should not wake up with radio and music, for two reasons.

One, which is maris ayin (it looks like the radio was turned on on Shabbos) can be overcome by ensuring that the volume is not sufficient to be heard outside the room (see Iggros Moshe 4:70).

Note that although alarm clocks are common today (lessening the concern for maris ayin with a regular clock), it is not necessarily common to wake up to music, and the concern might still be in place.

But in addition, it is not in the spirit of Shabbos to listen to music and the radio on Shabbos.

Therefore, for Shabbos a regular alarm clock should be used.

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4 Responses to “Setting Alarm Clock for Shabbos”

  1. 239) Q: Can you please give me sources & the reasons for not falling asleep or waking up to music.I have been learning for many years & have never heard this.

    A: This “prohibition” was instituted after the Churban Bais haMikdash, based on pesukim, that it isn’t proper to listen to music in a fashion that kings and princes do, while we are in mourning over the Bais HaMikdash. One of the things that royalty would do was to fall asleep and be woken up to music, thus Zecher L’Churban it was prohibited. In fact according to the Gemara in Maseches Gittin 7a (and according to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal and other Poskim who follow this stringent view) it is prohibited to listen to any music any time while we are in Galus, unless it is for a Mitzvah!

    Though most Poskim are lenient in general, they would be machmir regarding falling asleep and waking up to it. (See Halichos Shlomo Perek13:18 and the footnotes)

    http://halachafortoday.com/questions-answers/qa5/

    • Thanks you for sending this interesting ruling. In my humble opinion, there is no need to be stringent for this matter today, because it is no longer the way of kings and princes to arise to music, and because even when it was, it was presumably done by means of a royal orchestra, and not a portble radio set. If we are lenient today for listening to music in general (please see our article on this subject), I don’t see room for stringecy in waking up and going to sleep with music.
      Best wishes.

  2. BS”
    On SHABBOS:
    May I use a CD PLAYER/ALARM CLOCK to wake up to a shiur on CD ?

    Thank you for all you do & Kol Tuv in 5773

    • Though it might sound a little odd, there is no difference in principle between waking up with a regular alarm clock,and waking up with a shiur.
      As noted in the answer, this will not be permitted if the sound is audible outside the room – it is not the norm to wake up to shiurim, and the problem of maris ayin will apply.
      Best wishes.

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